The REACH Scholars Program

The REACH Scholars program prepares inquisitive, highly talented undergraduates to pursue graduate studies and earn PhDs in any discipline. This program provides layers of support through intensive advising, rigorous research, and scholarly engagement in order to prepare students for both the graduate school application process and academic success. REACH Scholars are students whose parents have no four-year college degree (first generation) and come from a lower income background.

About the Award

The REACH Scholars program is a 12-week intensive summer experience. Scholars will participate in a mentored undergraduate research experience, receive graduate application and GRE preparation, and attend seminars designed to foster confidence and success in their graduate school pursuits.

Scholars will work with a GVSU faculty member to begin designing their summer research project upon acceptance to the program. Additionally, each scholar will be expected to attend monthly meetings with the REACH Scholars Program Director, and monthly meetings of the REACH Scholars cohort.

The program is a 12-week research experience mentored by a GVSU faculty member. Each scholar is expected to commit approximately 30 hours/week to their research project. Additionally, one day a week will be held and utilized for career and academic advising, support for graduate school applications, GRE preparation, and professional development seminars focused on graduate students’ success.

Scholars will continue to work with the REACH Scholars support team, even after the summer experience has concluded. The Scholar will work with a mentoring team to create and implement a scholarly action plan that will continue the student’s trajectory for a competitive graduate school application, and success in future endeavors. A student’s scholarly action plan may include items, such as: dissemination of their research through presentations or publications, applying for graduate school and competitive fellowships, seeking additional opportunities to bolster one’s undergraduate experience, and more.

As a REACH Scholar, students will actively participate in a 12-week research experience mentored by a GVSU faculty member. The award will total $6,750, and is broken down in the following ways:

  • $4,000 Student Stipend
  • $2250 Faculty Stipend (any or all can be devoted to project supplies)
  • $500 for Research Project Supplies

Each scholar is expected to commit to approximately 30 hours/week to their research project. Of the five days per week, one day will be dedicated to career and academic advising, support for graduate school applications, GRE preparation, and seminars focused on graduate students’ success.

In order to be eligible for the REACH Scholars program, students must be a first-generation college student, come from a low-income background as defined by the Department of Education, and be committed to pursuing a PhD in any discipline.

How to Apply

For more information about the application process, and/or to determine program eligibility, please schedule an appointment with Amanda Clark by emailing or calling the Office of Undergraduate Research at 616.331.8100.

The deadline for the REACH Scholars program is December 1, 2017. For more information about the program or to determine eligibility, please contact Amanda Clark, REACH Program Director, at

Budget and Reimbursement Information

The REACH Scholars program will follow the same reimbursement process we use for the Student Summer Scholars program. You can find that process on the Budget and Reimbursement Information webpage on the Student Summer Scholars website.

Please also be sure to follow the same process detailed regarding requesting dissemination funds:

Submit your request for travel funds to Please include:

1. The type of presentation (poster or oral)
2. The conference title, dates, and location
3. Your presentation information in APA format (authors, presentation year & month, title)
4. The presentation abstract

Travel funds for dissemination are processed by reimbursement using the same procedures and travel form discussed above.

Please note: if you are presenting your research on a poster, please be sure to review "Printing a Poster" on the Student Summer Scholars Showcase page as the same procedure applies.

OURS also offers the use of poster tubes for seven days to assist in transporting your poster. They can be checked out in 230 LIB.

Page last modified September 15, 2017