FAQ

  1. What is the Internet Research Incubator?
    The Undergraduate Internet Research Incubator (IRI) supports undergraduates at UCLA in pursuing revolutionary and unfettered interdisciplinary research on the Internet.In the inaugural 2016-2017 cycle,twelve students from across the campus (including engineering, social sciences, physical sciences, natural sciences, and the humanities) were selected to each receive individual $15,000 prizes. Prize winners participate in an intellectual environment with fellow prize awardees, lab space, and mentoring with faculty and outside experts. Their research year will culminate in a final presentation of their findings.

  2. Why?
    The IRI is dedicated to nurturing and unleashing the huge potential for innovation that lies in undergraduate students at UCLA.  The prize supports research that through experiment, design, analysis or social inquiry helps us learn more or contribute to the future development of the internet.

    Undergraduates typically have little access to mentors, funding, laboratory space or faculty encouragement to explore their burning ideas and research questions for which they have a passion.  These students find themselves occupied with the daily business of classes, studying, and assignments, and are often involved with part time work that has little benefit to their future careers or development.  As a result, too often their innovative ideas are abandoned. Through this prize incentive, lab space and mentor and faculty support, the IRI inspires undergraduates across disciplines to put forward and implement their most revolutionary ideas.

  3. Who is involved in the project?
    Leonard Kleinrock, Distinguished Professor, UCLA Computer ScienceBradley Fidler, Researcher, UCLA Computer Science
    Scott Reed, MLIS Candidate, UCLA Information Studies

  4. Who is eligible to apply?
    Applicants must be a full-time undergraduate student at UCLA for the full duration of the 2017-2018 academic year (Fall-Spring).

  5. Are students from all majors eligible to apply? How is this program interdisciplinary?
    Students from throughout campus are strongly encouraged to apply, including the humanities, arts, social sciences, natural and physical sciences and engineering.
    There is no restriction to apply based on academic major, discipline, or research methodology.  Insofar as research is innovative and applied, we will consider funding it, without prejudice against a scholar’s discipline.  In addition, recipients will be given a shared workspace, where they will meet periodically with other prize recipients from throughout the campus, and lead the university community in developing interdisciplinary ties.

  6. Do students need to know how to program/code in order to apply or do research on the internet?
    No. But students who possess these skills are welcome to utilize them in their research projects.

  7. What counts as research “about the Internet”?
    We believe it is crucial to make this prize as broad as possible, not restricting research to predefined priorities.  For this reason we seek out innovative ideas that pertain to the future of the Internet: its technologies, business, social character, impacts, and opportunities.

  8. Will critical or social justice research projects related to the Internet be considered?Yes. Any research project that helps us learn more or contribute to the future development of the internet will be considered.

  9. What are example milestones?
    We leave this to the applicant to articulate, and the quality of the milestones and self-identified criteria for success will be considered in evaluating the applicants. These milestones and criteria may be adjusted in discussions with the mentor who chooses to work with them.

  10. How will applications be judged, and the prize recipients selected?
    Applicants will be judged based on the clear articulation of their research goals, methods, milestones and personal commitment to completing their projects. The 2016-2017 mentors will then select student research projects to work with based on their ability to meaningfully provide support and mentorship.Note: The Sponsors and Mentors have the absolute discretion to make all decisions related to the evaluation of the research proposals submitted to the Prize. Please note that sponsors or mentors with any connection to an applicant will recuse themselves from the evaluation of any such entry. The decision of the sponsors and mentors are final.

  11. Can more than one person or a team submit a proposal together?
    No, only research proposals representing the work of an individual will be considered.

  12. Can a single student submit more than one proposal?
    No, only one application per student.

  13. Will students retain in the Intellectual Property (IP) Rights of their work?
    Yes, in accordance with the official policy of the  UCLA Office of Intellectual Property, undergraduate students will retain the intellectual property (IP) of their research and any future products or projects developed from this research.

  14. When will recipients of the prize be selected?
    2017-18 prize recipients will be notified by the end of May, 2017.

  15. Who do I contact if I have questions about applying or my submitted application?Please send all questions to iri@cs.ucla.edu.

  16. How is the prize money dispersed?
    Prize money will be distributed in three quarterly installments during the 2o16-2017 academic year through UCLA Financial Aid. Because the funds are distributed through the Financial Aid office, IRI does not control the disbursement of funds. For more information about procedures and rules concerning grants and scholarships, please contact the UCLA Financial Aid office.

  17. I already receive Financial Aid from UCLA in the form of loans, work study, grants, or other scholarships. Will this impact my financial aid offer?
    Per Financial Aid policy, students are required to report any additional funding to the Financial Aid office, which may impact their original UCLA financial aid offer for the academic year. This could mean a reduction in other UCLA grants, work study, or loans if your expected academic and living expenses were met prior to receiving the IRI award.

    IRI students have requested a Budget Increase to address this issue to allow funds from IRI to be used specifically for research related expenses (rather than living expenses). IRI staff can assist with this process, but ultimately we not make decisions about the disbursement of financial aid funds or the calculation of expected need.

  18. What can students use the prize money for?
    Students will utilize the prize funds to support their research. For many, this will mean applying prize money to support living expenses in place of other part time work. For some, prize money may provide the necessary support to purchase equipment, cover travel costs, or other expenses incurred while conducting research. Students are free to use the prize funds at their own discretion in the pursuit of their research projects.

  19. What is required of the prize recipients?
    Student researchers will be required to meet with IRI staff, as well as their assigned mentor, once a quarter. In addition, they will need to demonstrate efforts towards meeting the milestone goals set in their project application.  They will make a presentation of the results of their project at the annual meeting which marks the end of their prize year.

  20. What is a successful research project in the eyes of IRI?
    “Success” for an IRI research project will vary greatly depending on the type of research proposed. Because we support big ideas, we recognize that research may bring unexpected challenges and rewards. Students will be selected based on their commitment to adapting to and responding to these challenges and collaborating with their mentor and the IRI community to meet the milestones they identified in the research proposal, or revise them if necessary. Key to success is engagement throughout the academic year, communication with IRI program staff and mentors, and delivering concrete research findings or project outcomes.

  21. Can students take their projects to market?
    We will partner with UCLA’s startup incubator, the Institute for Technical Advancement (ITA) http://www.ita.ucla.edu, as well as members of the campus startup ecosystem.  In doing so, our program will serve as a pre-incubator development phase by guiding student projects to the ITA if appropriate or desired.

  22. What kind of mentorship will be available?
    A panel of luminaries from academia and industry, who serve as mentors — not bosses — to prize recipients.  They will be responsible for guiding and enabling our prize recipients.

  23. Will it be possible to publish the results of the project?
    Students are strongly encouraged to publish the results of their projects.