Transfer Student Research Award (TSRA)

About the Transfer Student Research Award

General Information

Transfer Student Research Awards (TSRA) provide support for transfer students to engage in research activities. One set of grants will be given to graduating seniors for research projects to be completed by June; a second set will be given to juniors/rising seniors for research projects to be completed by December of the following year.

The deadline for this special transfer-student only grant is Friday, March 1, 2019.

To qualify for the Transfer Student Research Award, you must meet the eligibility requirements described below and submit the complete proposal packet online by the application deadline. The maximum award is $750 per project.

Note that the Transfer Student Research Award is similar but not identical to the Undergraduate Research and Creative Activities (URCA) grant in terms of its eligibility and restrictions. See below for details.

Requirements & Eligibility

To be eligible for the Transfer Student Research Award, you must:

  • Be a UCSB undergraduate transfer student (admitted as a Junior).
  • Be in good academic standing and remain so throughout the funding period.
  • Have not already received a full-year URCA grant for the same year.
  • Be currently engaged in a research or creative project, or planning to initiate one. It is important to note that grants are not awarded retroactively for completed projects.
  • Identify a faculty member who is willing to supervise your project, and obtain a letter of support from this possible mentor. The letter should be submitted as a part of your grant application. Your faculty mentor must be a member of the Academic Senate. (You can view the membership list here:
  • Develop a poster that represents your research and any findings and share that poster at the Undergraduate Research Colloquium. For senior and junior grant recipients, this Colloquium will be held in May of the year the grant is awarded.

All students who meet the criteria above are eligible to apply, regardless of major or college affiliation.

Students who receive the award are encouraged to produce and present a poster detailing their research goals and outcomes at the end of their project’s funding period, but prior to graduating. Details on the poster presentation events will be forthcoming in the near future.

Please note: TSRA grants are considered a financial resource for financial aid purposes. The total amount of financial aid that you may receive is determined by the Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships (OFAS) and is based on federal and state policy. If OFAS finds that you have received the full amount of aid for which you are eligible, your TSRA award may lead to a reduction in certain types of aid. If you are unsure about whether you have received the full amount of aid for which you are eligible, or to inquire about how receiving a TSRA award may impact your existing financial aid, please contact the Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships at (805) 893-2432.

Application Deadline

The deadline to submit proposals for the 2018 Transfer Student Research Award is Friday, March 1, 2019 at 11:59 PM PST, via the online application system.

Proposal Information

There are five components to a TSRA grant proposal: an online data form, an abstract, a project plan, a budget form, and a mentor’s letter of support. The online data form can be accessed and submitted via the online application system. Detailed instructions regarding the remaining four components can be found by clicking the links below.

Proposals can be partially submitted and then completed at a later date using the online system.  However, all proposal components including the mentor’s letter of support must be submitted by the deadline posted in order to be considered. Late submissions will NOT be considered.

Applicants should create their application profiles by submitting basic proposal information well in advance of the deadline so their mentor will receive the individualized upload link for the letter of support with sufficient time to submit. All application components can be edited an unlimited number of times before 11:59pm on the application deadline.

Please direct questions regarding the proposal process to the TSRA coordinator at:


Your abstract should be a brief and clearly-written synopsis of your research or creative project. It should not exceed 100 words and must contain the following elements:

  • A brief explanation of the project’s purpose
  • A brief statement explaining what you will do in your project
  • The major conclusions you hope to derive from your project
  • A concise statement of what you hope to gain from your project

Do not include any details about your research design or methods.

Submitting the Abstract

Please submit your abstract via the online application system.

Project Plan

The project plan is a brief narrative, not to exceed two pages (single or double-spaced with standard margins, font size no smaller than 11 points and no images or formulae). References are not required, but if included they should remain within the two-page limit. The narrative must include responses to the following questions:

  • Specific Aims: What do you intend to do? List the overall objectives of your project and describe, concisely and realistically, what your project is intended to accomplish, including any hypotheses to be tested. Scripts for film or dramatic projects are not appropriate substitutes for a project plan.
  • Research Design and Methods: Describe the research design and procedures that you will use. By what means will your data be collected, analyzed, and interpreted? Provide a timetable for the project. If your project involves human subjects, please note that you have complied with University guidelines for the use of human subjects. [These guidelines are available from the Office of Research website. Questions should be directed to The Human Subjects Coordinator, Office of Research, You may also call them at 805-893-3807 with questions. Please do not submit the Human Subjects Committee application with this proposal.]
  • Background and Significance: Relate your project’s specific aims to the broader goals of your undergraduate education and major field of study. Why is this award significant to you? What courses or opportunities have prepared you to undertake this project?
  • Timeline: Indicate duration of research or creative activity. How long will you be doing this project?

Submitting the Project Plan

Please submit your project plan via the online application system.


Using the TSRA Budget Form located under the section "Proposal Forms" below, list all costs associated with the project. Funding is provided for general supplies, other costs, and domestic travel. Funding will not be provided for international travel or conference related fees or travel.

  • General supplies, capped at $150 per project, include such items as computing paper/ink (capped at $40), Transfer Student Research Colloquium poster development (capped at $50), and general office supplies and photocopying charges (capped at $30).
  • Other costs include laboratory supplies, rental of equipment, payment to subjects, payment for services, and large duplication costs for surveys and questionnaires. Please note the following restrictions and considerations:
  • The purchase of equipment (computers, software, printers, cameras, tape recorders, etc) is not allowed.
  • Requests for salary are prohibited.
  • TSRA funding restrictions do not allow for payment of services via payroll.
  • If you are requesting payment to subjects, be sure you have adhered to university policies on the use of human subjects as explained earlier in the proposal instructions.
  • As an incentive for surveys or experiments with a large number of human subjects, a drawing is permitted. The value of the prize awarded may not exceed 10% of the total grant funding. For example, a project awarded a $750 grant can use a prize with a maximum value of $75.
  • If your project requires transcribers, be sure to use a professional service and obtain a receipt. Undergrads and graduate students cannot be paid via payroll.
  • Domestic travel is considered anything outside the local commuting area (Santa Barbara/Goleta/Carpinteria communities). All travel must be in accordance with university policy in order to be eligible for reimbursement. Prior to submitting your proposal, please contact the Financial Officer in your mentor’s department to determine the current mileage reimbursement rates and other travel-related guidelines.

Submitting the Budget

Please submit your budget via the online application system. See the Sample Budgets section below for example budgets.

Mentor's Letter

A letter of support is required from your faculty mentor. Please give your mentor the Mentor’s Letter of Support Instruction Form along with a copy of your abstract, project plan, and budget. It is your responsibility to ensure the submission of this letter by the deadline. Please allow the mentor sufficient time to review your plan prior to the submission deadline.

Mentor Guidelines

A mentor must be a member of the Academic Senate (view the membership list here) and one of the following:

  • A full-time faculty member of any rank, including emeriti

Graduate students, part-time lecturers, and staff are not eligible to serve as project mentors. If you have questions about mentor eligibility, please consult with the coordinator for clarification at

Submitting the Mentor’s Letter

The mentor’s letter of support should be written on department letterhead and be submitted as a PDF to the online grant proposal system. Your mentor will receive an e-mail with instructions when you submit your proposal application along with your mentor's e-mail address. Please create your application profile BEFORE the deadline so your mentor will receive your individualized upload link with sufficient time to submit. (You may edit your application until the deadline.)

Proposal Application

Applications for the 2018 Transfer Student Research Award will open in Winter 2018 and will be due March 1, 2019.

Below are all the materials you'll need to complete the TSRA proposal (explained in detail in the Proposal Instructions section):

Download the Budget and Mentor Letter of Support forms here

  1. Apply online. (Note that TSRA utilizes the "URCA Grant Administration" system for submission of proposals)
  2. Download the TSRA budget form, and submit it as part of the online application.
  3. Download the Mentor's Letter of Support form, and give it to your potential mentor.

Sample Budgets

Below you may find sample budgets from awards similar to TSRA.  Note that some budgets below are from the URCA program, which has similar funding requirements and restrictions.

View a sample budget from a social science discipline: Download Social Science Budget Sample

View a sample budget from a mathematics, life, and physical sciences discipline: Download STEM Budget Sample

View a sample budget that shows how to document travel costs: Download Travel Budget Sample

Proposal Forms

TSRA Grant Budget Form: Download TSRA Budget Form

  • Your budget must be saved in WORD format when uploaded to the application system

TSRA Mentor Letter of Support Instruction Form: Download Letter of Support Form

  • Your Mentor's letter must be saved as a PDF on department letterhead when uploaded to the application system


TSRA Project Grant Proposal Workshops

These workshops cover tips and information relevant to students seeking an URCA grant, including how to prepare a strong proposal, budget preparation, and what the reviewers expect from a solid proposal. It is not necessary to attend more than one workshop.

General Workshop Dates:
Workshops for the 2018-2019 grant will take place on: 

  • February 5, 2019-- 1pm-2pm TSC

  • February 8, 2019-- 1:30pm-2:30pm TSC

  • February 11, 2019-- 4pm-5pm TSC

  • February 20, 2019-- 10am-11am TSC