The TURC Experience - The University of Tulsa
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The TURC Experience

TU student working in an engineering lab

Intensive, mentored research, and creative endeavor are at the heart of the TURC experience.

Through close work with a faculty mentor, either as part of a larger team or in one-on-one partnership, TURC Scholars have the opportunity to become fully participating members of their chosen field at an early stage of their education. Scholars learn research methods or creative practice by doing. With the guidance of faculty mentors, participants conduct original and intellectually significant research within their various disciplines. They present papers at national conferences, write articles with their co-investigators that are published in academic journals, give exhibits and performances for creative work, and initiate service projects with a broad and meaningful impact on the community.

Over the quarter-century of this program’s existence, many TURC scholars have moved on from the program to be offered prestigious internships, win nationally competitive fellowships, earn advanced degrees in elite graduate programs, or pursue exciting, successful careers in academia, government, and industry.

How TURC works

After they are admitted to the program, TURC Scholars commit to a summer of intensive research or to sustained research over the academic year. All TURC Scholars either receive a stipend to provide them with financial support for the duration of their project, or earn course credits for their research studies.

TURC Scholars awarded a stipend for the summer of 2024 will receive $3000, for which they are expected to complete 200 hours of research and 20 hours of community service. TURC Scholars awarded a stipend for the 2024-45 academic year will receive $2000 ($1000 each semester), for which they are expected to complete 133 hours of research and 13 hours of community service

Students pursuing TURC research for academic credit are expected to complete approximately 200 hours of mentored research for 3 credits, or 400 hours for 6 credits.

TURC Scholars awarded a summer stipend, who wish to pursue their research full-time over the summer, have the option of combining their stipend commitment with an enrollment in 3 credits of TURC study, in order to complete 400 hours of research.

President Carson has authorized complimentary summer tuition for TURC courses, if students are accepted into the TURC program.
Summer TURC Scholars also are eligible for a 50% discount on summer housing, whether they are on stipend or enrolled in course credit.

In general, the TURC Summer program should follow the calendar of The University of Tulsa’s Summer Sessions, beginning on May 20, 2024, and concluding on August 9, 2024. However, the specific dates may differ for each Team Project.

TURC Scholars also attend workshops and seminars on topics including research ethics, writing grant applications, preparing for creative and research presentations, and exploring research-intensive careers. These events prepare TURC Scholars for a range of exciting opportunities while also connecting them with a larger campus-wide community of intellectually ambitious students across all disciplines.


TURC Scholars are required to give a public presentation of their research or creative inquiry, either at the annual TURC Summer Research Showcase or at the Spring Research Colloquium. They may additionally have opportunities to give presentations at national conferences with their faculty mentors, participate in collaborative scholarly publication, or join in patent applications. They are also expected to make a substantive commitment to community service.

TURC Team Projects

TURC Team Projects are initiated and led by TU faculty. A Team project may have just one student, but most of these are ambitious projects that require multiple investigators/creators and often last for more than one year. TU undergraduates may apply to join these projects with funding as TURC Scholars. Highly motivated high school students who are applying for admission to TU, and who are eager to dive into their chosen field of study, may also be eligible to apply.

TURC Scholars on Team projects have the opportunity to become valuable members of a cohort with a shared passion for the same subject and project. Applicants should have a willingness and ability to collaborate with others in creative or investigative work, while also being able to work independently.

A list of TURC Team projects that are seeking undergraduate co-investigators/creators will be posted on the TURC web pages by Jan. 10, 2024.

Student-Led TURC Projects

Advanced TU undergraduates may apply to be TURC Scholars for Student-Led Projects, requiring a Faculty Mentor’s sponsorship. Eligible applicants should be in their second semester of the second year or have prior TURC Team experience. TURC Scholars often transition from team projects to independent ventures inspired by the larger project. Academic standing and a relevant background in the field of research are prerequisites. Proposals for Student-Led Projects must detail the exploration field, plan for a research outcome or creative endeavor, and its significance within the broader academic context.

Applications, including a reference letter, should be submitted to the TURC Faculty Fellow.

The deadline for Student-Led TURC Project applications is Feb. 10, 2024.

Applications should include the following:

  • A description of the research project, not longer than 500 words, with title of project;
  • A description of the community service plans, not longer than 200 words;
  • A bibliography of relevant secondary publications, not longer than one page;
  • Name and email of TURC Mentor;
  • Notation of whether the proposal is for summer or academic year research;
  • TU transcript (unofficial) and, if the student is a transfer, of other undergraduate institutions;
  • A letter of reference from TU faculty member who has agreed to serve as TURC Mentor for this project.

Applications should be submitted as a single document, with all elements except for the letter of reference submitted in the order listed above, as a pdf attachment in an email to the TFF:

More information

Interested in details? We are too! Check out the 2024 TURC Handbook of Governance, Policies, and Procedures to learn more about the program.