CURM helps participating faculty members set up academic-year (i.e., September – May) undergraduate research groups at their own institution. In special cases, we may provide an award for May – December or January – August. Each year, CURM awards minigrants ranging from $8,000 – $25,000 each to professors who are accepted into the program. These minigrants consist of financial support for undergraduate research groups consisting of 2-5 undergraduate students and one faculty member. Faculty are expected to apply in pairs, for minigrants to be awarded for linked research groups at two institutions.
Each group will spend the year working together on mathematical research, will present their work at a local conference, and will submit a final paper to CURM. Each group is also required to perform some sort of service that brings math to a larger community through our Give Back program. This might be to volunteer at a local mathematics meeting, visit and elementary school, or some other form of mathematical service.
Applications consist of a completed application form, 2-page CV, personal statement (describing reasons for applying, nature of partnership with the linked research group, planned regional conference for students to attend, and plan for engaging your community in mathematics in a give-back project, typically 2-5 pages), a research statement (describing the research project, plan for coordination with the paired faculty member, and plan for preparing students to engage with the research material, typically around 5 pages), and a letter from the dean or chair indicating how the faculty stipend will be used.
These awards are applied for and awarded in pairs from faculty at institutions, ideally of different types, who agree to coordinate activities between the two research groups. We particularly encourage faculty from community colleges to pair with faculty from 4+-year institutions, and for faculty at regionally proximate institutions to apply together. Each faculty member should submit their own application indicating the other member of the pair in the application form, and the nature of the connection should be addressed in the personal statement or the research statement. Proposals that do not include connection to another application will not be accepted.
$5,000 for each professor
The faculty mentor needs to be actively and regularly involved with the group. However, because many faculty have a high teaching load, CURM will offer $5,000 for each professor to buy out at least one course from a teaching load during the academic year in order to free up time to spend working with these mentored groups. When a faculty member applies to this program for a mini-grant, we require a letter of support from the department chair, dean, or appropriate administrator explicitly stating what the $5,000 faculty stipend will be used for. At a minimum, this must be a reduction of one teaching course. However, we suggest some additional items, such as a commitment to partially support the faculty member to attend the Joint AMS/MAA Meetings in January at which we will have a mid-year meeting or a commitment to send undergraduate students to a regional conference where they can present their research.
CURM will cover the travel and lodging up to $650 for the professor to attend the Faculty Summer Workshop. CURM will also cover the travel and lodging for the faculty and undergraduate students from an institutional pair to attend jointly a regional mathematics meeting, up to $200 per person.
$250 will be available to your institution for your group’s supplies.
Course credit or $3,000 stipend for each student in the group
Faculty mentors may choose to award course credit or a stipend for research group participation. Student participants will not receive both. We have planned for 25% of CURM awards to compensate students with course credit. For those who are awarded stipends, $1,000 will paid at the beginning of the Fall and Winter semesters, $500 paid after the student presents the research at the selected regional mathematics meeting, and $500 paid after the student submits the final research report. Students are expected to spend at least ten hours per week during the award period working on the research project.