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Rocky Top Research Coaches (RTRC)


The Office of Undergraduate Research offers Rocky Top Research Coaches (RTRC) to support graduate students interested in mentoring undergraduate researchers. Specifically, RTRC funding supports graduate students who provide mentorship to undergraduates hired by faculty researchers through the FRAF program. Faculty will receive $1,000 to compensate the graduate student researchers for Summer 2023. 

Rocky Top Research Coaches was first piloted in the summer of 2022 with 6 Faculty (SURGE Leaders) performing 4 Research Projects (SURGE Programs), supporting 7 Graduate Students (Rocky Top Research Coaches) who coached 23 Undergraduate Students (SURGE Participants). Based on feedback from Phase 1 of the program, during Phase 2 of the RTRC program, the Office is expanding the availability of RTRC to graduate students working with FRAF faculty during the summer of 2023. 

Application Process & Schedule  

Faculty who wish to apply for this funding to support one of their graduate students may do so by following this link. Applications are due June 2nd, 2023. 


  • Faculty applicants must have received a Summer 2023 FRAF  
  • Faculty are limited to one RTRC 
  • Faculty must apply (not graduate students) 
  • Faculty must use the $1000 stipend to compensate a single graduate student. It cannot be split. 
  • The faculty-selected graduate student is required to: 
    • Complete training (virtually) via Canvas 
    • Meet twice as a group (virtually) 
    • Meet twice with the Assistant Director of Undergraduate Research (virtually or in person) over the course of the summer for debriefing and advising 
    • Support a FRAF-funded undergraduate in preparing a research poster for Discovery Day in early September 2023 
    • Complete a pre- and post-survey