TrUE Project Funding
Thank you for your interest in our Undergraduate Research & Creative Activities Project Funding program. The Center for Transformative Undergraduate Experiences (TrUE) is establishing a new structure for Fall 2021. Please carefully review the information below:
- The initial project nomination must be submitted by the project faculty mentor (this replaces our previous mentor letter of support requirement)
- Project funding will be awarded as a student EOPS in either the amount of $500 or $1,000 (see details below)
Please carefully review the updated program guidelines below. Also, as we work to improve our programming, we would love your feedback! Please feel free to email suggestions on how TrUE can improve our project funding program to email@example.com
All qualifying undergraduate research and creative activities projects must be supervised by a Texas Tech University (TTU) or Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center (TTUHSC) faculty mentor. Faculty mentors can come from any TTU/TTUHSC department; however, they must hold a terminal degree (e.g. PhD, MFA, JD, etc.) in their academic discipline. To receive project support funding, undergraduate students must be enrolled at TTU as full-time undergraduate students at the time of application. The funded project must be completed prior to the student's departure from TTU or transition to a graduate program. Recent TTU graduates and graduate students are not eligible for TrUE project funding.
Funding preference will be given to students who are not already supported by an established TTU undergraduate research and creative activities funding program (e.g. Honors College Undergraduate Research Scholars, McNair Scholars, CISER Undergraduate Research Scholars, etc.).
What is an EOPS transaction?
EOPS stands for Employee One-Time Payment System. Funding through EOPS means that the student will receive a lump sum payment directly from Texas Tech University. The stipend will not include any fringe benefits (e.g. health insurance). The intent is to provide the student the highest degree of flexibility in using the funds to support their work; however, project teams should be careful to follow all TTU operating policies regarding the acquisition of any project supplies. For instance, TrUE project funding may not be used to purchase hazardous materials subject to special procurement and safety protocols.
Please keep in mind that EOPS transactions are subject to taxes. Texas Tech Payroll and Tax Services will send a W-2 Form to the student to report the award payment to the IRS. If a student is not eligible for employment in the United States, they should notify the BC to discuss alternate funding processes. Please be aware that the tax withholding may be up to 30% for non-US residents. Student questions regarding the processes should be directed to the TTU Payroll and Tax Services Department. The Payroll and Tax Services Department cannot give tax advice, so questions about the specific tax implications of the Project Funding should be directed to a tax professional.
Faculty Role in Project Funding Request
TTU faculty mentors will begin the Project Funding process by completing the initial nomination form. This replaces the previous letter of support requirement. A separate nomination for each student is required. Although the nomination is ultimately being submitted by the faculty mentor, project teams are encouraged to meaningfully involve the undergraduate student in the development and editing of the nomination.
Faculty mentors can strengthen their nomination by identifying matching resources to further support the student. This matching support can take the form of additional student financial support, research supplies, etc. Priority matching resources must come from external or departmental sources. For instance, requesting funding for the same student from both the TTU Honors College Undergraduate Research Scholars program and TrUE would not be classified as a preferentially matched proposal.
If the faculty mentor is proposing a “cash” match where the student will receive additional direct financial support, TrUE will require the FOP and a business contact to facilitate verification. If proposing an alternative form of matching support, the faculty mentor will be asked to explain how TrUE can best verify that the student received a direct benefit from this additional support.
Undergraduate Student Role in Project Funding Request
Undergraduate students interested in receiving project funding are encouraged to proactively identify a suitable faculty mentor for their project. While the student is not responsible for submitting the initial funding nomination, it is expected that they actively participate in preparing the requested documentation. Students – this means you should ask your mentor how you can contribute to this work even if they do not prompt you on their own.
If a faculty funding nomination receives preliminary approval, the nominated student will receive an email prompting them to:
a) Complete the TrUE Student Funding Application
b) Schedule a meeting with the TrUE Undergraduate Research Administrator (URA)
c) Schedule a subsequent meeting with the TrUE Business Coordinator (BC)
In the first (URA) meeting, the student will review the program requirements and discuss any questions the student may have. Faculty mentors are welcome but not required to participate in the (URA) meeting. In the second (BC) meeting, the student will complete all required employment eligibility and onboarding paperwork. Students should carefully review the Student Documentation Processes section of this document prior to the BC meeting. Funding will be awarded in accordance with standard TTU Payroll processing timelines—usually 2-4 weeks after a student completes all required onboarding paperwork.
If a student cannot complete steps a), b), and c) within two weeks of the TrUE notification email, they should coordinate an alternative timeline with the URA or risk forfeiting funding.
Nomination and Application Review Processes
TrUE will review both Faculty Nominations and Student Funding Applications in the order they are received, on a rolling basis, until all project funds are committed for the award cycle. Typically, decisions will be announced via email within 2 weeks of the Nomination or Application submission.
Project Funding Amounts
In an effort to maximize the impact of program funds and encourage new investments in undergraduate research and creative activities, the Project Funding program will prioritize funding for projects with matching support from department, college, or external sources. TrUE awards are made for either $500 or $1,000; however, the maximum award for a project without matching support is $500. Qualifying match contributions must be valued at $500 or more in direct benefit to the student. Preference will be given to projects with larger matching contributions. Travel is an allowable expense through project funding. The project nomination form requests details regarding the nature and source of matching support which will need to be confirmed prior to funding.
The funding will be disbursed in one installment. To be eligible for future TrUE funding opportunities, the student must complete all deliverables listed under Funding Requirements.