CSUN COAST Undergraduate Student Research Support Program


The CSU Council on Ocean Affairs, Science and Technology (COAST) provides support throughout the CSU system for education, policy, and research related to marine, estuarine, and coastal regions, and promotes the public dissemination of knowledge gained to foster stewardship and sustainable use of our coast. COAST faculty and student members work in marine and coastal environments throughout California, all along the west coast of the U.S., and internationally. These environments include the open and coastal ocean, coastal zones (bays, estuaries, and beaches), and coastal watersheds to the extent that they ultimately articulate with the coast. Work aligned with COAST is not limited to California.

To encourage marine, coastal, and estuarine research by undergraduate students at CSUN, COAST has provided funds to support undergraduate research with a COAST faculty member. Selected students will be awarded up to $1000 to do research during the 2020-2021 academic year or summer 2021. A total of $5000 of support is available. Note: students can apply for research already initiated during Fall 2020.



  • must be an enrolled undergraduate student at CSUN with a GPA of at least 2.5
  • must do research during the 2020-2021 academic year or summer 2021 with a CSUN faculty member who is a COAST member, on marine, coastal, or estuarine science
  • all funds must be used by August 31, 2021
  • at the completion of the project students receiving awards, with their sponsoring faculty member, must provide a brief report of how the award was used including a project title, a 200-word abstract, a description of how COAST funding advanced the project (activities supported), and the impact of the support on the student’s overall undergraduate education


Application Process

Undergraduate students at CSUN and their sponsoring faculty member must submit the following materials electronically to :

Students must submit a completed application form (which can be downloaded from this link) and which includes:

    • Summary of the Research Project they will be involved in (500 words maximum; must describe the key goals/hypotheses; the project need not be an independent research project)
    • Budget and Justification (must describe what the funds will be used for and why in the context of the research project)

Sponsoring COAST faculty who will oversee the research project must submit:

    • Letter of Support (submitted directly by the faculty member as a pdf file; letter must include a statement of approval for the research and comment on COVID-19 safety protocols)


Allowable Expenses: Funds awarded may be used for wages, supplies, travel for research (including attending academic conferences), stipends, and other legitimate research expenses.

Awards will be made directly to the faculty member providing the research opportunity for the undergraduate student. These funds may only be used to support research by that student.

Deadline: Applications will be considered in the order received until all funds have been disbursed, beginning February 1, 2021 and up until May 1, 2021. Applications must be submitted to via email.

Questions may be directed to Drs. Mark Steele ( ) or Kerry Nickols ( )