GVSU Undergraduate Research Scholar Designation on the GVSU Transcript


Exemplary GVSU Undergraduate students who have pursued research or creative projects are eligible to receive a designation of “Undergraduate Research Scholar” or “Undergraduate Creative Scholar” on their official transcript, beginning Winter Semester 2014. 

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The goal of the GVSU Undergraduate Research Scholar designation is to foster and deepen undergraduate research at GVSU, while recognizing student excellence in undergraduate research and inquiry. The program recognizes that exemplary student scholarship encompasses a depth of knowledge in the discipline, strong skills of inquiry, an understanding of research ethics, and strong skills in writing and presentation.

Application Requirements

  1. Two semesters of mentored scholarship
    • Applicant must have completed a minimum of two semesters of research, scholarship, or creative activity supervised by a tenured, or tenure track faculty mentor. Applicant needs to have a signed letter from the supervising faculty member indicating when the student participated, and the responsibilities/activities of the student during this time. (Please note that Spring/Summer is considered one semester).
  2. On Campus Dissemination
    • Applicant must have disseminated research or scholarship through a recognized, on campus venue such as Student Scholars Day, Scholar Summer Showcase, or departmental presentations. Both citation and abstract are required.
  3. Off Campus Dissemination
    • Applicant must have disseminated peer-reviewed research or scholarship through a state, regional, or national conference, and/or juried artistic venue, such as an art exhibition, concert or festival; or, publish (or have accepted for publication) applicants research or creative project in a refereed [peer-reviewed] research or professional journal. Both citation and abstract are required. PLEASE NOTE: the West Michigan Regional Undergraduate Science (WMRUGS) Research Conference, hosted by the Van Andel Institute, does not count as it is not peer-reviewed.
  4. Letter of Endorsement
    • Applicant must include a letter of recommendation from a faculty mentor that explains why the applicants research and scholarship is beyond that of a typical student.
  5. An up-to-date CV or résumé
  6. Scholarship/Research Statement
    • Applicant must include a research/scholarship statement describing applicants scholarship path and contributions. This statement should be no less than 1,000 words.


Q: Can the same faculty member write the letter of endorsement, as well as the letter verifying semesters of research?

A: Yes. We also often find that students have two faculty members verifying the semesters of research. One faculty member per semester.

Q: Can the letter indicating the supervised research be the same letter as the endorsement letter?

A: Yes, but it is imperative that both the length and nature of the research is described in addition to the endorsement components of the letter.

Q: Does the West Michigan Regional Undergraduate Science Research Conference (WMRUGS), hosted by the Van Andel Institute, count as "Off Campus Dissemination?"

A: No. The conference submissions are not peer reviewed, and therefore cannot be used as "Off Campus Dissemination." It CAN be used for "On Campus Dissemination."

How to Apply

Each potential scholar will need to submit all materials in one packet, or pdf document to the Office of Undergraduate Research and Scholarship (OURS). Please note the list of needed documentation for the transcript notation below:

  1. Request for Scholar Designation Application
  2. Letter(s) from faculty supervisor(s) indicating semesters of research and the responsibilities/activities of the student
  3. Letter of endorsement from a faculty mentor
  4. Citation and abstract of an on campus presentation
  5. Citation and abstract of an off campus presentation or publication
  6. CV or Résumé
  7. Research/Scholarship statement

Additional information about the supporting materials can be found on the Request for Scholar Designation Application.

Designation requests can be submitted up to four weeks before graduation. You may also submit the application any time after you have completed all of the requirements. Please note the corresponding semesters of graduation and designation request dates:

  • Fall 2016 semester: apply by November 18, 2016
  • Winter 2017 semester: apply by March 31, 2017

OURS will verify that the student has completed all of the requirements listed on the application. If confirmed, OURS will submit the student’s name and appropriate designation to the Registrar who will enter the notation on the transcript. Students will be informed within thirty days of application.

Page last modified November 22, 2016