Undergraduate research has been identified by the Association of American Colleges and Universities as a high impact practice. We promote faculty to engage with students in this evidenced based practice as it has shown to improve student outcomes and increase learning success.
One way we do this is by providing funding opportunities for students to receive a stipend while working alongside a faculty-mentor on a research project. Funding is also available for project supplies associated with taking on undergraduate student researchers. Faculty can apply for the Student Engagement Fund (SEF) or Research, Engagement and Academic Diversity (READ) Grant.
Faculty from all colleges and disciplines can apply for funding. Regardless of the funding opportunity you apply for research projects typically fit under the following broad categories:
The Student Engagement Fund (SEF) is an Office of Student Engagement and Experiential Learning (OSEEL) funding program that provides student compensation and/or project supply funds for faculty-mentored research/artistry and community-based projects. Projects in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences (CLAS) are funded in partnership with the college.
SEF applications are reviewed by a committee of NIU faculty.
The Research, Engagement and Academic Diversity (READ) Grant is the result of a collaboration between OSEEL, the Division of Research and Innovation Partnerships and the Office of Academic Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (ADEI). READ Grant funds can be used for research, scholarship and artistry projects on social justice and diversity, as well as projects related to social entrepreneurship or social innovation focused on social and cultural issues.
Faculty are encouraged to recruit students from historically excluded groups (defined here as African American, Hispanic/Latino, Asian American, Native Hawaiian or other Pacific Islander, and Alaskan Native/American Indian).
READ applications are reviewed by the committee on Academic Diversity, Equity and Inclusion.
The main purpose of READ and SEF is to increase the number of students receiving funding to participate in undergraduate research. Additionally, faculty can apply for project supply expenses. Eligible project supply expenses include:
You may receive funding for more than one project. The following limits apply:
In order for students to receive a stipend as an undergraduate researcher, the following criteria must be met:
Faculty and students will be added to OSEEL’s Research Funding Programs Blackboard organization which will be used to communicate program requirements and expectations.
Stipends for OSEEL undergraduate researchers will be processed through your bursar account and disbursed into partial payments throughout your project on the 15th of each month. If you already have a direct deposit account with the Bursar’s Office, please contact them to make sure you have the correct bank account on file for your funding to be distributed. Direct deposit as an NIU employee is not the same. You will still need to set up this feature through the Bursars office. Visit go.niu.edu/DirectDeposit for more information and to sign up for direct deposit.
Individual conference travel awards will be processed through MyScholarships. You will receive an email from MyScholarships with your awarded amount. Once you receive this email, you must accept the award. Upon acceptance, the award will be disbursed to your account within 10-14 business days.
Faculty awarded travel funds through the Experiential Learning Group Travel grant will complete the NIU Request for Group Travel advance form. Within two weeks of return from travel, a travel advance form must be completed with detailed, itemized receipts and submitted to Accounts Payable to reconcile the advance.
Please note that stipend payments for this award, though not considered wages, may be considered taxable income. The Internal Revenue Service regulations and notices state that the payer (Northern Illinois University) of a taxable stipend payment is not required to withhold income tax and not required to report the payment to the student at calendar year-end. Therefore, stipend payments issued to students who are U.S. citizens, permanent residents, or resident aliens (for U.S. tax purposes) will not be reported on IRS Form 1099-MISC at the end of the calendar year. Students are responsible for reporting these payments and remitting any tax due. Please refer to IRS Pub. 970, Tax Benefits for Education, for additional information. It is recommended you consult a qualified tax advisor to assist with personal tax questions.