This page contains information and resources for faculty and staff about the following topics:

Research Tools (for student assignments and projects)

Commonwealth Honors College has compiled a list of tools and resources to assist students with utilizing research databases, evaluating sources, and writing literature reviews. We encourage you to inform your students about this resource.  If a course you teach includes a project requiring library research, you may want to provide links to these two webpages in your course syllabus.

Responsible Conduct of Research (RCR)

All undergraduate students who are supporting faculty research projects or engaged in their own independent research should gain a more complete understanding of the responsible conduct of research.  All students engaged in research funded by NSF must read the UMass Amherst RCR Primer for Undergraduates Participating in NSF-Funded Research.  After reading the primer, the student and PI for the NSF grant must sign the Certificate of Completion included on the last page of the document. Additionally, some departments or principal investigators may require further training for undergraduates (such as completion of the CITI training modules), depending on the nature of the specific NSF supported project.

Though not required, undergraduate students are able to access and complete Collaborative Institutional Training Initiative (CITI) training modules free of charge.  These modules that focus on research ethics are required for post-docs and graduate students working on NSF-funded research projects.

Research Assistantship Fellowships

Research Assistant Fellowships are working fellowships for rising sophomores and juniors that pay the Massachusetts minimum wage (currently $8.00 per hour) up to a maximum of $1,000 for students to work on a faculty member's research project or on their own project under the close guidance of a faculty member.  Teaching Assistants and graduate students are not considered faculty mentors. The program is designed to give students an opportunity to gain experience in their academic field, and to help prepare them to undertake their own future research projects.

Honors Research Grants

Each year, Honors Research Grants of up to $1,000 each are awarded to junior and senior Commonwealth Honors College students for independent research approved and guided by a faculty sponsor.  Every recipient is asked to present his or her work at the Massachusetts Statewide Undergraduate Research Conference in April.

Massachusetts Statewide Undergraduate Research Conference

Any UMass Amherst undergraduate student at any level (first year through senior year) conducting research in any academic discipline or developing a creative project in the arts may participate in the Massachusetts Statewide Undergraduate Research Conference. As a part of the application process, students submit an abstract for review by their faculty sponsor.  If the abstract is approved (either in its original form or after revisions), the student is invited to present their research at the Conference in either a poster or oral presentation format.  The entire application and abstract review process is conducted online.  The conference is typically held in April and abstracts are typically due in February. For more information and specific deadlines for the next conference, visit