Program Description | Guidance and Requirements | Reporting | Important Financial Aid and Tax Liability Information |
Previous Systemwide Undergraduate Award Reports
Students who are members of groups that have been historically excluded from marine and coastal science, including students who are Hispanic, Latina/o, Black or African American, Asian, Pacific Islander or Native Hawaiian, American Indian, Alaska Native or a combination of ethnicities; noncitizens; female; LGBTQIA+; first-in-family; economically disadvantaged; veterans; have disabilities are strongly encouraged to apply. Applicants of any race, ethnicity, color, religion, gender, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, socioeconomic background, immigration status, national origin, age, dis/ability or veteran status are welcome.
Frequently Asked Questions
Questions or additional information: Contact Kimberly Jassowski (firstname.lastname@example.org), COAST Program Analyst.
COAST promotes research and education to advance our knowledge of ocean and coastal systems and disseminates scientific information to stakeholders for the development of responsible policy. The scope of COAST includes
Work supported by COAST is NOT limited to California. Please see
https://www.calstate.edu/impact-of-the-csu/research/coast/about/Pages/about.aspx for additional information.
The COAST Undergraduate Student Research Support Program provides funding to every campus in the CSU to support undergraduate student participation in faculty-mentored marine, estuarine, coastal and coastal watershed research. The goal of this program is to engage students interested in pursuing marine-related careers and provide them with the opportunity to obtain the skills necessary to join a highly skilled, technologically advanced workforce while promoting and supporting CSU faculty research. Campus Representatives are responsible for implementing this program and awarding the funds. To date, the program has successfully supported 708 undergraduate students at all campuses throughout the system.
In AY 2023-24, the COAST Undergraduate Student Research Support Program will provide $5,000 to each campus. These funds can be used in conjunction with any funds remaining from prior year allocations to the campus through the same program. Thus, a campus may have more than $5,000 available for AY 2023-24 if previous year Undergraduate Student Research Support Program funds were not fully utilized.
Campus Representatives are responsible for implementing this program on their campus. The Campus Representatives will
Although COAST provides guidance and recommendations about this process, the Campus Representatives are ultimately responsible for implementation, oversight and reporting. If needed, COAST can provide examples of announcements, application forms, and evaluation criteria used by other campuses.
Interested undergraduate students should speak to the CSU faculty member they are working with, and their COAST Campus Representatives.
COAST Undergraduate Student Research Support Program allocations will be directed to the Science Deans’ offices. The Dean may choose to distribute funds to the appropriate department(s) once awards have been made or to retain the funds and manage the awards at the College level. Funds can be used to support activities occurring September 1, 2023 – August 31, 2024. Remote work is allowed if agreed to by both the student and the research advisor.
In order to increase the likelihood that all AY 2023-24 funds are successfully awarded, program implementation should begin immediately. Any unused funds will roll over into the following year. Campuses will be permitted to accumulate up to $10,000 in Undergraduate Student Research Support Program funds if Campus Representatives have made a good faith effort to award the funding but awards cannot successfully be made.
Recipients of funding through the COAST Undergraduate Research Support MUST
COAST requires that students receiving funding through this program must work on or contribute to clearly defined research projects. Ideally, a student should be able to articulate the details of the project (context, hypothesis, methods to be employed, etc.) and describe how the support will facilitate participation. Work on joint projects is allowed but each student must be awarded a discrete amount of funding that can be tracked and reported. Each student must apply separately, be awarded funds individually, and write his/her own final report personally. It should be clear to the selection committee what each student is contributing to the project. Please see the following examples of awards that are and are not acceptable for work on joint projects.
COAST encourages all types of research and related activities that relate to the open and coastal ocean, coastal zones (bays, estuaries, beaches), and coastal watersheds (links between organism, material or process being studied in the watershed has a clear and direct impact on the downstream marine environment). It is up to the Campus Representatives and other involved faculty members and/or administrators to determine what activities are appropriate for funding through this initiative. The campus may determine additional considerations or criteria it wishes to employ, such as
Funds should be managed by the faculty advisors on behalf of the student awardees. The College Budget Analyst should be consulted during announcement development to advise on allowable expenses and categories (e.g., hourly wages) and notified when awards are made.
COAST encourages campuses to leverage this funding to engage a diverse array of students in marine science and related disciplines and to increase CSU student success. Undergraduate research is a high impact practice (HIP) shown to increase undergraduate students’ interest in studying STEM and improve STEM bachelor’s degree completion rates. Undergraduate research is also more effective in generating positive outcomes the earlier it occurs in the student’s career (i.e., it can be most effective in the first and second years). This funding is an opportunity to engage students from historically excluded groups including students of color, low-income and first-generation students who may be at significant risk for dropping out of STEM programs.
COAST support must be acknowledged by the student and/or their CSU faculty advisor in any publications (including Web pages) or presentations of any material based on or developed with the COAST support in the following terms: CSU Council on Ocean Affairs, Science & Technology (COAST). The COAST logo is available in multiple file formats at
Although the project period does not end until August 31, 2024, it is expected that all funding will have been allocated in time for the Campus Final Report submission. The reporting templates can be found above, at the top of this section. Campus Representatives will be asked to describe how the opportunity was advertised and how funding decisions were made. Please note: The Campus Final Report is due on May 1, 2024, regardless of whether the student awardees work over the summer.
Campus Representatives will also be asked to provide the following information in the Campus Final Report for each student supported:
COAST will also request an individual report directly from each student including a budget summary describing how the award was used and an impact statement describing how the award affected them personally. The Individual Student Report template can be found above, at the top of this section.
In both cases, we understand that students might not be completely done with their project by the time their report is due. However, they should hopefully have done enough work to be able to complete the report.
Students should be advised that they may be liable for State and Federal income tax on any funding provided directly to them as a stipend or wage, or that such funding could affect their financial aid package. Students should be encouraged to consult with a tax professional regarding potential tax liability resulting from any support provided through this program. Because of Internal Revenue Service and other requirements, campuses may also consult with accounting, human resources and international programs staff to determine appropriate method of payment and any tax withholding requirements.
Students should also be advised that any funding could lead to a decrease in other forms of financial assistance. Ordinarily, adjustments (if any) are made to loans first before other grants or scholarships. Students should be strongly encouraged to consult with their campus financial aid office prior to accepting any support offered through this program to determine the potential impact of support on other forms of compensation provided through their university, including financial aid.
2021-2022 Undergraduate Research Awards Report
2020-2021 Undergraduate Research Awards Report
2019-2020 Undergraduate Research Awards Report
2018-2019 Undergraduate Research Awards Report
Please see the
Archives page for older reports.