The Undergraduate Research Opportunities Center (UROC) policies cover student conduct and academic performance; funding for research supplies and travel; and research products. Students and mentors are responsible for reviewing the policies outlined in this document. Questions about UROC Policies should be sent to UROC@csumb.edu. Students who do not comply with UROC Policies will be placed on probation or dismissed from their respective program in accordance with the UROC Code of Conduct.
CSUMB is committed to the highest standards of integrity in all areas of research and resolves that such activities undertaken by faculty, staff, and students will be conducted in accordance with rigorous ethical principles and in compliance with federal, state, and institutional regulations and policies. In order to ensure compliance with regulatory requirements relating to research, and to develop the institution's policies, procedures, and educational programs required by federal and state regulations governing the conduct of research, please ensure that your research project has received approval or exception the from the appropriate oversight committees including: Risk Management, Institutional Review Board (IRB), and Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC). For more information regarding compliance, please visit the CSUMB Compliance website.
- Undergraduate Researcher (UR)
- Undergraduate Researchers are California State University, Monterey Bay (CSUMB) undergraduate students from any discipline who conduct investigations or inquiries that address specific research questions; utilize appropriate research methodologies; adhere to the standards of the discipline; and disseminate research findings to the field. An Undergraduate Researcher’s work is guided by a research mentor and moves along a developmental trajectory toward independence, originality, and autonomy. See UROC Researcher Programfor more information.
- UROC Scholars / McNair Scholar
- The UROC Scholars / McNair Scholars program is a rigorous and competitive program for undergraduates who are committed to pursuing a graduate degree. Scholars set a high standard of achievement and are eligible for benefits beyond those available to UROC Student Researchers. See UROC Scholars Program for more information.
- Faculty Mentor
- CSUMB Faculty Mentors work with UROC Scholars / McNair Scholars to develop a Scholar’s understanding of the discipline, theoretical frameworks, ethical considerations, and communication conventions particular to a field of study. Faculty Mentors help students build professional networks in the field and work with the student on graduate school and fellowship applications.
- Research Mentor
- Research Mentors can be a faculty member, postdoctoral researcher, graduate student, or professional in a field closely aligned with the UR's research interest guide and supervise research projects. They introduce the student to the broader context of the research, relevant literature, and research methodology; supervise the UR research conduct; and, in the case of a more advanced UR, helps the student develop an independent research project. This individual may be affiliated with CSUMB or an external institution or agency.
- Principal Investigator (PI)
- Lead researcher on a project, typically the director or manager of a university research group or lab.
- University Corporation (UCorp)
- The University Corporation, an auxiliary of CSUMB, manages grants and other business functions for the University. UROC funding is mostly processed through UCorp.
UROC students are expected to excel academically and to serve as exemplary members of the scholarly community. In all matters, UROC students will apply themselves to the fullest, demonstrate scholarship and leadership, and maintain the highest academic and ethical standards. In their actions they will exhibit maturity, honesty, sound judgment, and respect for others. Students who are unable or unwilling to perform at this level may be placed on probation or dismissed from their respective UROC program.
UROC Scholars are expected to maintain a semester Grade Point Average (GPA) of 3.0. All other URs are expected to maintain a semester GPA of 2.75. A semester GPA below the minimum will result in the following consequences:
- The first time a student receives a semester GPA below the minimum, the student will be issued a warning indicating the severity of the occurrence and alerting the student and mentor(s) of the consequences for future GPA violations.
- The second time a student receives a semester GPA below the minimum (whether sequential or broken), the student will be placed on probation and will be denied the following funding opportunities: a) No or limited funding during the academic year until the student brings their semester GPA up to the minimum; b) Summer funding will be limited to activities directly related to research. Funding for conferences, graduate school visits, extended research, etc. will not be granted.
- The third time a student receives a semester GPA below the minimum (whether sequential or broken), all funding will be terminated.
- Appropriate campus offices will be consulted if necessary.
UROC staff will designate a Point-of-Contact (POC) who will inform UROC students, Faculty / Mentors, and appropriate CSUMB Staff (as necessary) if the student is being placed on probation for conduct unbecoming of the policies set by the program. This notification will include:
- Nature of violation
- Tasks / benchmarks required to correct probationary status, including a timeline for completion. Tasks and timeline may be decided in a meeting between the student, UROC Staff, Faculty / Mentors, and appropriate CSUMB Staff (as necessary).
UROC is committed to supporting mentors as they mentor undergraduate researchers. Pursuant to the policies of the individual’s employer and when UROC funding permits, mentors may be compensated by UROC for their services in guiding students through the process of research, scholarship, and/or creative activities.
Mentors are responsible for verifying that receipt of mentor compensation from UROC adheres to the policies of their employer. By pursuing mentor compensation from UROC, mentors acknowledge that they are eligible to receive compensation from the University Corporation for their services, are not violating state or federal laws, and are adhering to the policies of their employer. With regards to CSUMB Faculty, compensation schedules for all three of UROC’s programs have been determined to not violate CSUMB Faculty contract guidelines. In order to adhere to these guidelines compensation cannot be granted outside of these schedules.
To receive compensation as a UROC mentor
CSUMB Faculty and Staff Mentors
Compensation will be coordinated by UROC administrative staff using the ADP system. Because compensation is paid through the University Corporation's ADP payroll system, all mentors must be active employees with University Corporation. If the mentor is a Stateside employee and not already active in University Corporation, this process requires a brief visit to University Corporation HR at Ryan Ranch to fill out paperwork. Non-CSUMB Mentors that are already active employees with University Corporation compensation will be paid through the University Corporation's ADP payroll system. Non-CSUMB Mentors currently active with Moss Landing Marine Labs "MLML" will be expected to complete the current CSUMB Faculty and Staff Mentor compensation process.
Please confirm that you are hired and active through University Corporation. If you are unsure about this, please call or email UROC (firstname.lastname@example.org, 831 582 4212) so that your status can be verified. Mentor payments will be processed once HR paperwork is submitted and complete.
UROC Researcher Mentors
UROC (Researchers Program) Mentors may be eligible to receive $250 per term (e.g. Fall, Spring, or Summer), regardless of the number of mentees.
Details regarding the expectations and commitment associated with being a UROC Researchers Program Mentor can be found in the UROC Mentor Agreement. Compensation* will be automatically coordinated by UROC administrative staff unless the Researchers Mentor is no longer designated as the Researchers Mentor. *Contingent on grant funding source and subject to University Corporation Human Resources hiring policies.
UROC Scholar / McNair Scholar Faculty Mentor
UROC Scholar / McNair Scholar Faculty Mentors are eligible to receive an annual compensation of $1,000 per Scholar mentee (not to exceed $1500) per year paid at the start of the summer term. UROC Scholar / McNair Scholar Faculty Mentors are paired with a Scholar mentee when the student is accepted into the program. Scholar Faculty Mentors acknowledge and accept this compensation schedule when they commit to serving as a mentor to a UROC Scholar or UROC McNair Scholar. Details regarding the expectations and commitment associated with being a UROC Scholar Faculty mentor can be found here: UROC Scholar & Faculty Mentor Agreements. Compensation* will be automatically coordinated annually by UROC administrative staff unless the Scholar Faculty Mentor is no longer designated as the Scholar Faculty Mentor to that Scholar. *Contingent on grant funding source and subject to University Corporation Human Resources hiring policies.
Graduate Student Faculty Advisor Approval
If the Research Mentor is a graduate student, the UR’s involvement in research and any independent research projects must be pre-approved by the graduate student’s faculty advisor.
To prepare students for successful entry into graduate school and professional careers, UROC provides funding for: 1) students to conduct research at CSUMB or external institutions, agencies, or organizations; and 2) student travel to professional conferences and graduate schools.
Eligibility for Funding
To receive research funding from UROC, students must be enrolled in an undergraduate degree program at CSUMB. In limited cases, transfer students entering CSUMB may receive funding if they have paid the Enrollment Confirmation fee.
Duration of Funding
UROC Scholars / McNair Scholars in good standing are eligible for up to $2,800 a year of research funding. Funding for students in the UROC Scholars / McNair Scholars program is limited to 2 years unless the UROC Director grants an extension under special circumstances.
Amount of Funding
The amount of research funding is based on status of the student, the scope of research, and institutional commitments.
UROC’s Research Associate approves UR funding. The student will receive an email approving funding and the student’s official start-date.
Student Deliverables and Consequences
To receive research funding, students must complete a set of deliverables. These may include, but are not limited to, the Research Planning Guide (RPG), ethics training, and written communication assignments. If students do not complete these deliverables, funding will be discontinued.
When a student commits an infraction against UROC Policy, UCorp Policy, or State Law, a warning email will be sent detailing the infraction and steps required for correction. Two infractions will lead to loss of UROC research funding for the remainder of that term. Reinstatement of funding for future terms will be at the discretion of the UROC Director.
UROC may provide consumable research supplies that are not provided by the research placement site and only as allowable by University Policy. UROC cannot purchase equipment for external institutions or organizations. Research supply funding is contingent on funding.
Request Submission and Delivery
To request supplies for your research project, please fill out the Research Supply Request form and expect a 6 week turnaround time. Unless otherwise specified in the Research Supply Request form, approved items will be ordered by and delivered to UROC. Students will be notified when research supplies arrive. Awards are contingent on grant funds available.
Travel Award Application
Students should submit a UROC Travel Award Application (CSUMB login required) 6 weeks before the early registration deadline or first date of travel. The application requires a formal justification, travel dates, registration details and transportation and lodging needs.
Third-Party Travel Awards
Students are required to apply for travel scholarships offered by conference-hosting organizations. Travel awards through professional or student organizations are also highly encouraged.
- If a student receives travel funding from another organization, UROC may reimburse additional travel not covered by the third-party. Travel Award Applications must clearly detail which costs are not covered by the 3rd party.
- Reimbursements must be submitted to the third-party organization before UROC will process reimbursements for additional costs. Verification of submission to third-party organizations must be provided during the Travel Close-Out meeting.
If a student receives a Travel Award, UROC Staff will communicate with the student to make specific travel arrangements, sign Request for Approval of Travel (RAT) and review/sign UROC Travel Award Policies.
Reimbursable costs include meals purchased while traveling if not provided by the conference, non-prepaid ground transportation, baggage fees, and parking. If students pay for any travel costs directly, they will be reimbursed upon return.
- All receipts must detail date, item(s) purchased and payment method.
- Alcohol cannot appear on a receipt for meal reimbursement.
- Meal costs are limited to a maximum of $55 per day or $10 breakfast, $15 for lunch, and $25 for dinner and only reimbursed if meals are not provided by hosting organization.
- A folio (itemized receipt from hotel) is required if lodging is paid for by UROC.
- Student must document the floor and room number of their stay in the hotel.
- Student must complete Defensive Driving before departing for their trip in order to be reimbursed for mileage and parking.
- Uber/Lyft/Taxi cost are reimbursable to and from the airport, hotel and conference site.
- Food delivery fees are not reimbursable (UberEats, GrubHub, DoorDash and Room Service).
- Wifi fees are also not reimbursable.
- Students must submit all applicable receipts within two weeks of your return travel date to be eligible for reimbursement.
Students must submit UROC’s Post-Travel Form (CSUMB login required) within 2 weeks of return to be eligible for reimbursement. Once the student has completed the Post-Travel Form, please email email@example.com to set up a travel close-out meeting. Please bring all applicable receipts at this time. Students who do not complete this form and/or meet with UROC Staff within 2 weeks of the travel return date may not be eligible for additional travel funding.