Off-Campus Research Awards


The Off-Campus Research Awards are intended to support undergraduate scholarship for research projects conducted outside of the University of Pittsburgh. Awards may be used for international projects or for projects in the United States.

Deadlines and Eligibility

  • Applications for the 2015 Summer Term are due Friday, January 30, 2015.
  • Applications for the 2015 Fall Term are due Friday, May 29, 2015.
  • Applications for the 2016 Spring Term are due Wednesday, September 30, 2015.
  • Applications for the 2016 Summer Term are due Friday, January 29, 2016.

Applications will be accepted from any University of Pittsburgh undergraduate student who:

  • has a 3.50 cumulative GPA;
  • has a Pitt faculty sponsor within the project's discipline who will be responsible for oversight of the research project prior to the student's research experience off campus and upon the student's return;
  • if appropriate for the project, has a faculty member from outside the University of Pittsburgh who will be responsible for oversight of the off-campus component of the research project;
  • and, if the project will be conducted abroad, has submitted a program application to Pitt's Study Abroad Office or, if the research project is not part of a formal program, is working with the Study Abroad Office regarding the administrative details associated with travel abroad

Application Requirements

Applications will be judged on the merits of the proposed research project and degree of support from the cooperating faculty mentor(s). Applications must include the following:

  • Cover sheet. Complete the cover sheet, which is available in Word format or as a PDF.
  • Project description. The description should discuss the relationship of the project to current research in the field, provide an overview of the research project’s methodology, and indicate how the off-campus component is essential to this project.
  • Current academic transcript.
  • Nomination letter(s) from the sponsor(s) on campus and, if appropriate, off campus who are overseeing the project. The letter(s) should address the merit of the research project and the importance of the off-campus location to complete this project. The Pitt faculty member should address how he/she will prepare the student for the off-campus component of the research project and how he/she will continue to work with the student after completion of the off-campus component, as well as how he/she will provide guidance to the student if no faculty member will be present with the student at the off-campus site. If a faculty member is appropriate at the off-campus site, the letter from that faculty member should address the extent of supervision to be provided, including frequency of meetings with the student. All letters should provide an assessment of the student’s academic performance and ability to conduct research while off campus.
  • If the research project is to be conducted abroad, a written timeline of your progress toward completion of the Pitt Study Abroad application process. The timeline should include the date of your “Essentials” session and when you have completed/plan to complete all components of the “Application Stage” (if traveling abroad as part of a formal program) or a timeline for completion of the administrative details associated with travel abroad (if travel abroad is not part of a formal program).

Important points for students and faculty members to include in the project description:

  • An overview of how the proposal complements and/or builds upon research currently in the field.
  • The goals for this project, including a methodology and a timeline for the research; include the student's preparation for the off-campus component, as well as how the student will continue with this project once returning to campus.
  • An explanation of how the project will further the student's academic or professional development.
  • Specific details regarding how the student will be supervised while off campus.

Important Information for Research Projects Involving Human Subjects

If your research involves human subjects, you are required to obtain approval from the University of Pittsburgh Institutional Review Board (IRB) prior to accepting this award. You must complete this form as verification of your project's status relative to the IRB:

UHC Off-Campus Research IRB Status Form (PDF)

Important Information for Research Projects Involving International Travel

Over the last number of years two forces have shaped the University’s thinking about international travel of faculty, staff, and students. First, events around the world (e.g., the Tsunami in Asia, the earthquake in Japan, the change in government in Egypt) have made it important for us to be able to quickly identify University personnel abroad. Second, as we increasingly are engaged in global programs, it would be useful to be able to provide an aggregate overview of the range of engagement abroad each year. Thus, the Council of Deans has adopted a policy that requires registration of international travel for all University students and staff and strongly encourages registration for faculty.

All undergraduate students must register using this system if you are conducting research abroad, attending a conference or meeting abroad, or are part of a University group or club and traveling abroad as part of a University-sponsored activity. You should not register using this system if you are participating in a program administered through the University’s Study Aboard Office website, you are helping to manage a study abroad program managed through the Study Aboard Office website, or you are not on University business (e.g., you are going on vacation abroad).

To register:

  • Log into
  • Point to My Resources to expand the drop down
  • Click on Travel Registry
  • Read the material and click on the link in the upper right labeled  Register Your Trip Now
Once you are in the system, you will be able to note the dates of travel, list the destinations during your journey, and answer a brief questionnaire about the nature of your trip and the best means for contacting you in case of emergency.

Additional Information

Upon completion of the research project, a written report summarizing work of the project is required from the student, as well as appropriate comments on that report by the sponsor(s).

For more information about the UHC Off-Campus Research Awards, please contact David Hornyak.

Submit Application Materials To:

David Hornyak
University Honors College
3600 Cathedral of Learning