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Bridge Undergraduate Research Student Grant Program

Open to Virginia Tech Students Only

Funding is not currently available; we will open the application when we receive more funding.

The aim of this brand-new program is to increase access to Bridge undergraduate research experiences, particularly in the summer, for Virginia Tech students across majors by providing funding to support student research activities which are typically unpaid. Up to ten (10) grants of up to $3,000 each will be awarded in the 2023-24 academic year, to fund research activities conducted for a duration of 6-15 weeks through June 30, 2024 (grants funds expire at the end of June). Applications will be considered, and grants awarded, on a rolling basis through May 1, 2024, or when funding runs out.


  • Undergraduate students in any major seeking a paid Bridge undergraduate research experience at Virginia Tech, i.e. a research experience connecting the student’s disciplinary knowledge and skills to an experience aligned with their post-graduation goals.
  • Students may use funds to support mentored research they are already engaged in, or to begin a new project with research mentor support.
  • Special consideration for students staying in Blacksburg for the summer, who may also be taking classes during Summer I session.
  • Preference for students with demonstrated financial need or those working in an underfunded area of research.
  • Preference for students without other source of research funding.
  • To count as a Bridge Experience, students must secure prior approval from their home department and register for the 3900 Bridge Experience course.

Program Description and Expectations

  • This program provides individual student research grants up to $3,000 per student to support a new or continuing research project in any discipline.
  • Students will receive financial support for up to 15 weeks of research activities (equivalent of one semester). The timing of the research period is flexible and may occur during the academic year (Spring semester 2024), Summer session I, or some combination of the two, based on agreement with the research mentor and/or approval of student’s home department (3900 plan) for their Bridge experience.
  • Research activities may continue beyond the end of Summer I, however grant funding will expire on June 30.
  • Funded students will engage in research activities under the guidance of their research mentor based on the timeline and details provided in their proposal. To fulfill the Bridge experience requirements, this must match the student’s approved 3900 plan.
  • Students must present their research results at VT’s spring or summer symposium. This may count as the final deliverable to fulfill the 3900 course requirements, if included in the student’s approved 3900 plan.

Application Process

Students should get the commitment of a research faculty mentor who agrees to supervise their research prior to applying for this grant. If a student does not have a mentor secured, the Office of Undergraduate Research can help guide them through the process of finding one. Students should develop their proposal with the mentor and/or verify mentor agrees to the proposal. The mentor listed in the application form will be contacted to confirm their commitment to supervise the student’s work.

Students will apply for the grant using the online application form which includes biographic information, short personal statements, and a research proposal including project timeline and project budget, i.e. an estimate of costs to be covered by the grant, including, but not limited to:

  • Student wages (at an approved rate of $15/hr)
  • Supplies/equipment/database costs
  • Travel for research activities

Proposals will be reviewed as they are received, and awards made based on assessment of demonstrated or clearly articulated and justified need for funding, complete description of the project, and clear and reasonable description of expenses to be covered by the grant.

Please direct questions about the program and application form to Keri Swaby, Director for the Office of Undergraduate Research.