Academic Year URG Submission Checklist


  • Two pages
  • Single-spaced (NOT 1.15 spaced)
  • 1-inch margins on all sides
  • 12 point Times New Roman OR 11 point Arial font
  • No space between paragraphs (see Line and Paragraph Spacing in Word)
  • In order to save space, you do not need to put your name or title on the proposal document, as that information will appear on the application form.
  • Proposals that do not meet these formatting expectations will not be considered by the review committee.


  • You have introduced your project in the first paragraph.
  • Your background and literature review covers what is known about your research topic, and what you will contribute to the topic.
  • Your methodology describes how you are getting information or data.
  • Your methodology describes how you will USE the information or data you gather to answer your question.
  • You have a paragraph describing how you have (or will learn) the skills needed for your project.
  • You end on a statement of how your research will help you with your academic or career goals.


  • If you are going to interview specific people or travel to a specific place to find them, you have an appendix providing proof that you have contacted those people.
  • If you reference a figure in your proposal, it is attached (DO NOT use figures to explain your concepts completely).
  • If you are conducting interviews or surveys, you have an appendix providing the questions you will ask.
  • If you will interact with human subjects or data from human subjects, you have included the submission number for your separate IRB application (see Northwestern IRB).  You do not need to have your final IRB approval at this time, but you need to have submitted that application prior to your URG.
  • You include your list of referenced works or any endnotes from your proposal.
  • Post-proposal appendices do not count towards the proposal's two page limit.


  • You have informed your faculty endorser that you are applying for a URG.
  • You have provided them with the link to the Faculty Endorsement page of the Office of Undergraduate Research website, which contains the endorsement questions and instructions.
  • You have informed them that they must submit their endorsement within 24 hours of the deadline.
  • You have obtained their netID, which you will need to enter when submitting your proposal online. If you are on campus (or on VPN), you can use the NU people directory, but you must click on the “additional technical details” link before you search.  (If your endorser is from another university, contact the URG Coordinator ASAP to obtain a temporary netID for them.)


  • Review the online submission form ahead of time to ensure you have all of the information you need.  The deadline is 11:59 pm.
  • When you submit your application, you MUST complete the survey or your proposal will not go through to the system
  • If you need help, please submit an Advising Request Form to meet with a URG advisor.