The Undergraduate Creative Activities and Research Experience (UCARE) program at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln (UNL) is a paid opportunity to work one-on-one with a faculty research mentor in fields ranging from arts, education, architecture, engineering, journalism, business, and humanities to traditional sciences like chemistry, biology, and physics. Through UCARE, you’ll work alongside world-class UNL faculty members conducting cutting-edge research that will shape the future of Nebraska and beyond.

Students who receive UCARE awards take advantage of a variety of professional development workshops and seminars, increase knowledge of graduate study and career paths, learn about fellowship opportunities for further research and study, and present work at Student Research Days in spring term or the Summer Research Symposium.

Funded in part by gifts from the Pepsi Quasi-Endowment and Union Bank and Trust, UCARE supports UNL undergraduates to work one-on-one with faculty research advisors in research or creative activities. The UCARE program solicits applications from eligible undergraduates for either academic year or summer awards. Awards are competitively reviewed and funded each year and are not automatically renewed. Students who have already received a UCARE award must re-apply for funding by completing a full application, including a research abstract.

Want to learn more? Please see below for a directory of student researcher resources, which includes a recording of a recent UCARE information session and application writing workshop.

If you have further questions, you can book an appointment in MyPLAN or send an e-mail to ucare@unl.edu


How to Apply

Complete the online application by clicking the button below. Once you’ve entered your credentials, select “UCARE” from the competition drop-down menu. (The UCARE competition will only be visible mid-November to mid-February each year).

For summer 2023 and academic year 2023-2024 UCARE project proposals, the application deadline is February 15, 2023 (11:59 pm).

UCARE applicants will receive a status update by mid-April 2023

Apply Here!

See a sample UCARE application.

Questions? Email us at ucare@unl.edu.

Important Info

  • Travel and Supplies Funds Application
  • Eligibility Criteria
    You are eligible to apply for UNL’s Undergraduate Research Program if the following statements are true for you:1. I am currently enrolled as a full-time student in an undergraduate degree program at UNL
    2. I will have completed 30 credit hours of undergraduate work by May (but not more than 120).
    3. I can verify excellent undergraduate academic achievement (2.75 or higher GPA).
    4. I am able to commit to 10 hours of research a week (academic year applicants) or 20 hours of research each week (summer applicants).
    5. I have identified and confirmed a faculty member who is willing to serve as a faculty research advisor.
    6. I have drafted my research proposal.
    7. I am willing to participate in UCARE-sponsored events.
  • Program Structure

    Students can apply for a project in Summer, Academic Year, or an extended project from June – April. If a student plans to engage in two different projects in Summer and Academic Year, they should submit two separate applications for each term.


    • A ten-week summer research opportunity from June – August.
    • Requires a 20-hour commitment per week.
    • Meet benchmarks and expectations in Undergraduate Research Agreement.
    • Receive a stipend of $2,400.

    Academic Year

    • An academic year research opportunity from September – April.
    • Requires a 10-hour commitment per week.
    • Meet benchmarks and expectations in Undergraduate Research Agreement.
    • Receive a stipend of $2,400 ($1,200/semester).

    Team Proposals

    • Two or three students working as a research team under the supervision of one faculty member for either the Summer or Academic Year.
    • Each team member receives a stipend of $2,400.
  • Assistantship Stipend
    During the academic term of award, UCARE stipends are distributed biweekly (every two weeks) after the award start date. As UCARE students are not hourly and do not submit timesheets, they receive no additional support for work hours completed during breaks between academic terms.
    Summer UCARE awards cover the period May 30 to August 5, 2022. Academic Year UCARE awards cover the period August 29, 2022 to April 20, 2023, excluding the winter break period between academic terms. A UCARE student’s commitment should represent an average of 10 hours per week during Fall and Spring terms, and 20 hours a week for project work during the Summer term. However, mentors and students have flexibility to determine how that commitment looks in practice. The faculty mentor will determine whether the undergraduate research has satisfied the expectations outlined in the Undergraduate Research Agreement.
    Payroll setup is completed by the faculty mentor’s academic department or college staff payroll contact. About two weeks prior to the award start date, new UCARE students who have not previously held a job on campus will be contacted by the payroll contact. These students will be asked to complete payroll paperwork and make an appointment to complete the federal I-9 requirement to establish identity and authorization to work in the U.S.
    UCARE students will be asked to provide an acceptable identity document (such as a driver’s license or state ID, or a passport) and proof of employment eligibility (such as a social security card). If you have lost these items, please take steps to locate them or obtain a replacement prior to the award start. Missing documentation will cause delays in receiving your stipend. You will also need your banking information if you would like to set up direct deposit of your stipend payments. Once payroll information is entered into the system and the academic term of award begins, current award recipients may view your deposit statements and other employment-related information in Firefly.


Student Researcher Resources

UCARE: Meet Brian
A Guide to Pursuing Graduate and Professional School

Learn how to find and research programs, make important connections, write application essays, and more!

Student Research Success

Quin Barton

Student Research Success
  • Biological Sciences Major '25 Dr. Wayne Riekhof, School of Biological Sciences

Elizabeth Schousek

Student Research Success
  • Plant Biology Major '22 Dr. Wayne Riekhof, School of Biological Sciences

Zack Wahab-Cheek

Student Research Success
  • Music & Economics Majors '22 Dr. Peter Lefferts, Glenn Korff School of Music


Signature Events & Programs

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TH 8am-5pm
F 8am-5pm