Emergent Design Lab Projects

Emergent Design Lab Projects (EDLP) supports interdisciplinary research for undergraduate students at UCI. A collaboration between the Beall Center for Art + Technology, Emergent Media + Design (EM+D), and the Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program (UROP), EDLP provides young artists and innovators with resources, guidance, and financial support that will aid the development of innovative STEAM-based (science, technology, engineering, art, and math) creative endeavors. This occurs through a special call for proposals, distributed through UROP on an annual basis.

By providing these resources, EDLP provides the framework for undergraduates to conduct inter-media research, experiment, and collaborate with their peers and faculty mentors in deeply enriching and inventive ways. Proposal guidelines are below:


Proposals should emphasize innovative art-making techniques, interdisciplinary design (i.e. computational, intermedia, or interactive experiences, platforms, or objects), builder or maker-inspired projects, and/or socially engaged technologies.  Supported projects will become part of the Beall Center’s ongoing Emergent Design Lab Projects (EDLP).

Examples of applicable projects are:  A video game that may help Alzheimer’s patients better recall information; A system for recycling single-use plastics to make sustainable 3D printer filament; An art-making technique that uses biological data and amino acids to create beaded jewelry; Data visualization software that uses color and sound to track and manipulate stress levels in users; Projection mapping that can be used for more accurate fabrication methods for designers; etc.

The research proposal should include background and objective of the research project, project design and feasibility, student’s specific responsibility, project’s timeline, and a detailed budget with justification. In addition, faculty mentors will be asked to upload one letter of recommendation per project, which would evaluate the student's performance to date and capacity to complete the proposed activities.

Students who are lead researchers on faculty-mentored human subjects research that meets the criteria for exempt review must submit the UROP Exempt Review Protocol Narrative as part of their proposal.  For other categories of human subjects research or projects involving the use of live vertebrate animals, the appropriate IRB or IACUC protocol number is required. Please refer to the Office of Research -- Research Protections Web site for guidelines and appropriate forms. 


Complete proposals must be submitted online at the UROP Web site (http://www.urop.uci.edu/grants.html), by Tuesday, November 13, 2018 (EXTENDED TO MONDAY, NOVEMBER 26, 2018). 


The project title should start with “Special Call (STEAM):” and the proposal should elaborate on relevance of the proposed project to the theme of the special call.  Proposals will be reviewed by the UROP Faculty Advisory Board and the EDLP Committee. Standards for evaluation of funding requests include:

  1. Intellectual merit in the student’s proposed research activity
  2. Thoroughness and completeness of the proposal packet
  3. Level of commitment and support from the faculty
  4. Assessment of student’s UCI transcript
  5. Available funds


This special call will fund a varied set of projects, with requests up to $1,000 for individual projects, and up to $2,500 for group projects that involve multiple students. Funds can be used to support such expenditures as the purchase of materials and supplies, research-related travel, and the costs incurred in the presentation of research or creative activities. These funds cannot support major hardware purchases, salaries or stipends, or travel expenditures only. Proposals requiring no funding, or receiving adequate funding from departmental or other sources, may be submitted for an Honorary Fellowship. Supported projects will be highlighted at the UCI Undergraduate Research Symposium, scheduled for Saturday, May 18, 2019.

Students are encouraged to attend a Proposal Writing Workshop on Wednesday, October 31, from 3:00-5:00 p.m. in the Calit2 Building, Auditorium.

For more information about this special call, faculty and students may contact:

Catlin Moore, cmoore@uci,edu, (949) 824-6206; or the UROP Office: Student Services II, Suite 2100; Phone: (949) 824-4189; E-mail: urop@uci.edu.