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Undergraduate Research Funding Opportunities for Computational Science students at USCB

USC Magellan Scholar Award

The USC Magellan Scholar program provides funding for undergraduate research projects that are conducted under the supervision of a faculty mentor. This program is open to all USC undergraduates with minimum institutional GPA 3.30, all campuses, and all disciplines. Each Magellan Scholar receives up to $3,000 to help fund a research project, competing for this award with the submission of a research, scholarship, or creative project proposal developed in collaboration with his or her faculty mentor. Selection is based on the project’s educational and intellectual merit, the potential impact of the project, and the student’s previous academic success. More information is available at

USCB Walter Schymik Computational Science Research Award

If you submit a qualifying application and project proposal to the USC Magellan Scholar program, you will be automatically entered into a USCB-only competition to be awarded up to $2,500 from the new Walter Schymik Computational Science Research Award program, which is exclusively available to USCB Computational Science students.

The Walter Schymik award eligibility criteria are identical to those of the Magellan Scholar program, with the following additional requirements and other differences:

  • You must be a full-time USCB Computational Science student
  • Your institutional GPA need only be 3.0 or above (unlike the 3.3 GPA requirement for the Magellan Scholar award program)
  • The collaborating Mentor listed on the application must be a tenured or tenure-track faculty member in Computational Science at USCB, of Assistant Professor rank or higher
  • Award preference will be given to students who are dues-paying, active members of the USCB Student Chapter of the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM).

If you do not qualify for the Magellan Scholar award due to its higher GPA requirement, but you otherwise meet the criteria above, you may still submit an application and project proposal to the Walter Schymik Computational Science Research program. However, please note that apart from the additional criteria and other differences noted above, your application must still meet ALL requirements of the USC Magellan Scholar program.

Please note that if you are selected as a recipient of the Magellan Scholar award, then you will receive funding only from the Magellan Scholar program (up to $3,000, depending on your project budget), and your proposal will then be removed from consideration for the Walter Schymik award. You cannot simultaneously receive funding from both the Magellan Scholar and Walter Schymik award programs.

However, if you are not selected as a Magellan Scholar for the Fall application cycle (for grants starting in January the following year), your scores from the Magellan Scholar application review and judging process will be used to compete for one of two Walter Schymik awards (of up to $2,500 apiece) to be given this academic year. If you are unable to apply to the Magellan Scholar program due to lack of eligibility for that program, then instead of applying to the Magellan Scholar program, you will apply directly to the Walter Schymik award program. If this is the case, your application for the Walter Schymik award will be reviewed by a panel of USCB faculty and staff members, and they will follow the same review guidelines and judging criteria as those used for the Magellan Scholar Award program. 

Proposals due: Please contact Dr. Brian Canada at for date and time. (PLEASE NOTE: If you are applying to the Magellan Scholar program, your faculty mentor will submit your proposal via the USCeRA grant application submission system. Otherwise, if you do not qualify for the Magellan Scholar program but you are otherwise eligible for the Walter Schymik award, then you will submit your application materials through a form on the USCB website. (The specific URL for the application submission form will be announced later; it will be posted on the USCB CSCI homepage as well as the CSCI@USCB Twitter and Facebook pages.)

Magellan Scholar Award Workshop (required for all applicants): This REQUIRED workshop (for all Magellan Scholar and Walter Schymik applicants) will be streamed to USCB. Please contact Dr. Brian Canada at for meeting time and location and for detailed arrangements for workshop, so that you will fulfill this requirement of the application process.