Summer Research Grants in Science and Mathematics

Purpose

The Summer Research Program in the Sciences and Mathematics is designed to encourage and support research projects conducted by Puget Sound students and their faculty mentors in the natural sciences, physical sciences, mathematics, computer science, or exercise science. The grant program seeks to foster imagination, creativity, and accomplishment.

» Important Information for Applicants – Read this first «

Eligibility

Any student currently enrolled at Puget Sound who is returning the following Fall semester and planning to conduct research in the fields of exercise science, physics, chemistry, biology, geology, mathematics, or computer science is eligible to apply for a Summer Science Research Grant. Eligibility of interdisciplinary projects that are conducted at the intersection of the above mentioned fields are eligible only if the home department of the proposed research adviser is one of the departments listed above. The proposed project may be laboratory-based, field-based, theoretical, or any combination thereof. Although off-campus research projects are eligible, preference will be given to students working with Puget Sound advisers. Field-based projects under the direction of Puget Sound professors are, in this context, considered "on-campus." In most cases, the completion of at least two years of college coursework is necessary to achieve the level of sophistication needed for the development of a competitive proposal; however, first-year students are eligible to apply. Grants are awarded for work scheduled to be completed before graduation. Students who have previously received a Summer Research grant are eligible to re-apply; all applications will be evaluated solely on merit.

Recipient Responsibilities

Students who receive summer funding agree to:

  • Treat their research as a full-time job for at least 10 weeks of the summer of 2015, according to the stipulations outlined above;
  • Not enroll in summer classes, and not hold any other employment while engaged in research (exceptions for such must be obtained from Associate Dean Sunil Kukreja);
  • Submit a written report of the research to the faculty research supervisor and an electronic copy of the report to Associate Dean Sunil Kukreja via Sound Ideas no later than September 24, 2015;
  • Give a poster presentation at the Fall Student Research Poster Symposium held in early September 2015.

While not required, students are also encouraged to present the results of their work at a regional, national or international research conference (one possible venue is the Regional Conference on Undergraduate Research sponsored by the Murdock College Science Research Program in the Fall of 2015).

Types of Awards and Stipulations

With the guidance of their faculty mentors, students may apply for either a General Award or a McCormick Scholar Award. (Students who apply for and do not receive a McCormick award are automatically considered for one of the general awards.)

There are several types of General Awards, including the Mellam Summer Scholar, Summer Science Scholar, Adam S. Goodman Research Scholar, Simpson Tacoma Kraft Research Scholar, Washington NASA Space Grant Summer Research Scholar, and John Gilbertson Research Scholar. Recipients of a General Award receive a $3,250 summer stipend. Mellam recipients also receive up to an additional $2,000 toward materials and other expenses directly related to the project. For all General Awards, there is only one application and the type of award given depends on the proposal ranking and in some cases subject matter or other requirements by the donor or the award.

McCormick Scholar Award recipients receive a $3,750 summer stipend and may also request funds to cover the cost of materials used in research or to defray other costs directly associated with the proposed project, such as travel or services. These direct project awards will normally not exceed $5,000. Awarded funds must be expended (and reimbursement for them be requested) before May 1, 2016. Unused funds will return to the pool to be awarded to another student for the following year. McCormick applications undergo an additional review step and are therefore due one week earlier, March 5, 2015, than applications for the General Awards.

Student stipends are intended to pay for living expenses during the summer. The summer stipend is not intended to supplement organized external research programs, such as NSF-REU programs or field camps. Students who receive direct project funds are not eligible for University Enrichment student research funding for the same project.

Which type of award should I apply for?

Students may apply for a General Award, a McCormick Scholar Award, or both. McCormick proposals must, however, emphasize a particularly close collaboration with the Puget Sound faculty mentor. There is no penalty for applying for both types of awards; McCormick proposals that are not funded will automatically be considered for one of the General Awards.

McCormick Faculty Mentors

Members of the faculty mentoring McCormick Scholars may apply independently for a McCormick Faculty Mentor award. These applications are submitted within one week following the announcement of the student awards. It was Dr. McCormick's purpose "to encourage and support cooperative research projects between Puget Sound faculty and students." The program is designed to support research in which a student and faculty mentor actively collaborate, as opposed to projects in which the student works independently and has a faculty adviser. The faculty stipend is proportionate to the work anticipated and will not exceed $4,000. While award eligibility is mandated by the donor and does not allow use of the money in a way that would maximize fairness or equity among faculty members, McCormick Faculty grants will not be given to the same faculty mentor in two consecutive years. This may in some cases influence the overall proposal ranking.

The Faculty Mentor applications will include:

  • A brief statement describing the mentor's role in the project and the expected commitment of time to the project.
  • A statement of how the project fits into the faculty member's long-term research program.

Applications will be reviewed and ranked by the same committee that selected student award recipients. If there are more faculty applications than money available, the committee may consider whether the applicant received a McCormick Faculty Mentor award in previous years.

Important Dates

A PDF scan of the complete application package including all required signatures should be submitted via email to biology@pugetsound.edu no later than 4 p.m. on March 12, 2015 for general awards and no later than March 5, 2015 for McCormick awards. Awards will be announced on or before April 10, 2015.

Award Administration

Grant recipients will receive their stipends in two payments: The first $2,750 payment (or $3,250 in the case of McCormick Scholars) is issued on or about May 15, and the final $500 payment is issued after the final report is submitted to the Associate Dean, following the Fall Student Research Poster Symposium presentation in early September. If the public presentation and final reports, required under the grant, are not completed by September 24, 2015, the final $500 payment will be forfeited and returned to the pool of funds to be awarded to another student the following summer.

See this page for sample proposals that were funded in 2011. Please note, document format requirements have changed for 2015. These proposals are provided to exemplify the scope and depth of project development required of proposals that are ultimately funded. Sample proposals are protected and cannot be printed.

On-Campus Housing for Summer Research Scholars

Summer Research Scholars are eligible to reside in campus housing while conducting research. Each house supports up to five students, with rooms rented at $300 per month including utilities.

Interested students should contact Lisa Hutchinson with a request to add their name to the waiting list of possible candidates. Please note, housing reservations will be made for students upon confirmation of their Summer Research Scholar status and are contingent upon availability.