Modified Student Summer Scholars Program

The Modified Student Summer Scholars (MS3) program provides an opportunity for lower division or first year transfer students to participate in structured research. It provides funds for a student and faculty mentor to devote about 200 hours over twelve weeks (part-time), or full-time over the six weeks of the Spring or Summer session, to a research and/or creative project. Generally, MS3 grants provide a student stipend, faculty stipend, and a small budget for supplies.



About the Award

The Modified Student Summer Scholars (MS3) program, administered by the Office of Undergraduate Research and Scholarship (OURS), provides funds for a student and faculty mentor to devote time to a research and/or creative project during the spring/summer semester. Generally, MS3 grants provide a student stipend, faculty stipend, and a small budget for supplies.

AWARD
The MS3 provides the following support for scholars and mentors:

  • $2,000 Student Stipend
  • $1,500 Faculty Stipend (any or all can be transferred to project supplies)
  • $400 Project Supplies

Total award: $3,900

STUDENT ELIGIBILITY
The program is available to lower division or first year transfer undergraduate students at GVSU. "Lower division" is defined as a first year or second year student. Successful students will have demonstrated a record of academic success in their coursework and an interest for academic research and scholarship. It is expected that the student will be enrolled at GVSU as a full-time undergraduate for at least one full semester of study beyond the period of the award (i.e. the following Fall semester). Please contact OURS if you have questions about your eligibility.

FACULTY ELIGIBILITY
All tenured, tenure-track, visiting, and affiliate GVSU faculty are eligible to mentor S3 students. Faculty will commit an appropriate portion of their time to effectively and actively mentor a student; they will be expected to have a limited teaching load for Spring/Summer semester.

*Faculty must disclose any pending or successful applications for additional funding during the Spring/Summer semester.


How to Apply

Step One: Prepare your proposal using the Proposal Requirements.

Step Two: Submit your proposal online. You will be asked to complete an online form, then you will upload your proposal. The proposal needs to be one complete PDF document that you will submit online. There is only one upload button, so please be sure your document is complete.

APPLICATION PREPARATION
The application is a collaborative effort between the potential student scholar and faculty mentor. A student may propose a research experience to a faculty member or a faculty member may actively recruit a student for part-time or full-time work to devote about six to twelve weeks/200 hours to a research and/or creative project during the spring/summer semester.

We will be accepting 2021 MS3 Applications beginning November 1, 2020. Please apply online by February 5, 2021. Application period opens November 1, 2020 and closes at 11:59 p.m., February 5, 2021. There will be NO administrative support after 5:00 p.m. PLEASE NOTE: Your application is incomplete if you have not submitted your entire proposal document. INCOMPLETE APPLICATIONS WILL NOT BE CONSIDERED. NO DEADLINE EXTENSIONS WILL BE GRANTED.

The MS3 provides two options for the timeframe of the proposed research:

  1. Full-time (30-40 hours per week/200 total hours) for either spring or summer semester (6 weeks)
  2. Part-time (15-20 hours per week/200 total hours) for both spring and summer semesters (12 weeks)

As in the traditional S3 program, mentoring is a critical component of the project. Each proposal must have a very detailed timeline, and the level of work must be appropriate for lower division students, or first year transfer students. The proposal also needs to explain the project appropriateness given the abbreviated time frame. The stipend will be prorated for the faculty and the student.

PROPOSAL OVERVIEW
The proposal has four sections:

  • Project Goals/Feasibility
  • Mentorship/Apprenticeship Plan
  • Student Preparation and Motivation
  • Commitment to Project

How do you prepare a successful proposal? We encourage you to:

  • Review the Scoring Rubric URC will use to assess the proposals.
  • Review the Frequently Asked Questions
  • Review examples of previous successful applications.
  • Contact us about getting feedback from previous URC members on your draft proposal.
    • Drafts must be submitted no later than three weeks from the submission deadline in order to receive feedback.

SELECTION PROCESS
The proposals are reviewed and awards determined by the Undergraduate Research Council (URC). Notification letters will be available by March 19, 2021. Faculty and students will receive an email when the letters are ready.


Frequently Asked Questions

Complete proposals are due February 5, 2021.

Review of forwarded proposals by the URC will be completed March 12, 2021.

Notification emails will be sent by March 19, 2021.

No. The online application consists mainly of general information questions, and it will not save your progress. Be sure you are ready to upload your proposal when you begin the online application, as the system does not allow you to apply in steps. Your submission must be made all at once. You will need to submit a complete proposal in order for it to be considered by the Undergraduate Research Council (URC).

The Student Summer Scholars (S3) program runs about twelve weeks during the Spring/Summer semester, beginning May 10, 2021 and ending July 30, 2021.

The Modified Student Summer Scholars (MS3) program runs over twelve weeks (part-time), or full-time over the six weeks of the Spring or Summer session. That is, part time over Spring/Summer semester, beginning May 10, 2021 and ending July 30, 2021, full time over Spring, beginning May 10, 2021 and ending June 18, 2021, or full time over Summer, beginning June 21, 2021 and ending July 30, 2021.

All scholars (and mentors where noted) are expected to participate in (dates below are tentative - see our more detailed Program Schedule as dates are solidified):

  • Orientation - May 10, 2021 [Mentors also] (typically held in the beginning of May)
  • Monthly Scholar Meetings with Director or Chair
  • Social Activity - (typically late June)
  • Mentor Meetings with Director or Chair - July x-xx, 2021 (typically at mid-point of July)
  • Scholarly Dissemination Workshop - July xx, 2021 (typically in early July)
  • Writing Retreat - July xx & xx, 2021 (typically near end of July)
  • Final Reports and Student Reflections - September 3, 2021 (typically first Friday of September)
  • Showcase - September 9, 2021 [Mentors also] (typically second Thursday of Fall semester)
  • Student Scholars Day - April 13, 2022 [Mentors also] (always the second Wednesday of April)

The following items will be checked BEFORE the proposal is accepted. The Student Summer Scholars program is VERY competitive and all proposals that do not adhere to the requirements given in the proposal materials will not be accepted for consideration.

  1. The information section is complete.
  2. All sections of the proposal are present.
  3. The total budget is less than or equal to $7750 for full S3, and $3900 for MS3.

The MS3 program is available to lower division or first year transfer undergraduate students at GVSU. "Lower division" is defined as a student in their first year or second year at Grand Valley State University. It is not based on your credits classification.

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

No, the Student Summer Scholars program is an outside of the classroom experience. It cannot be used for course credit, nor can it be used for an Honors Thesis.

All complete and accepted proposals will be read and evaluated by the Undergraduate Research Council (URC). URC will assess the proposals based upon the proposal criteria and rank the proposals based upon quality. From this information, URC will decide which proposals will be funded.

If your proposal is considered by the URC but not funded, you will receive general feedback and an indication of how the proposal could have been improved.

Here are some common reasons that can contribute to an proposal 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.
  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 Spring/Summer semester should be taking, at most, one 3 credit class (in either 6 week session) or (but not both) working less than 15 hours a week.)

Proposals must be written in 12 point Times New Roman font, double-spaced, with 1 inch margins. Proposals must have a cover sheet featuring a title, student scholar name, and faculty mentor name(s). Proposals must include section headers and page numbers.

No, two full-time Student Summer Scholars proposals will not be accepted. 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.

However, there have been cases where an S3 faculty member has served as mentor concurrently with an MS3 scholar or a McNair Scholar. There are restrictions involved with this. Contact OURS at 616-331-8100 or ours@gvsu.edu for clarification.

Yes, however they must be two different, complete proposals. The responsibilities of the student, and goals of the project must differ between the proposals. Each proposal 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 proposals.

Yes, but there will be no increase in faculty stipend or supply money.

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.

The stipends for the student and faculty will be disbursed through the university payroll office. 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.