- What kind of project can I do?
- Are ORCA Grants retroactive?
- Can I get another grant for the same project?
- I have already collected the data, but am still doing data analysis. Can I apply for an ORCA?
- I have completed data collection and analysis, but am still writing up the results. Can I apply for an ORCA?
- Do I have to be a full-time student to apply for an ORCA? How many credit hours do I have to have?
- Can I be on academic warning when I apply if I have good academic standing when I am awarded?
- What do I have to do if I get a grant?
- How much money can I ask for?
- Can I apply for an ORCA to pay for my study abroad?
- Can my research involve traveling?
- Can I use human subjects?
- Can I use animals?
- Do I have to have a mentor?
- Who can be my faculty mentor?
- If I apply for an ORCA when can I start my project? Can I start before the application deadline in October? Can I start before they announce those who have been awarded?
- If I apply for an ORCA, when should my project be finished? Can I finish before the application deadline in October? What if my project takes longer than one year?
- How do I apply with a co-applicant?
- How much money do we each get if there are several co-researchers?
- How can I strengthen my proposal?
- How are recipients chosen?
- Why apply?
- Does a Stafford Loan disqualify an applicant?
- Can I apply for more than one ORCA grant?
- What helps and resources are available to me?
- Focused Objectives
- Contribution to field of study
- Clear methods
- Appropriate approach to complete project
- Potential for completing the project successfully
- Suitable understanding of the background of project
- Mentorship Relationship
- Mentor's willingness to be a part of this project
- Strength of mentorship relationship
What kind of project can I do?
Students from all majors and a variety of interests are encouraged to apply. ORCA projects from all disciplines are funded. Talk to your mentor about what kind of research or work is being done in your field.
Are ORCA Grants retroactive?
ORCA Grants are not retroactive. Projects that have already been completed before the ORCA Grant Proposal is submitted are not eligible.
Can I get another grant for the same project?
You technically should never be paid twice for the same work – even if the money comes from different organizations. However, you may apply for another grant for the same project as long as it is new/different work being done for that project.
I have already collected the data, but am still doing data analysis. Can I apply for an ORCA?
Yes, as long as your project has not been completed.
I have completed data collection and analysis, but am still writing up the results. Can I apply for an ORCA?
The project would be considered complete, and would not be eligible for the grant.
Do I have to be a full-time student to apply for an ORCA? How many credit hours do I have to have?
You must be a full-time student (enrolled in at least 12 credits) for the winter semester following the application deadline. If you are a graduating senior, you can be enrolled for fewer credits, as long as you have applied/approved for graduation.
Can I be on academic warning when I apply if I have good academic standing when I am awarded?
You will need to be in good academic standing by the start of winter semester.
What do I have to do if I get a grant?
ORCA recipients must work with a faculty mentor and complete their proposed project by the following August (if graduating in April of this year) or December (graduating after April of this year) and submit a two-page final report.
How much money can I ask for?
All ORCA Grant Recipients receive $1,500. Each student may only apply for one grant per year. An additional $300 goes to the faculty mentor in a research fund.
Can I apply for an ORCA to pay for my study abroad?
Absolutely. You can use the grant money for whatever you would like: project materials, travel expensive, groceries, tuition, savings, etc.
Can my research involve traveling?
Yes, if it is necessary to travel to accomplish your research then travel expenses can be covered using the ORCA grant. Please indicate this on your application. International travel is subject to University restrictions. Please conact the Kennedy Center at (801) 422-3377 to declare your intent to travel and learn more about University travel restrictions.
Can I use human subjects?
In order to use people in your research, you may have to get compliance approval from the Institutional Review Board for Human Subjects (IRB), a safety board designed to protect human subjects.
Visit https://orca.byu.edu/irb to learn more about using human subjects in your project.
Can I use animals?
Animal research at BYU is federally regulated. Please visit orca.byu.edu/iacuc if your project will involve animal subjects.
Do I have to have a mentor?
Yes, your ORCA Grant Proposal cannot be processed without a mentor endorsement from a faculty mentor. You may be surprised at how eager professors can be to work on projects with you. However Faculty can only be listed on 3 ORCA applications so make sure to reach out to a faculty member in a timely manner. Talk to your professors or see the department office to determine which professors are interested in mentoring.
Only full-time tenure track BYU faculty members qualify as mentors.
Research opportunities and resources are available in the ORCA Grant Links menu, under "Student Resources".
Who can be my faculty mentor?
The Faculty mentor must be a full-time tenure track Brigham Young University professor, associate professor, or assistant professor. Adjunct faculty, Ph.D. candidates, graduate students, professors from different universities, staff, and others are not eligible to serve as a Faculty Mentor.
If I apply for an ORCA when can I start my project? Can I start before the application deadline in October? Can I start before they announce those who have been awarded?
You may start the project before you submit your proposal, however, you cannot finish the project before you submit the proposal. We cannot award a project that has already been done. No retroactive awards.
If I apply for an ORCA, when should my project be finished? Can I finish before the application deadline in October? What if my project takes longer than one year?
It is expected that projects will be done within the year (by your deadline). Extensions* may be granted, however, that is only if an unanticipated, or uncontrollable circumstance arises (i.e. science fails, compliance approval does not come in time, etc.). If you know your project will take longer either pair down the project to what you can manage in a year, or give specific focus to what will be accomplished in a year. The final report must be turned in on time and account for the work that was proposed in the application.
*Extension requests are reviewed/granted by the ORCA Administrator, and must be endorsed by the mentor.
How do I apply with a co-applicant?
Only one person will need to complete the application, but will include the co-applicant’s information. The person who fills out the application will be considered the ‘lead-applicant’ and will also need to be the person who submits the final report. It is assumed both students will share the responsibilities of the project and each will be awarded $750.
How much money do we each get if there are several co-researchers?
The $1,500 is split equally between all those that applied.
|Researchers||# of Researchers||Amount each researcher receives|
|1 main researcher||1||$1,500|
|1 main researcher + 1 co-researcher||2||$750|
|1 main researcher + 2 co-researcher||3||$500|
|1 main researcher + 3 co-researcher||4||$375|
How can I strengthen my proposal?
Find the right mentor: Look for a mentor now. Talk to professors about their research and seek those who share your academic interests. Don't try to find a mentor at the last minute.
Write a strong proposal: Start your proposal early. Write and edit several drafts and have your mentor and others review it. Don't throw your proposal together the night before it is due.
How are recipients chosen?
Proposals are reviewed by two professors from the mentor's College. Proposals are ranked within their college and are not compared to students in other colleges. Scores are based on the following criteria:
ORCA grants are funded by donations to the University in order to promote mentored learning across campus.
Some benefits of mentored learning include preparation for graduate school, internships, and professional opportunities, relationships with faculty, and professional publications; many past ORCA recipients attribute their matriculation and success in prestigious graduate and professional schools to their mentoring experience at BYU.
Does a Stafford Loan disqualify an applicant?
No, a Stafford Loan will not disqualify an applicant. An ORCA grant could, however, affect your Stafford Loan because the ORCA grant is considered income. Check with Student Financial Services to see how an ORCA grant may affect you.
Can I apply for more than one ORCA grant?
Each student may only apply for one ORCA grant per year. A student may either apply as the main researcher or as a co-researcher on another project but cannot be listed as a main researcher and co-researcher at the same time or be listed as a co-researcher on multiple proposals. Duplicate instances of a student will be removed.
What helps and resources are available to me?
Proposal workshops: ORCA offers a 1-hour, free proposal writing workshop to students interested in apply for a grant. Learn more
Sample proposals: Sample proposals from past ORCA grant recipients are available online.
Links to research opportunities are available in the ORCA Grant Links menu, under "Student Resources".