Center for Undergraduate Research in Viterbi Engineering (CURVE) Fellowship


CURVE Application

First-Time Researchers


First-Time Researchers are defined as Viterbi undergraduate students who have not received prior formal research experience at USC and who have not previously received the CURVE fellowship. This category generally, though not exclusively, applies to first and second year undergraduate students who are looking to gain initial exposure to research at Viterbi.  

First-Time Researchers submit an application to be matched with listed research opportunities from participating labs. A limited number of first-time research participants will be selected to receive $1250 per semester for up to 2 semesters funded by the CURVE program. Funding terms include fall and spring semesters.


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Continuing Researchers


Continuing Researchers are defined as current Viterbi undergraduate students who have already engaged in undergraduate research experiences at USC for 2 semesters or more, and includes past recipients of the CURVE fellowship. This category generally applies to undergraduates in their second year or above.

A limited number of continuing research participants receive $2500 for the academic year (Fall and Spring) or $3000 for the summer. The stipend will comprise of a 50/50 cost-share model, with 50% from CURVE and 50% from sponsoring faculty or other external funding sources. Funding terms include fall, spring and summer. 


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Open Match vs. Self-Secured Lab Opportunities

Applicants can also identify research lab opportunities in one of two ways:

  1. Open Match: Applicants can request to be matched with open research opportunities. Many projects are interdisciplinary in nature and offer opportunities for students across diverse majors and areas of study. If opting in for the matching process, students will list their lab preferences, and their applications will be forwarded to those labs for further review.
  2. Self-Secured: Applicants who have already secured their own unpaid research opportunities can still apply for CURVE funding consideration. Applicants will need to provide details about their research position, including information about their lab, supervisor and research project, along with a letter of support from their current Principal Investigator. 

CURVE Fellowship - Fall 2024


CURVE applicants for the fall 2024 cycle must meet the following eligibility requirements:

  • Enrolled in 12 or more units at USC Viterbi for Fall 2024 (cannot be graduating by summer 2024)
  • Declared in a undergraduate degree major within Viterbi School of Engineering.
  • Students of any citizenship status are eligible to participate (however, please note that participation in certain research projects may require U.S. citizenship).
  • A minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0 or above (for current USC students); no GPA requirement for incoming freshmen.

Fall 2024 Application Timeline

  • Monday, July 8, 2024:  Fall 2024 Application Opens
  • July 8 - 30, 2024: Research Lab Info Sessions
  • Wednesday, July 31, 2024 Application Deadline Due 11:59 PM (PT)
  • August 5-23 Review Period 
  • August 19-30  Award Notifications Sent

Application Details

  • Applicants will submit the following materials:
    • Statement of Purpose: Provide a brief statement of purpose that addresses all the following prompts:

      • Describe your general interests in research. How have your past experiences led to the development of these interests?
      • How do your research interests relate to the lab(s) or project(s) that you have selected as your top choice(s)?
      • How will participation in CURVE help you achieve your overall academic and/or professional goals?
    • Resume: Upload a one-page resume (PDF file) highlighting past experiences relevant to your research interests. This can include jobs, internships, coursework, or extracurricular projects that showcase transferable skills to the research lab environment.
    • Transcript: For current USC students: Please upload your most recent USC transcript (official or unofficial). You are welcome to include transcripts from other institutions if you have taken coursework outside of USC that is relevant to the research project prerequisites. Incoming USC freshmen: Transcript is not required, though you are welcome to upload AP scores if relevant to research project prerequisites.
    • [Open Match Applicants only] Research Lab Rankings: For student looking to be matched with a lab opportunity, provide your top 3 preferences, and provide a brief explanation of your interests.
    • [Self-Secured Applicants only] Research Project Proposal: For applicants who have already secured their own research positions or looking to continue with their current lab, please submit details about your research lab, along with a brief letter of support from your faculty/PI to confirm that you have been offered a research position. Your research project proposal must include details about your specific tasks and responsibilities. If part of a group project, be sure to delineate between individual versus group responsibilities. 
    • [Self-Secured Applicants only] Letter of Support from Principal Investigator: The principal investigator will be asked to complete a brief recommendation form, which includes support of your project proposal, along with any availability of the research lab to cost share. If faculty is not able to sponsor, applicants can make a request for additional funding from CURVE within the application.  Applicants should also seek supplemental funding through other USC fellowships. Students are encouraged to apply for alternative research funding opportunities, such as the USC Provost Undergraduate Research Fellowship (PURF) or WiSE Researchers Program.


CURVE Application

Published on February 10th, 2021

Last updated on June 12th, 2024