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Faculty Research Assistants Funding (FRAF)

The Office of Undergraduate Research offers Faculty Research Assistants Funding (FRAF) to support faculty members interested in hiring undergraduates to assist their research endeavors. This funding supports faculty and student engagement and collaboration while pursuing original research. Faculty will receive funding to compensate the student researcher(s) at a recommended $15 per hour of project time (hourly amount to be determined by the department and compensated in accordance with UT policy) and a stipend for materials.  

UPDATE: In our pilot year for the academic year Faculty Research Assistants Funding (FRAF), Undergraduate Research & Fellowships was honored and amazed by the overwhelming number of applications received. Our numbers far exceeded both our expectations and our available funding. The demand exhausted the majority of our annual FRAF funding, and we will be unable to offer fall 2023 or spring 2024 FRAF applications this year. However, we are excited to retain our summer 2024 FRAF program at the funding levels listed on the website, and those applications are expected to open in February/March. In the interim, we will be working to refine our application timelines, evaluation rubrics, and future offerings. Thank you for your ongoing support of undergraduate research at UT and Go Vols! For questions or concerns, you can reach us at Undergraduate Research & Fellowships (, or you can contact Director Meredith Malburne-Wade (

Funding Schedule 

  • Academic Year – First Day of Fall Semester to Last Day of Spring Semester  
  • Fall Semester – First Day of Fall Semester to Last Day of Fall Semester 
  • Spring Semester – First Day of Spring Semester to Last Day of Spring Semester  
  • Summer – Mid-May to Mid-August 

Funding Amount 

  • Academic Year – $1500 + $250 for materials, per semester 
  • Fall Semester – $1500 + $250 for materials 
  • Spring Semester – $1500 + $250 for materials 
  • Summer – $2000 + $250 for materials 

Application Schedule 

  • Academic Year: February
  • Summer term: February

Award notifications are made 2 – 3 weeks after submissions close. 


  • Upon acceptance of FRAF funding, Faculty must list the position in Handshake, the UT undergraduate employment database.
  • Work must be completed within the allowable time frame for the grant period.  
  • Only one project abstract per faculty member is considered.
  • Faculty can only hold one FRAF at a time.
    • Suppose you were awarded an academic year FRAF. In that case, you’d be eligible to apply for and receive a FRAF the following summer (after the academic year FRAF expires) but not a separate fall FRAF or spring FRAF.
  • Selected students must be enrolled full-time as undergraduate students at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. 
  • Priority will be given to new proposals during each submission period, though previously awarded proposals will still be considered, especially when new students are selected.  
  • Priority will be given to faculty who plan to hire a student who previously has not held a research position. 
  • Priority will be given in the Academic Year FRAF to faculty who plan to retain the same student for both semesters.
    • It is possible to hire a different student in the fall than in the spring (for example, if a student is graduating in December), but that must be explained and justified in your application.
  • Students hired by FRAF faculty agree to present their research within a year of completing the FRAF position at either the annual fall research exhibition, Discovery Day, or the annual spring research event, EUReCA.  
  • Students participating in Academic Year FRAF (both Fall and Spring Semester) must present at Spring EUReCA during that Year.  
  • Faculty members who apply for the program must have a teaching or research appointment (either full or part-time). 
  • FRAF recipients also agree to judge research projects at the Exhibition of Undergraduate Research and Creative Achievement (EUReCA) held each spring. 
  • FRAF recipients also agree to serve as a reviewer for a PURSUIT article.  
  • Faculty members must complete the Office of Undergraduate Research & Fellowships acceptance form. 
  • URF will reach out in early September, early February, and early June to collect the name of the student hired.  

Payment Details  

Once the acceptance form is received by the Office of Undergraduate Research & Fellowships, funds will be transferred to the faculty member’s department. The student must be paid through the awarded faculty’s department payroll, on an hourly basis, to be administered by said department’s payroll contact. Any student funding that goes unused during the assistantship will be recalled by the Office of Undergraduate Research & Fellowships at the end of the term. . 


View Recent FRAF Recipients