Robert A. Matthews Undergraduate Research Fund (MURF)
Award for Undergraduate Students in the Geosciences

"Supporting undergraduate and graduate student activities, such as research and fieldwork, and to encourage students, especially undergraduates, to pursue study of the geologic sciences. Recipients need not meet any minimal GPA or other measure of scholastic attainment, but should show evidence of potential for future development."

Bob Matthews photo

Robert A. Matthews (1926-2006) was the first environmental geologist hired in the Department of Geology (now Earth & Planetary Sciences) at UC Davis. Due to his close involvement with students throughout his academic career, in 2000 the campus named one of the five courts at The Colleges at LaRue, a student residential complex, in his honor. The Robert Matthews Memorial Fund


Only students doing senior thesis research are eligible for funding. Applicants with financial needs other than their research will be handled on a case-by-case basis.

Applicants must be either full or part-time registered UC Davis undergraduates at the time their research is conducted. Students must be in good academic standing, meeting Satisfactory Academic Progress.

If the project is to be done over the summer, the recipient must be on continuing student status during that summer and is required to be an enrolled undergraduate at least the following fall quarter. Students who have received the Provost’s Undergraduate Fellowship (PUF) in the same academic year are not eligible for this award.

Application Process: Submit all materials to Mandy Hanou, staff advisor in EPS

  1. Describe the proposed project by composing a brief account of the hypothesis you are testing, the methods that you intend to use, and the time frame of when the work will be accomplished.  Discuss the context of this project relative to other research projects by your faculty advisor.

    Provide at least 3 research citations in the body of the narrative and in the references. Length: One page, single spaced, 12 point font, Times/New Roman, half-inch margins. If necessary, references cited list may be included on a second page.
  2. In a separate document, discuss the significance of this experience in relation to your academic and/or career plan. Why this project? What do you plan to get from it? Length: 1000 characters.
  3. Detailed budget.
    • Award requests may not exceed $300.
    • Salaries are not funded.
    • The awards committee within Earth and Planetary Sciences assumes that you will have access to labs and associated materials from the host principal investigator, as well as appropriate software and books commonly found on campus. Only specialized chemicals or supplies required for the proposed work are permitted. Requests for field costs, travel expenses, lab supplies, or other materials should be accompanied by a short justification.
  4. Sponsoring Professor's Recommendation: Provide your completed application to your sponsoring professor or research mentor so that they can complete a letter of recommendation for you. They will submit their letter directly to Mandy Hanou.


Applications will be accepted at any time during the academic year. Notification of the award will be made 2-3 weeks after submission.

Recipients of the Matthews award will be asked to submit a short summary of the results of their research within a year of receipt of the funds.