Sherman Fairchild and STEM Faculty-Student Research Grants


Faculty Application Deadline:  1 February 

Click here to apply for Sherman Fairchild or STEM Research Grants

Bates has been awarded a grant from the Sherman Fairchild Foundation (SFF) to support up to 15 student research assistant positions in the sciences per year in 2016, 2017, and 2018.  In addition, the college has an endowed fund to support student research assistantships (up to 8 each year) in the sciences and math. Funds for both of these programs are awarded to faculty by the Faculty Scholarship Committee. For faculty convenience, only one application is required when seeking support from either or both funds.

STEM fields are defined as sciences and math, including biochemistry, neuroscience and environmental science; and biomedical research, including public health. Bates faculty who wish to hire Bates students as research assistants during the summer may apply for funding through these programs. Preference in funding goes to faculty who engage students from groups traditionally underrepresented in the STEM fields.

Budget: Each grant provides funding for student wages (please budget student wages at $11.00/hour) for up to 40 hours per week for up to ten weeks during the summer, with room and board included in those wages. Please calculate the estimated student wages PLUS .0765 to cover the college FICA match (e.g., $1,000 in wages plus FICA match would total $1,076.50). Requests for funding for supplies and travel may not exceed $2,000; please itemize your expenses with specific cost estimates.

These grants are competitive; proposals are reviewed by the Committee on Faculty Scholarship. Faculty make only one application; the committee decides the funding source. (Please note: INBRE Faculty-Student Research Grants have different eligibility requirements, so require a separate proposal).

Application and Review of Proposals

1. Faculty members may submit an application form with abstract, narrative, timetable and budget attached. The proposal must include an abstract and a statement describing the research goals and methodologies, the project timetable with the start- and end-dates of the project (these dates will be used as the basis for the payroll contract), a statement on the specific involvement of the student researcher, and a budget for student wages, supplies and/or travel as applicable. Please write your project description for a general reader.

The faculty PI may apply with a student in mind, or may select the students after having received funding. Student researchers should be rising sophomores, juniors, and seniors. Seniors graduating before the summer research season are not eligible. Preference in funding goes to faculty PIs who have identified students from underrepresented groups as their proposed research assistants.


2. The Committee on Faculty Scholarship reviews proposals, considering the degree of faculty commitment to providing students with genuine research opportunities, and the benefit of the research experience to the student’s college career. If a faculty PI is proposing to hire two student researchers, he or she must offer a compelling justification for needing two rather than one student.

3. If the project is funded and a student has not yet been selected, the faculty PI may conduct his or her own search, or the Dean of the Faculty’s Office can advertise the position on the PI’s behalf, but in either case the faculty PI selects the student researcher.

4. Students hired as SFF or STEM student researchers must meet with the faculty PI as soon as possible to finalize the project days and organize payroll. Faculty and students should discuss the scope of the project, the schedule and other details of the work before the student agrees to participate. Students are paid hourly (not to exceed 40 hours per week in the summer). Hours are submitted through Web Time Entry; the faculty PI approves the student’s hours.


1. Students may not work more than 40 hours per week on this project and may not hold a fellowship at the same time as they hold a SFF or STEM researcher position.

2. SFF and STEM student grants are intended to give students an opportunity to engage in long-term, intensive research. Students are expected to work eight to ten weeks full time during the summer (up to 40 hours per week).

3. The faculty PI must also submit electronically a one-page written evaluation of the student’s work, and comment on the overall success of the project within two weeks of the completion of the project (see reporting requirements).

4. Each STEM student researcher must submit electronically their abstract and report to the PI for approval (see reporting requirements) and to present his/her project during the Parents Weekend Poster Session if on campus in the fall. Students must also complete the online SURE survey, a national annual study that assesses student research.

5. All future grants are contingent upon receiving these reports.

 Reporting Requirements