Early Career Student Research Opportunities in Mathematics & the Natural Sciences

Deadline: February 1, 2012

The Program
With financial support from the Mellon Presidential Discretionary grant, funds are available to support research opportunities for students in the natural sciences and mathematics. The program’s goals are to enhance the early science and math experiences of students who might otherwise be exposed to those fields only through large classes and also to broaden the aspirations of students who might not envision themselves as candidates for careers in science and math.

Research experiences that include one-on-one work with faculty or work in a small group setting are encouraged. Summer research positions lasting two to eight weeks, as well research assistant positions for one semester or one Short Term, are eligible for support through this program.

The Proposal
Faculty are invited to submit brief proposals (approximately one page) describing research projects and identifying students to work on them. Preference will be given to proposals that provide research experiences for students who are both 1) early in their college careers—currently in their first or second year, and 2) in their family’s first generation to attend college, members of groups underrepresented in math and science, or from under-resourced high schools.

A very brief note from the student whose work would be supported must accompany each proposal. The note should express the student’s interest in the position if it were to be funded.

Five copies of each proposal, including the note from the student, should be submitted to the Dean of the Faculty’s office by the end of business on the day of the deadline. Proposals will be reviewed by the committee overseeing the disbursement of funds from the Mellon Presidential Discretionary grant.

Proposals should include requests for funds according to the following schedule:

Category Funding Notes
Hourly wage for summer research positions $8.45 per hour plus $100 per week for room and board Specify hours per week and number of weeks in the proposal
Hourly wage for research during the academic year $8.00 per hour Specify term and hours per week in the proposal
Supply and resource funds Up to $500 per student Include budget justification in the proposal

Students cannot use research grant funding to participate in a credit-earning summer academic program or receive academic credit for summer research.

Post-Grant Reporting
At the end of the supported research experience students must submit a report to the Dean of the Faculty’s office. The report should:

  • Be one to two pages in length.
  • Describe the goal of the project and the progress made.
  • Say if and how the research experience affected the student’s plans for taking more math or science courses and for pursuing more research opportunities in math or science.

Students who conduct summer research are also required to complete a short online national survey on student research at the conclusion of their project. Future grants are contingent upon the student satisfying these requirements.