Frequently Asked Questions

When is the application deadline?
January 24, 2014

What is the intake procedure for the applications?
The following items will be checked BEFORE the application is accepted. The student summer scholars program is VERY competitive and all applications that do not adhere to the requirements given in the application materials will not be accepted for consideration.

1. The information section is complete.
2. All sections of the application are present.
3. The total budget is less than or equal to $6000.

Are graduate students eligible?
No, graduate students are not eligible for the Student Summer Scholars program.

What is the procedure for evaluating the applications?
All complete and accepted applications will be read and evaluated by the Undergraduate Research Council (URC). URC will assess the applications based upon the application criteria and rank the proposals based upon quality. From this information, URC will decide which proposals will be funded.

Can I have someone review my proposal before I submit it?
Current URC members cannot review proposals before submission, however, some past URC members have graciously agreed to be a resource. You may contact Dawn Clifford Hart (CMB), Chris Kierkus (CJ), or Melissa Morison (CLA).

What feedback will I receive if my application is not funded?
If your proposal is considered by the URC but not funded, you will receive feedback based on the rubric and an indication of how the application could have been improved.

Here are some common reasons that can contribute to an application not being funded:

1. The student's background and preparation was not deemed to be adequate to achieve the stated goals of the project.
2. The narrative of the project was not written for a non-specialist.
3. The project was deemed too ambitious to be successfully completed in the time given.
4. The quality of the mentoring experience for the student was deemed to be inadequate in the proposed activities.
5. The faculty member did not appropriately document the commitment of other agencies vital to the success of the project.
6. The student was not sufficiently involved in the project either in terms of time or in terms of responsibilities.
7. The faculty member did not indicate sufficient commitment of time to the project; or the other commitments of the faculty member were deemed to be too demanding to allow a successful mentoring experience or successful creative activity. (In general the only other commitments of the faculty member during the 12 week spring/summer term should be the teaching of at most one 6-week class or at most one 12 week class and reasonable short vacations.)
8. The student did not indicate that they were going to commit enough time to the project to allow it to be successful or the other commitments of the student were deemed to be too demanding to allow a successful mentoring experience or successful creative activity. (In general the only other commitments of the student during the 12 week spring/summer term should be taking at most one 3 credit class or (but not both) working less than 10 hours a week.)

What is the timeline for the review process?
Complete applications are due January 24, 2014.

Review of forwarded applications by the URC will be completed March 7, 2014.

Faculty and student notified of acceptance or rejection by March 14, 2014.

What are the commitments/dates if my proposal is accepted?
All scholars are expected to participate in (dates below are tentative):

  • Orientation - May 5, 2014 (typically held in the beginning of May)
  • Two summer activities (typically one in June and one in July)
  • Showcase - August 5, 2014 (typically the beginning of August)
  • Final Reports/Presentations - September 5, 2014
  • Student Scholars Day - April 8, 2015 (always the second Wednesday of April)

What is the format I should use for my application?
Please use a readable 12 point font, double-spaced.

Can I start my application online and come back to finish it later?
No. Once you have begun submitting your application online, it will not allow you to come back to it later. If you exit the system before you have completed your application, then you will have to start all over again when you return to the system. This will also cause you to have two entries within the system.

How do I add supporting documents to my application?
The online system will only allow one submission per application. You should construct all sections of your application, including supporting documents, as one single PDF file and upload it as one complete application package.

Can one faculty member submit two different proposals each with a different student?
No, this program is designed to be a one on one intensive experience with a faculty member. Having two projects, even if related, would distract from this goal. Further, as this program becomes more competitive the Undergraduate Research Council wants as many faculty members and students to have the opportunity to obtain support through the Student Summer Scholars program.

Can two different faculty members submit two different proposals each with a different student? That is, could two faculty and two students form a research or creative team and obtain funding?
Yes, however there must be two different complete proposals and the responsibilities of the student, goals of the project must differ between the applications. Each application will be treated independently and they should not refer to each other in a substantial way. No preferences will be given to such a pair of applications.

Can two different faculty members submit a single proposal with a single student?
Yes, but there will be no increase in faculty stipend or supply money.

Can a faculty member can serve as an S3 and McNair Mentor concurrently?
Yes, however this must be approved by the Director of OURS prior to application.

Is there a certain quota of Student Summer Scholars applications that will be granted in each college?
No, the applications will be ranked and discussed by the appropriate committee within each college. Those applications that the college level committee deems fundable will be forwarded to the Undergraduate Research Council (URC). The URC will decide, based on the merit of the applications and the input of the college reviewing committee, which proposals will be funded. The URC will also decide how to distribute the awards as equitably as possible between the colleges. Non-meritorious applications will not be funded simply because they are the only one or one of a few applications from a college.

When do we apply to the Human Subjects Review Committee or Institutional Animal Care and Use committee for approval?
As soon as you hear about the funding of your proposal, you should begin the process to secure the appropriate approval. You cannot begin any research until the approval has been obtained.

If we obtain an S3 grant, how will the money be disbursed?
The money for the student and faculty will be disbursed through the university payroll office. Faculty are paid bi-monthly and students are paid bi-weekly. You should expect appropriate taxes to be levied and removed on these earnings. The money for the supplies portion of the budget will be given via a reimbursement process.

For what can the budgeted project fund line be used?
The project fund is an all-encompassing fund for any kind of expenses necessary for completion of the project, including but not limited to travel to research sites, supplies, etc. The student stipend is not expected to be used for project supplies.

What should the student's proposal look like?
Describe any prior experience and/or prior involvement with your faculty mentor's scholarly activities that is relevant to your proposal. What got you interested in doing the project? Describe, succinctly, what work you propose to do and what the intended outcome(s) will be. What do you expect to achieve, and how will you achieve it? Explain your motivation for doing the work. What do you expect to get out of it personally? Professionally? Propose a schedule for conducting the work and achieving your goals. How will you spend your time?

Page last modified January 16, 2014