Research Funding

Financial Support for Research Projects

The Villanova Undergraduate Research Fellows (VURF) Program of the Center for Undergraduate Research and Fellowships is designed to provide financial support for student research. Research projects may be conducted during the fall or spring semesters, or over the summer. Students funded by the program will receive a stipend of $1,000 for fall or spring projects, and $3,500 for summer projects. VURF will also provide funding - up to $2,000 for summer research and $1,500 for fall or spring research - for equipment, supplies, travel and other expenses related to conducting research. Travel funds for undergraduate or professional research conferences (up to $500 for conferences in the U.S. and up to $1000 for international conferences) are also available. 

The VURF program was established on the premise that active, independent research experience helps student scholars develop important skills in proposal writing, obtaining research funding, carrying out a project and reporting the results.  Find out upcoming application deadlines for the VURF program.

Kenny Tsang, Criminal Justice Major, class of 2013, was a VURF Fellow and shares his experience below:

As a current undergraduate student who aspires to be a social scientist, I have come to realize the importance of high quality research and became energized to conduct my own independent study.

The Villanova Undergraduate Research Fellows Program (VURF) provided me with the freedom and resources to complete a research study last summer entirely of my own design which was inspired by my own personal experiences and humanitarian interests.  Under the mentorship of Dr. Allison Payne, I have acquired unique, hands-on research skills including proposal writing, questionnaire construction and administration, participant sampling and recruitment, quantitative data analysis, and article preparation.  My work will culminate with a research presentation this April (2013) at the 27th National Conference on Undergraduate Research (NCUR) which will be held at the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse.

My experiences as a research fellow have proven to be invaluable component of my education at Villanova and will serve as a foundation for my graduate studies and professional endeavors.  I strongly encourage you to apply to the VURF program!  Please don't hesistate to contact the department chair, Dr. DeFina ( to discuss this opportunity and prepare an application.

Eligibility Guidelines (VURF program)

1. Students must be enrolled as full-time undergraduates during the period of their funded activities.

2. Research projects directly associated with academic course credit are not eligible for funding; however, projects may occasion additional for-credit research, or be occasioned by previous coursework, such as with senior thesis research projects. However, all funded projects must be documented as substantive developments beyond original work. Students conducting senior-thesis research are eligible for a stipend during the summer prior to their senior year as long as they are not receiving academic credit that summer. Students conducting senior thesis research for credit during the academic year 12-13 are not eligible for stipends during the fall or spring.

3. Collaboration between faculty and student researchers is encouraged, but student authorship within the project must be the core element; projects for which students are serving primarily as research assistants for faculty projects will not be funded.

4. All project proposals must include their intended results--and the venue within which the completed scholarship will be disseminated.

5. All Villanova Undergraduate Research Fellows are expected to participate in the annual Undergraduate Research Poster Day early in the fall semester.

6. In the awarding process, preference will be given to undergraduate research students who have not previously been awarded a VURF summer grant.

For more information on the program, visit the website for Center for Undergraduate Research and Fellowships

Additional Helpful Links for VURF Program:

  • Checklist to ensure a complete application 

Center for Undergraduate Research and Fellowships
Garey Hall 38 or call at 610.519.5928

Director: Jane Morris; (610) 519-5928

Assistant Director: Hanna Lee; (610) 519-8852

Additional Resources

The Student Sociologist Newsletter - information about fellowships, scholarships, and conferences (produced by the American Sociological Association)