About the Explorer
So, Preston and Research go WAAAY back and one day they were chatting, "Hey, we want our students to do research - let's make a special grant just for them!"
And thus the Explorer came to be just for YOU, a Preston resident.
The grant is for any and all Preston Residents to conduct research projects. The award funds up to $500 that you may use for salary, materials, supplies, and/or travel.
- Projects are worked on with a faculty, staff, or community mentor
- Grants are one for one year
- Materials/supplies and/or travel funds are provided by REIMBURSEMENT ONLY
- All materials and supplies purchased are USC property
- You do not have to apply for the full amount to be considered for the Explorer
- You may apply for this grant in addition to other funding (e.g., Magellan Scholar, Magellan Mini-Grant)
What do I do if I get it?
Explorers are required to:
- Work on an approved project under the guidance of a USC faculty, staff, or community mentor
- Make significant progress toward the completion of their projects within the academic year
- Attend 3 OUR sponsored workshops (don’t worry, we promise they are helpful)
- Participate in Discovery Day with a poster, presentation, or display
What should I research?
Need some inspiration? Check out all OUR Magellan awardees HERE. You can search by major OR keyword.
The Explorer has what is called a ROLLING deadline. This means there isn't really a deadline. When you are ready, submit your proposal. We will then submit the proposal to a review committee. The process will take approximately one month from the moment you submit to finding out whether you received the award. One thing to note about the rolling deadline is that the earlier you submit, the better.
So who can apply for the Explorer?
- Any and ALL Preston residents
- Any discipline
- Student must be in good academic standing with the university
- Working under the guidance of a USC faculty, staff, or community member on any scholarly, research, or creative project
Note: Each fall, Preston will award one former resident up to $500 for their research.
PLEASE NOTE: Students may not submit a proposal during the same semester in which they are graduating. Proposals CAN be submitted the semester BEFORE graduating. Scholars must be enrolled for one full semester AFTER the award date of the grant. Example: students graduating in May can apply for the October deadline of the same academic year but not in February before May graduation. Students graduating in December may not apply in October of the same academic year.
What do you mean by salary?
We mean that you get paid! The way it works is Preston hires you, you submit time sheets each week, and then you receive a paycheck. We encourage students to request no more than $10 per hour.
Need supplies too? Don’t worry, you can include salary, materials and supplies, and travel costs on your budget. Just keep in mind that the maximum amount you may receive is $500.
What are materials, supplies, and travel costs?
In the past, students have used these funds to purchase everything from cameras and digital recorders to trees and cement. If you purchase an item, it belongs to USC. You do not get to keep it. Check out our list below to see examples of how you can use the money. When in doubt, call us (777-1141) or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Software (e.g., SPSS, InDesign)
- Plane tickets
- Gas (for trips over 10 miles one way)
- Printing costs
- Hotel room
- Cameras or video equipment
- Renting a kayak
- Books (not found through the USC library)
- Raffle items (for participants in a study-must be under $50 apiece)
- Computer (including laptop, desktop)
- Giftcards or cash (e.g., to pay participants)
- Hire people (e.g., consultants)
- Travel under 10 miles one way
- Books that may be found through the USC library
- Senior thesis printing costs
- Any item that does not have a receipt
- “Miscellaneous” items
Other points to ponder
- Looking for a digital recorder? iPad? External hard drive? We have those items available to be checked out for research projects. Check with us.
- Be sure to ask your department if they have and/or would allow you access to any materials and supplies you need. If not, note it in your budget that you checked.
Sample book budget
Sample travel budget
Sample art supply budget
Sample lab material budget
Sample materials/travel budget
Sample salary budget
Want to apply? Ready to get started?
A complete application consists of:
Step 1: Complete the Magellan Programs Application
(includes the following sections: project overview, research compliance, research abroad, and
Step 2: Have your mentor complete the Mentor Collaboration Form
He/she may email the form to email@example.com
*If you have a co-mentor, please have them complete the Co-Mentor Form
Step 3: Complete the online application form
Select "Magellan Explorer" from pull down menu
Under "Magellan Programs Application," upload the completed Magellan Programs
Application (must be a word document or PDF)
Need some help?
Still not sure?
Let’s get you in for a meeting. Email firstname.lastname@example.org or call (803) 777-1141 to make an appointment.
Make an appointment to meet with one of our advisors
Call (803) 777-1141