Research Intensive Designation RI and Direct Independent Research DIR

Research Intensive course designation and Directed Independent Research courses were created to expand the practice of curricular-based research opportunities for students and to allow documentation of student engagement in research on their transcripts. These courses are coordinated through the Undergraduate Curriculum Committee (URCC) a subcommittee of the University Undergraduate Programs Committee (UUPC). Courses are evaluated monthly at URCC meetings.

URCC Committee Meetings

Fall 2018

Tuesdays 11:00 pm to 1:00 pm

August 28, 2018
September 25, 2018
October 23, 2018
November 27, 2018
December 18, 2018

Spring 2019


To access minutes of the previous URCC meetings please refer to URCC Minutes  

Recommended Timelines for RI Designation Course Approval Process and Catalog Listing

Departments and Colleges approval would be needed before submitting to the URCC. The URCC committee reviews and makes recommendations on all completed RI Designation proposals to the University committees UUPC, Steering Committee, and Faculty Senate for their consideration and approval. View Recommended Timelines

For faculty who wish to have their courses RI approved and listed on the Fall schedule, there are three deadlines to be considered:

  • For RI designated courses to be included before advanced registration, course packages must be submitted and approved no later than the Nov URCC meet the year prior
  •  For RI designated courses to be included “shortly after fall advance registration begins”, course packages must be submitted and approved no later than the January URCC meeting
  • For RI designated courses to be included towards the beginning of the regular registration period, course packages must be submitted and approved no later than the February URCC meeting

For faculty who wish to have their courses RI approved and listed on the Spring schedule, there are three deadlines to be considered:

  • For RI designated courses to be included before advanced registration, course packages must be submitted and approved no later than the February URCC meet the year prior
  •  For RI designated courses to be included “shortly after fall advance registration begins”, course packages must be submitted and approved no later than the April URCC meeting
  • For RI designated courses to be included towards the beginning of the regular registration period, course packages must be submitted and approved no later than the September URCC meeting

Please submit all course materials as individual word documents to Patricia E. Sampedro  no later than  the Thursday before the monthly URCC meetings.

Proposals not approved by the URCC may be revised and resubmitted.

RI Designation and DIR Courses Approved

OURI tracks all courses which have been approved by URCC  here: RI and DIR Courses Approved list by College

Research Intensive (RI) Designation 

RI designated courses are ones in which undergraduate students actively engage in the process of research and inquiry at the intensive level through projects and assignments. These projects should count for a significant portion of the course grade.

RI courses must include specific language to address how students are engaging in the six Student Learning Outcomes (SLOs) in their syllabi.

To facilitate the inclusion of the Ethics and Communication SLOs in your syllabus, recommended language is provided for your consideration.

Please consult your College Liaison for assistance in preparing RI designation materials.


RI Documents

Research Intensive (RI) Course designation manual

RI course designation worksheet/checklist

RI Course Designation Procedures

 There are two documents required to apply for RI course designation:

  1. A course syllabus which includes 1) six student learning outcomes. 2)a written description of the RI assignment(s), 3) FAU guidelines for course syllabi  and 4) the standardized language for all RI courses (see below)
  2. The appropriate form
    • New Course form.
    • Course Change form for existing courses where RI will be included permanently and in all sections.

These documents must be sent to Patricia Sampedro one week before the URCC meeting.

 Individual course:                   

  1. After approval in the Department and College undergraduate committees, and in consultation with your College Liaison, please submit the approved application package to the URCC for review (materials listed above). Please see the URCC meeting schedule below for timeline planning.
  2. Proposals approved by URCC will continue through the university channels for approval. This includes: UUPC to Steering and Policy, Senate, Provost, and State.
  3. Once the Statewide Course Numbering System, SCNS approves the course, the Registrar’s Office adds the course for scheduling and adds it to the University Catalog. Department chairs will receive a copy of the SCNS report to inform them the course has received all approvals and is ready for scheduling.

Groups of courses:                  

Template for memo (with signature box) can be found here. Please see the URCC meeting schedule below for timeline planning.

  1. Memo should be created with all courses’ prefixes and numbers that will be designated RI. The courses will need to be approved by college curriculum committee/Dean.
  2. Within memo, it should be mentioned that all courses to be designated RI are for a letter grade. The memo can be in email form to registrar’s office from the Dean of the college with the college curriculum committee chair copied or vice versa.
  3. Memo should request courses’ titles be changed to “RI: <Title of course>”.
  4. If there are any credit changes to the courses, the course credit change requests should be addressed in the memo. If there are no credit changes requested, do not mention credit change.
  5. URCC will approve courses and forward them to UUPC.

To Submit your course for RI designation

If you are submitting an RI Course for consideration, please check the syllabi, course forms and program changes for accuracy and ensure the syllabi include the correct academic integrity link and  the updated name for the Student Accessibility Office in the Disability Policy Statement. Both appear below for your convenience along with the link to the Provost’s Guidelines for Course Syllabi Memorandum.

  • All syllabi must adhere to FAU guidelines. Please review the Provost's Memo of guidelines for all FAU syllabi.  
  • Disability Policy Statement - In compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act Amendments Act (ADAAA), students who require reasonable accommodations due to a disability to properly execute coursework must register with Student Accessibility Services (SAS)—in Boca Raton, SU 133 (561-297-3880); in Davie, LA 203 (954-236-1222); or in Jupiter, SR 110 (561-799-8585) —and follow all SAS procedures.
  • FAU code of Academic Integrity Regulations.

Support for Faculty Teaching Research Intensive Designated Courses

Research Intensive Course Designation (RI) was developed to increase research opportunities for undergraduates in courses, and to support faculty who are teaching courses designated as Research Intensive (RI).  The Office of Undergraduate Research and Inquiry (OURI), provides support to faculty who teach these courses through the following opportunities:

  1. The Graduate Research Consultant (GRC) program
  2. Course-Enhancement Expense (CEE) program

Faculty can request support by applying to either one of the above options for each term the RI course is taught. Please note that generally only one application per instructor will be considered each term.

Graduate Research Consultant (GRC) program

Program description:

The Graduate Research Consultant (GRC) program provides graduate student personnel to support RI designated courses at FAU.

GRC course eligibility:

RI designation must be approved at the State level for a GRC to be offered.  Faculty members may be eligible for more than one GRC with appropriate justification, depending on the size of the class and pending availability of funds.  An example of the student-to-GRC ratio is as follows:

  • Class enrollment up to 20 = 1 GRC
  • Class enrollment up to 50 = 2 GRCs
  • Class enrollment greater than 50 = 3 GRCs maximum

Faculty expectations - Faculty members will be responsible for:

  • teaching the RI course including developing, guiding, and evaluating the course assignments   
  • selecting their GRC(s) for the eligible RI designated course
  • soliciting and receiving approvals via email from the graduate student’s research advisor prior to applying for the GRC program, and
  • mentoring the GRC within the RI designated course.

Roles of GRCs in RI courses:

  • GRCs are advanced graduate students (or upper division undergraduates) who are active researchers and scholars in their disciplines
  • GRCs coach and advise the undergraduate researchers in the research and inquiry intensive projects within the course; they are not teaching assistants nor do not grade or evaluate student work.
  • GRCs are expected to work under the guidance of the faculty instructor
  • GRCs work closely with the instructor and the students for planning, implementing, and communicating their research and inquiry projects. (RI Courses are required to include a mechanism for students to communicate their findings publicly; for example, a class presentation, a poster session, a website, etc.)

GRC eligibility and expectations

  • GRCs are expected to work 30-40 hours over the course of the semester and are paid $750 for their efforts.
  • F-1 visa students who are already working 20 hours on campus do not qualify for these position

Hiring Process - OURI will transfer funds to the Department, who will be responsible for the hiring of the students.

  • Graduate students working over 20 hours will need to complete form 10.
  • Undergraduate students who are already working 20 hours for FAU will need approval from their advisor to work additional hours.
  • New employees, either graduate or undergraduate, will have to go through the hiring process, which includes a background check. Please notify OURI prior to the funds being transferred so that we can include the cost of the background check.

Course-Enhancement Expense (CEE) program

Faculty members may request funding to pay for materials/expenses necessary to implement their proposed RI course enhancements. Budget items can include travel necessary to conduct the RI projects, expendable materials and supplies, and one-time equipment requests related to the RI projects etc.  There is a suggested maximum of $750 for materials/expenses for every 20 students enrolled in the RI courses. A maximum of $2,250.00  depending on the size of the class and pending availability of funds. A budget justification will be required for these funds.

Application Information for both the GRC and the CEE Programs

Deadlines (if these dates fall on a weekend or holiday, the deadline will be the next business day):

  • Fall RI courses: July 1
  • Spring RI courses: Nov 1
  • Summer RI courses: April 1


To apply for either the GRC or CEE programs, please complete the online application through FluidReview , OURI’s applications portal.  The link to FluidReview is  Please read all of these instructions before clicking on the link.

  1. After clicking on the link, you will land on the Log-In page for OURI's FluidReview.  If you have an FAU username and password (i.e., an active FAU email account), please click on the "Sign In or Register" button ONLY.  You will be redirected to FAU's single sign-on page where you will sign in using your FAU credentials (NOTE: this may require a push notification).
  2. If this is your first time using the system, you will need to complete the Eligibility task.  This is a one-time form that determines to which applications/programs you are  eligible to apply.
  3. Once your Eligibility is “complete,” click on the blue button labeled "View Programs."
  4. Search for the Support for RI designated courses application that has "Apply Now" button on the far right side.
  5. Click on the "Apply Now" button and follow the prompts.
  6. The RI designated syllabus and assignment/project(s) for which the GRC will assist must be submitted or uploaded as part of the application process. 
  7. Please click  “submit your application” once all tasks are complete.

Review process:

Both GRC and Course-Enhancement expense applications will be reviewed by the OURI Faculty Liaisons for approval, during the monthly Liaison meetings.  Consideration will be given to faculty submitting both individual and group research project proposals.


Direct Independent Research (DIR) Course Option

Inclusion of Directed Independent Research option as an alternative/addition to the existing DIS (Directed Independent Study) for undergraduate research documentation on student transcripts. Departments may also include a zero-credit option for DIR students, which would have no additional tuition charge. 
DIR New Course Procedures
The Directed Independent Research (DIR) numbering system is being proposed specifically for students engaged in research and inquiry mentored by a faculty member as defined by the departments and colleges. These courses can have a variable credit option including a zero credit option (S/U grade only). The DIR specific course numbering system includes the following: (course prefixes to be determined by the departments)
  • XXX2915 (lower division for grade)
  • XXX2916 (lower division for S/U)
  • XXX4915 (upper division for grade)
  • XXX4916 (upper division for S/U)

Please note all zero credit offerings for DIR must be for S/U grade.

Departments interested in establishing DIR courses will require the completion of a new course form (here) for each new course being proposed, using the DIR course numbering system provided above. No syllabus is required for DIR courses.
Once the new course forms are approved at the department and college level, faculty can work with the OURI liaisons and submit the new course form directly to the University Undergraduate Programs Committee, UUPC.
For colleges interested in establishing DIR for several departments within a program, chairs can work with your college OURI Liaison (liaisons) to complete a comprehensive proposal to be submitted on behalf of the college.