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Action Research in Communities (ARC) Program

Action Research in Communities Program (ARC)

The Action Research in Communities (ARC) Program at the University of Houston is a collaborative effort supported by the Cougar Initiative to Engage and the Office of Undergraduate Research and Major Awards. ARC offers exceptional undergraduates with opportunities to conduct faculty-mentored action research based on service projects in the Greater Houston community. The goal of action research is continuous improvement, reflection, and growth.

ARC is a one-year research program that allows students to focus on research stemming from past or current service projects they have participated in. Service projects can be in any field and students from all majors are welcome to apply. ARC Fellows receive a $1,500 scholarship split between the fall and spring semesters in the program. ARC faculty mentors receive a $500 stipend. Fellows are eligible to apply for implementation grants of up to $750 to turn their research into action to serve the community.

The 2020-2021 ARC Program interest form has closed. Applications and letters of recommendation are due by Tuesday, September 1, 2020. Please visit this page in April 2021 for updates regarding the 2021-2022 ARC Program.

Please review the ARC Program application instructions here


  • Must be a rising sophomore, junior, or senior at the University of Houston main campus
  • Must have at least a 3.0 GPA
  • May not be enrolled in a post-baccalaureate, graduate, or professional program
  • Must have a full-time UH faculty mentor


  • If your research proposal includes working with human subjects, then you must receive approval from the University's Institutional Review Board (IRB) prior to initiating your research.
  • Students graduating in Summer 2020 and Fall 2020 are not eligible for this program.
  • May 2021 graduates are eligible for the 2020-2021 ARC Program, but may not request additional implementation funds.
  • No course credit (e.g., independent study, Senior Honors Thesis) will be offered for participation in this program.
  • Selected students may not apply for the ARC program in a future year.

Please be aware that this is a competitive program with finite funding, and the Office of Undergraduate Research and Major Awards will receive more strong proposals than they are able to fund. For this reason, UH faculty are encouraged to limit their submissions to only one proposal for a single ARC application cycle.


  • Commitment to full year of active participation in the ARC Program (fall and spring)
  • Minimum of 6-7 hours of research activity per week focused on action research project
  • Complete pre- and post-surveys administered by the Cougar Initiative to Engage (CITE) Office, as well as any assessments from the Office of Undergraduate Research and Major Awards
  • Present a research poster or paper at Undergraduate Research Day
  • Submit a research paper to a panel to discuss the work completed, propose an implementation plan, and request additional funds up to $750 if needed to launch your research-supported action plan
  • Submit a reflective essay about your experience bringing together service and research as an undergraduate at the University of Houston

Campus and Community Partners

Action Research in Communities would not be possible without the generous support of the Office of the Provost, the Cougar Initiative to Engage (CITE), the Honors College, and our campus and community partners:

 Please contact Brittni MacLeod with any questions.