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President's Undergraduate Research Award (PURA)

The PURA Salary Awards offer $1,500 to undergraduate students who are conducting research under the supervision and mentorship of a Georgia Tech or Georgia Tech Research Institute faculty member. The proposal consists of 2 parts: Part 1 is a 2-page project description, which must be written by the student, and Part 2 is a 1-page statement of mentor/mentee expectations, which the student should develop in consultation with their faculty mentor.

Please note: the mentor/mentee expectations statement is an important part of the application. Reviewers will evaluate the statement as part of the review process. Students should set aside time to discuss the statement with their faculty mentor. See below for more information about this component of the application.

Students: Please read all rules, eligibility requirements, and application procedures below before applying. Be sure to share this information with your mentor.


Rules and Eligibility

  • Applicant must be an undergraduate student in good standing (GPA > 2.0).
  • A Georgia Tech or GTRI faculty mentor is required for the proposed research project. (NOTE: Grad students and postdocs cannot be supervising mentors.)
  • Students who receive a PURA Salary Award must register for the non-billable (free) audit courses 2698 or 4698 within the school of their faculty mentor. See for more information about how to register.
  • Students are not allowed to receive academic course credit (e.g., register for 2699 or 4699) for a research project funded by PURA.
  • Students are limited to one salary award per academic year (Fall, Spring, or Summer).
  • Students are not eligible for PURA funding if the research project is receiving funding from another source.
  • Co-op students or students with full-time paid internships during a semester may not accept PURA funding during that same semester.
  • Students who receive a PURA Salary Award are required to submit a final report describing project and professional development outcomes (see below). The report must be submitted by the last day of finals of the award semester.
  • Please note that per Georgia Tech’s Training in Responsible Conduct of Research Policy, students who receive a PURA Salary Award must complete an online ethics training course prior to the start of the research semester. See here for more information.


How to Apply

A complete application consists of the following:

  • Online application form
  • PDF of proposal, including Part 1 and Part 2 
  • Mentor Confirmation Form

Application form

The form asks for information about the student and their faculty mentor and provides a place for the student to upload their proposal in PDF format. The online application form can be found here


Part 1: Project Description (should not exceed 2 pages, excluding citations)

Note that reviewers may not have specialized expertise in your specific field. Write your project description with a wide audience in mind. The project description should address the following:

  • Background and Significance: Provide essential background information and describe the significance of your proposed project.
    • After reading this section, reviewers should understand the broader topic, problem, or challenge that your project addresses.
  • Specific Aims, Goals, or Questions: Outline what you will investigate during your proposed project. Remember the duration of the funding period is one semester.
    • After reading this section, reviewers should have a clear sense of the objectives of your proposed project.
  • Approach: Discuss how you will address the specific aims, goals, or questions outlined in the second section. Briefly describe the relevant methods and techniques, data collection or analyses, and resources used.
    • After reading this section, reviewers should understand your strategies for pursuing your objectives.
  • Outcomes: Explain how conducting the proposed project will contribute new knowledge to your field and impact your professional development.
    • After reading this section, reviewers should see the benefits of the proposed project.

Part 2: Statement of mentor/mentee expectations (should not exceed 1 page)

The statement of mentor/mentee expectations should have two sections: one describing the student’s responsibilities and commitments and one describing the mentoring team’s responsibilities and commitments. The student should develop this statement in consultation with their faculty mentor. Reviewers will evaluate and score the statement as part of the review process.

In the section describing the student's responsibilities and commitments, please discuss the following:

  • weekly time commitment
    • Note: this should involve an honest assessment of the student's availability given courseload, co-curricular experiences, and personal obligations
  • methods and frequency of communication between student and mentoring team
  • how data will be recorded, stored, and shared
  • when and how student will reflect on their successes and challenges

In the section describing the mentoring team's responsibilities and commitments, please discuss the following:

  • roles of each member of the mentoring team
  • training plans to help the student learn essential methods, such as data analysis or experimental techniques
  • funding sources for materials and supplies needed for the proposed project
    • Note: undergraduate students should not use their own personal funds on a scholarly or creative project conducted as part of a faculty mentor’s research program. This may be acceptable if the student is pursuing a fully independent project under the guidance of a faculty mentor.

Mentor Confirmation Form

Once the student submits the application form, which includes uploading the proposal, an email will be automatically sent to faculty mentor listed on the form. This email includes a link to a mentor confirmation form. Confirmation forms must be received by the application deadline. Applications are considered incomplete until the confirmation form is received by UROP. It is for this reason that we advise against waiting until the last day to submit an application

Note to mentors: The confirmation form is a change from previous PURA Salary Award application cycles. We eliminated the student evaluation fill-in fields and ranking question. Instead, the updated form collects basic information and lists "check-box" confirmation statements. By streamlining this form, we aim to enable mentors to spend time discussing the mentor/mentee expectations statement with the student. We welcome your feedback on this change and invite you to contact with any comments.

Final report

If you are awarded a PURA Salary Award, you will submit a final report at the end of the semester focusing on project and professional development outcomes from your research experience. Whether you plan to apply to research positions, graduate or professional programs, or industry jobs, you will likely be asked to write and talk about your undergraduate experiences. This final report is structured to help you develop a narrative of your research experience with concrete examples of your progress and development.

In your final report, please address the following (maximum three pages):

Project Outcomes: 

  • Recap your specific aims, goals, or questions from your project description (Part 1 of your PURA Salary Award proposal).
  • Describe your progress, using language that can be understood by a wide audience.

Professional Development Outcomes:

  • Reflect on your research experience over the past semester. What were your successes and accomplishments? What challenges did you face? How did you grow as a researcher and scholar?
  • Consider the expectations outlined in your statement of mentor/mentee expectations (Part 2 of your PURA Salary Award proposal). How well did you meet those expectations? What might you do differently in the future?
  • Set goals for the future. Based on this past semester, what goals do you want to set for yourself? How will you work towards those goals?

Submit your final report by the last day of finals during the semester of your award through the online form here