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The Harrison Undergraduate Research Awards

Application Link: the application portal is now closed

Applications were due by 11:59 p.m. on Wednesday, December 9th, 2020.



Made possible through the generosity of the late David A. Harrison III and his family, the Harrison Undergraduate Research Awards fund up to forty outstanding undergraduate research projects each year. Student applicants will propose a substantial and significant research project under the supervision of a UVA faculty mentor to be carried out in the summer and subsequent academic year following application for the award.

Faculty Mentor

Interested students should discuss the proposed project with a faculty mentor who will advise them in their work early in the process of developing a proposal. The faculty mentor will be asked to complete the Research Mentor Support Form, commenting on the student's proposal in no more than 500 words and, upon the project's completion, will submit a brief narrative assessment of the student's project.


Harrison Awardees may be granted up to $4,000 to pursue their objectives, and faculty mentors receive research support in the amount of $1,000. Faculty who do not wish to claim these funds should indicate this at the time the student applies.


Current first-, second-, and third-year undergraduate students are eligible to apply for a Harrison Award. Applicants must be fulltime undergraduates at UVA and must remain enrolled at the university through the completion of their project. The program welcomes proposals from all subject areas and schools at the university.

Application Process 

Students will submit a project proposal, budget request, resume, and unofficial transcript. Applicants will also be asked to provide the contact information for their faculty mentor, who will complete the Research Mentor Support Form, and for another individual who can complete the Recommendation Form, speaking to their qualities as a student and/or researcher. Faculty reviewers will assess each application based on merit, taking into account such considerations as clarity of the research question, appropriateness of methodology, the project’s feasibility, and the applicant’s preparation for undertaking the project.

The project proposal is expected to be written in the style of a grant application. Proposals should not exceed 2 pages (single-spaced, 12 point font, with 1-inch margins) and should include the following sections: background and question(s), methods, anticipated outcomes, and the significance of the work. Proposals should be uniformly cited using a citation style appropriate to the field of the project, and a bibliography should be included (though this will not count towards the page limit).

Submitting Joint Applications 

Applicants wishing to apply together should submit a single application. The proposal should explain each applicant’s role in the research. The project should have a single faculty mentor; the Research Mentor Support Form must discuss all applicants. Individual components of the joint application that must be provided for each applicant are: the Recommendation Form, to be completed by another individual; transcripts; and a discussion of relevant background and coursework. The total budget may not exceed $4,000. The application will be assessed as a single application.

Final Product

Award recipients are expected to carry out their projects in a professional manner and hold themselves accountable to the responsibilities outlined by the Office of Undergraduate Research. These include (1) tracking expenses while conducting work and submitting a final expense report which clearly details how funds were used in the spring of 2022; (2) submitting an abstract and presenting at the Undergraduate Research Symposium in April of 2022; and (3) completing an outcomes and reflections form in the spring of 2022. Awardees may also be asked to complete brief project updates at one or more points between when funds are available and the spring following term.

Student Projects Abroad Travel Form

Students proposing to travel internationally as part of their proposed research need to apply to the International Studies Office as well by completing the Student Projects Abroad Travel Form, submitting that form by email to the International Studies Office, and saving a copy of the form to submit with your Harrison Award application. View the Student Projects Abroad application requirements.

  • NB: The ISO has decided to close this portal for the time being. You will not need to submit this form with your application, but you will not receive any funding in the summer until this form has been submitted and approved by the ISO.

Institutional Review Board Approval 

Many research projects require approval by one of the University’s Institutional Review Boards. If your project works with human subjects, participants, their data, or animals, you may need IRB approval. You can learn more here about the IRB here. Approval is not required at the time of application but is required before the project begins. 

Consideration for Other Awards

The Stull Family Award is administered as part of the Harrison Award process. Applicants who are active members of fraternities or sororities, and who provide this information on their applications, are automatically considered for the Stull Family Award.

Harrison Award Recipient Projects