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Summer Research* Experiences for Undergraduates

*Research is understood to include in-depth faculty-mentored undergraduate scholarly projects in any discipline.

A. Purpose and Overview:

This research program is intended to facilitate undergraduate research, scholarship, and creative activities during the summer. Awards include funds for student stipends, faculty stipends, supplies, services, and research travel.

The ideal project would involve a student in as many aspects of the scholarly process as possible. This will look different in each discipline, but might include:

  • Identification of a question or problem
  • Development of a process or approach to answer or solve it
  • Carrying out the project
  • Dissemination of the knowledge or product created

However, the project should be tailored appropriately by the mentor to match the developmental level of the student. The level of independent work performed by a first-year student will typically be quite different from that of a senior student in her second year working on a project.

Projects under this program should lead to presentation of results at meetings of scholarly organizations and, where possible, provide baseline data for inclusion in proposals to extramural funding agencies. As a condition of the grant, students will be expected to present their results at the annual UW-Eau Claire Celebration of Excellence in Research and Creative Activity or the UW System Symposium for Undergraduate Research and Creative Activity. Students are also encouraged to present findings at professional conferences or meetings in their disciplines or at the National Conference on Undergraduate Research(NCUR); travel funds for this purpose are available through the Student Travel for Presentation of Research Results program. In addition, it is not uncommon for a student to contribute to or co-author a manuscript for publication that results from their work. If the scholarly work will be ongoing, faculty are encouraged to use the results to provide baseline data for inclusion in proposals to extramural funding agencies.

B. Award:

Faculty collaborating with undergraduate researchers will be responsible for overseeing all aspects of the grant award. Funds for this program will not be available until July 1. The award consists of three primary categories:

Student Stipend: Summer grants include student stipends of up to $2,300 per student with a typical limit of $5,800 in student stipends going to projects of any one faculty mentor. Total stipend for any individual student working on multiple projects may be limited to $3,000 in the funding cycle, depending on availability of funds.

Faculty Stipend: Faculty serving as research mentors are eligible for a $2,300 stipend. Faculty involved in more than one project will only be eligible to receive a single stipend. Faculty applicants should check with their Department Chairs in the event that an overload needs to be requested if they are also teaching or being paid through the University for other work during the summer. Overload payments are not allowed if federal funds are involved in summer salary.

Supplies, Services, and Travel: In addition to the stipends, each collaborative project is eligible to receive up to $600 for supplies, services, and travel directly related to the project (not for travel to a conference).

C. Eligibility:

Faculty, academic staff, and undergraduate students engaged in research or other scholarly activities in all disciplines are encouraged to apply. Faculty and academic staff with .5 FTE or greater appointments for the next academic year, and UW-Eau Claire continuing undergraduate students planning to enroll for the Fall semester are eligible. The proposal may be submitted by any member of the collaborating team.

D. Application Process:

The Summer Research Experiences for Undergraduates application is processed in BP Logix may be initiated by the faculty mentor or a student. To start the form, initiate the Faculty Student Research Collaboration (academic year or summer grants) form and select Summer Research Experience for Undergraduates from the program dropdown within the form. Please visit the Using eForms and BP Logix page for a detailed explanation of the eForm system and please also see General Proposal Guidelines.

Faculty mentors are encouraged to mentor students in proposal-writing as appropriate to the situation. In particular, more senior students and students continuing on a project should be included in the proposal preparation process. Part of the mentoring process is to carefully review student-written proposals prior to submission. For students, the Center for Writing Excellence, located on the second floor of McIntyre Library, can help at any stage of the writing process, from brainstorming and outlining to organizing arguments and polishing claims.

The application has four primary sections:

  • Basic Information and Summary: This includes selecting the program (select Summer Research Experience for Undergraduates),co-investigators, project title, project funding dates, and a 3-5 sentence abstract.
  • Attachments (3): ** Please note the change; the narrative is now divided into two documents
    • Research Narrative: A PDF or Word document. It is strongly recommended that, whenever possible, faculty and students collaborate on the research narrative. It should be no longer than 3 double-spaced pages (include page numbers; citations may extend beyond the 3-page limit), and must address:
      • Project description
        • Project aims (e.g., research question, project goal(s))
        • Disciplinary context and significance
        • Theoretical approach, process and/or methodology
        • If this is a continuing project, activity and results to date
        • Larger or longer-term dissemination play for this project
    • Mentoring Narrative: A PDF or Word document no longer than 2 pages (include page numbers) that addresses:
      • Nature of student activities and learning
        • Project steps, including dissemination plan (suggest time-line if possible)
        • Class rank, experience and preparation of students (those already selected or those to be recruited)
        • Research skills and dispositions student(s) will experience/be exposed to
      • Faculty mentoring approaches and activities planned, such as:
        • Structure, nature and frequency of student-faculty interactions
        • Training and scaffolding of skills (e.g., research methods, research ethics, preparation for dissemination)
      • History of prior activities in faculty-mentored undergraduate research
        • Summary of previous projects (reference faculty vita)
        • Provide highlights of student outcomes
    • Faculty Vita: A brief (no longer than 2 pages) faculty vita as a PDF or Word file that documents
      • Faculty expertise in the general area of research propose
      • Past experience as a faculty research mentor
      • Student and/or faculty presentations, publications, etc, resulting from past student-faculty research projects
  • Budget: Applicants must clearly explain and justify all requested expenses in the budget explanation section of the form.
    • Wage Rates for student researchers: Minimum wage ($7.25) to $8.00 is preferred for beginning undergraduate researchers; more advanced researchers can be paid more, up to $10.00. During the academic year it is reasonable for students to work 5 to 8 hours per week, i.e., 75 to 120 hours per semester; more work during Winterim and Interim is possible, but must be specified in the budget explanation.
    • Travel and Supplies: please indicate how cost totals are calculated.
  • Routing: please fill in the appropriate routing order including your Faculty Mentor (if you are a student),department chair or unit director, and dean equivalent to ensure the application is properly reviewed.

E. Proposal Evaluation:

Primary evaluation will be based on the quality of the student research experience proposed. Click here to see criteria used by project reviewers. Where projects are ranked equally, preference may be given to:

  • Tenure-track faculty, especially in the first three years
  • Projects that bring in new students
  • Ongoing projects in which student and project have progressed appropriately
  • Interdisciplinary projects
  • Projects from underrepresented disciplines
  • Projects that involve students in proposal-writing
  • Projects from faculty with a good track record in research mentoring
  • The first project from a faculty member over second or third from a faculty member in any proposal round.
  • Projects that are developing promising groundwork for an extramural funding proposal.

F. Deadline for Application:

The proposal must be submitted to the dean (or equivalent) by February 15 or the next working day if this date falls on a weekend or holiday.

G. Previous Awarded Projects

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