Office of Undergraduate Research

Research and Innovation Grants

What is a Research & Innovation Grant? How do I apply?

Research & Innovation Grants are awarded by the Office of Admissions at the time of enrollment with the University. To learn more about the program, please review the Office of Admissions Research & Innovation Grants information, or read more about the RIG in the Rochester Review.

I have a Research & Innovation Grant. How can I use my funds?

Research & Innovation Grants may be used to attend academic conferences, for travel to and from study abroad programs, as a stipend for a research position, for research equipment or tools, membership in academic societies, and more. Your funds may not be used during the regular academic year to pay for anything that is covered by tuition/financial aid or anything for which you receive academic credit. See also "How a RIG Can Be Used" for more details. Questions? Please feel free to contact us or come to walk-in hours, below.

I have some questions and ideas I'd like to discuss. Is there someone I could meet with?

Yes. The Office of Undergraduate Research has walk-in hours reserved especially for RIG recipients. You may go to Dewey 4-209B without an appointment during the following times:

How do I access my funds?

First, you will need to have a faculty mentor who is aware of your plans to use your funds and is willing to advise you through the proposed project. Then you will need to fill out a Request for Disbursement form. On this form, you will be asked to describe your project and provide a budget for the projected use of funds. It is not necessary that you spend all your funds in one place and/or at one time. You and your faculty mentor will need to sign the form before turning it back into the Office of Undergraduate Research during walk-in hours.

Once your Request for Disbursement has been approved, you may either begin working or proceed with purchasing research materials, conference fees, airfare, etc., as below.

If you're paying yourself a wage or stipend:

If you're purchasing something (travel, lab supplies, etc.) for which you will be reimbursed:

Before beginning work as an otherwise unpaid lab or research assistant, intern, etc., you and your faculty mentor will need to decide how long you are going to fill the position. For example, you will need to determine how many weeks, how many days per week, and how many hours per day you will work. As of December 2015, the hourly wage may be from $9.50 to $11.25 per hour. You may work up to 20 hours weekly during the academic year and up to 40 hours weekly during the summer.

All students who wish to use their funds for salary/stipend must fill out the I-9 tax form. This is now online at Please note: The UR employer code is 11968; the location number is 210201 - Multidisciplinary Studies Cntr. Do NOT enter 100000 - Student Worker. You will still need to provide the required documentation for the I-9 in person to the Office of Undergraduate Research.


All purchases must be documented and presented to the Office of Undergraduate Research so that reimbursement may be processed. Disbursement for goods & services is almost always in the form of reimbursement; if this is not possible for you (i.e. you do not have the ready cash), please contact Ann Robinson and other arrangements may be made. Reimbursement may take up to two weeks to process.

Checks will be mailed directly to you; make sure you include your mailing address on the request for disbursement.               

N.B. If INTERNATIONAL TRAVEL is part of your request for disbursement, you must REGISTER YOUR TRAVEL with the Office for Global Engagement. If you are traveling as a member or organizer of a student program, please contact the Center for Education Abroad prior to registering your trip.

Click here to register.

When should I submit my disbursement forms?

You must submit your Request for Disbursement at least 30 days before your funds are needed, regardless of how you choose to use your funds. Please note: if you are a senior (and yes, you may use your RIG during a 5th-year project such as KEY or Take 5), you must submit the Request for Disbursement by January 31st of your senior year, and any receipts for reimbursement must be submitted by April 1st to allow sufficient time for the Accounts Payable office to process your request while you are still an undergraduate.