Summer Research Grants in Science and Mathematics


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 «


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, according to the stipulations outlined above;
  • Not enroll in summer classes, and not hold any other employment while engaged in research;
  • 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 21;
  • Give a poster presentation at the Fall Student Research Poster Symposium held in early September.

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).

Types of Awards and Stipulations

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. The top ranked proposals will be considered for Agricola or McCormick Scholar awards.

Agricola Scholar Award

Agricola Scholar Award is designed to encourage and support original collaborative research projects between Puget Sound faculty and students in the sciences, social sciences, and humanities. The award seeks to foster intellectual growth, creative thinking, discovery, and professional development. It is named after Georgius Agricola (1494-1555), the "Father of Geology," a German scholar, scientist, and physician who worked in the mining regions of Bohemia. He was amount the first to create scientific order out of knowledge derived from practical work, basing his writings on careful observation and experience and rejecting the superstitions of his time.

Recipients will engage in original research, collaboration, and presentation of results. An Agricola Scholar grant will receive a summer stipend of $3750. Funds of up to 150% of the stipend may also be requested for research expenses associated with the proposed project.  Awarded funds must be expended (and reimbursement for them requested) before May 1 of the year following the summer research. Unused funds will return to the pool to be awarded to another student for the following year.

Agricola Faculty Mentors 

A faculty member supervising and collaborating with an Agricola Scholar may receive a stipend up to the amount of the student stipend. Please see guidelines below for details.

McCormick Scholar 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 of the year following the summer research . Unused funds will return to the pool to be awarded to another student for the following year.

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.

McCormick Faculty Mentors

Members of the faculty mentoring McCormick Scholars may apply 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 advisor. The faculty stipend is proportionate to the work anticipated and will not exceed $4,000.

The Agricola and McCormick 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 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 no later than 4 p.m. on March 8, 2017. Awards will be announced on or before April 11.

Award Administration

Grant recipients will receive their stipends in two payments: The first $2,750 payment (or $3,250 in the case of Agricola and 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 21, 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 prior years. 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. Information about summer research housing will be released in March.

Please note, housing reservations will be made for students upon confirmation of their Summer Research Scholar status and are contingent upon availability.