Charlotte Research Scholar Program

Charlotte Research Scholars - UNC Charlotte Office of Undergraduate Research

The Charlotte Research Scholars (CRS) program has become a high-visibility and high-impact investment in student success at UNC Charlotte. Originally delivered in 2012, the CRS provide undergraduate students with a transformative research experience and accompanying professional development training. The CRS directly provides summer research opportunities to approximately 50 UNC Charlotte students each year. In addition, we partner with several other Research Experience for Undergraduate (REU) programs to expand the reach of our professional development training and to create a vibrant community of undergraduate research. Specifically, students from the Mechanical Engineering Summer REU Program and four NSF-funded REU sites (NanoSURE, Socially Relevant Computing, Biology and Biotechnology, and Crime Analytics) all folded into the CRS. We also partner with two other programs funded by Academic Affairs: the Summer Program to Increase Diversity in Undergraduate Research (SPIDUR) and the Charlotte Community Scholars programs. In 2017, over 100 students have benefited from this investment in student success, which is consistent with prior years.

Professional development topics covered included responsible conduct of research, developing a competitive research fellowship application, the National Science Foundation and Ford Graduate Research Fellowships, preparing an academic resume, preparing and presenting a research poster, 3-Minute Thesis®, professional writing, and a session on preparing for graduate school. The CRS and partner programs culminate with the Summer Research Symposium.  Recent statistics provided by the UNC Charlotte Office of Assessment and Accreditation show that approximately 40% of undergraduate students participating in CRS between 2012-2015 went on to pursue a graduate degree.

Students can choose to be full-time participants (40 hours/week) and receive up to $5000 or be part-time participants (20 hours/week) and receive up to $2500 throughout the 10-week program.


Admission Requirements

  • The CRS program is open to UNC Charlotte undergraduates who are rising sophomores, juniors, or seniors.
  • Students must have a 3.0 cumulative GPA.
  • Students must be enrolled in the upcoming Fall semester in order to be eligible to participate. 
  • Full-time participants cannot attend summer school while simultaneously participating in the program. However, part-time participants may attend summer school during the CRS program.
  • Students must attend all OUR professional development training sessions and social events.
  • Students must attend and present at the summer research symposium


Proposed Calendar for 2020

January 13 - January 31 Scholar participation application open
March CRS scholars notified of acceptance
May 26 - August 4 CRS Summer Research Program
July 31 Summer Research Symposium

Expectations of Charlotte Research Scholars

  • Attend all CRS professional development training sessions and social events. Excused absences must be approved by both your CRS mentor and the CRS Director at least one-week prior.
  • Be a committed research trainee during the internship period. To that end, you must make regular contact with your CRS mentor for guidance and direction on the research project. The exact frequency of these interactions is largely up to your CRS mentor, and in many instances this might be nearly daily contact, but should be at least weekly.
  • Stay on task. You are responsible for committing to the required amount of work on the research project (full-time is 40 hours/week and part-time is 20 hours/week). Vacations and extended time away from campus cannot occur during the internship period. You will be held accountable for the time spent on the project and the quality of your work.
  • Complete all required deliverables by the specified deadlines, including the research abstract, research poster, curriculum vitae, and final report. Similarly, all deliverables should strictly adhere to CRS program formats, which will be provided later.
  • Check email daily, completely read all CRS messages, and reply promptly when information is requested.
  • Present a poster describing the results of your research at the Summer Research Symposium that occurs at the end of the program.
  • Report any needs or concerns regarding the project and/or mentor as soon as they develop to the CRS Director, Dr. Banks. For example, if you are not receiving sufficient help from your CRS mentor, please let the CRS Director know as soon as possible.
  • Complete the CRS program evaluation, which will be emailed to all scholars at the conclusion of the program.
  • Notify the CRS Director of any awards you receive, professional meetings you attend, and/or research papers you present at professional meetings that correspond to this work.
  • Notify the CRS Director of any changes in your contact information (address, phone number, email address) during the internship period.
  • Acknowledge the Charlotte Research Scholars program on any publications, research posters, and oral presentations where you serve as a coauthor corresponding to this work.

Charlotte Research Scholars (CRS) Mentor Expectations

  • Be a committed mentor to a CRS participant during the internship period. You are expected to find a suitable interim mentor if you are out-of-the-office for more than one week. Communicate the interim mentor’s name to the CRS Director.
  • Have contact with your student on a regular basis during the summer to provide guidance and direction on the research project as well as discuss the progress of the project. In many instances this might be nearly daily contact, but should be at least weekly.
  • Train the scholar in the skills required to be successful in his/her research project. This can be done directly by you, or by a suitable substitute (i.e., graduate student).
  • Keep the scholar on task. The scholar is responsible for 40 hours/week (if full-time) or 20 hours/week (if part-time) on the research project. The scholar should be held accountable for the time spent on the project and the quality of their work. Similarly, ensure that the scholar completes all required deliverables in a timely manner.
  • Keep the CRS Director informed of your scholar’s progress. This will include the completion of a midterm and final evaluation form as well as submission of periodic statements of their progress via email
  • Assist the scholar in writing an abstract, research report, and poster based on their summer research project by providing constructive criticism. The essential contents of the paper will be distributed to the scholars and mentors. The format should reflect the standard format of a peer-reviewed publication in your discipline.
  • Attend the Summer Research Symposium to be held at the end of the program, or send representatives from your research group/department if you are unable to attend.
  • Attend social events (the cookout and ice cream social) if possible, or arrange for representatives from your research group/department.
  • Report any needs or concerns to the CRS Director, Dr. Banks as soon as they develop.
  • Complete the CRS program evaluation, which will be emailed to all mentors at the conclusion of the program.
  • Acknowledge the Charlotte Research Scholars program on any publications, research posters, and oral presentations where the student serves as a coauthor corresponding to this work.

Faculty Participation Application