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, and exercise science. The grant program seeks to foster imagination, creativity, and accomplishment.
If you have questions or would like additional information about the Summer Research program or application process, please attend the information session on February 1, 2024 at 4 p.m. in Thompson 175. You can also email firstname.lastname@example.org or schedule an appointment with the program manager, Elize Hellam.
- The summer 2024 application deadline is March 1, 2024 by 11:59 p.m.
- The summer 2024 faculty recommendation deadline is March 4, 2024 by noon.
Application for a summer research grant should be made using the online form. The online application form includes several components:
- Project description. Upload a 3-5 page PDF file of the Project Description that includes the sections listed below. Make sure to start the name of your file with your LAST NAME capitalized. The project description must be in 12-point, Times New Roman font. The document must have one-inch margins all around and be written with 1.5 line-spacing. View a sample proposal.
- Personal statement. In approximately 300 words, explain how prior work (in your classes or outside of class) has prepared you to undertake your proposed research project. Also, describe your reasons for wanting to carry out research this summer with your faculty mentor and how summer research will contribute to your future academic or career path.
- Statement of problem to be researched and objectives for the summer. In approximately 600 words, describe the research question(s) that you will try to answer. Be sure to explain it so that non-expert readers can understand the purpose and value of your proposed research and why the problem you will be exploring is important to people working in your field of study. If you will be testing a specific hypothesis, please state it clearly. State or list the main objectives of your proposed research. You can include one figure or scheme in your proposal. This can be inserted into the body of the proposal or at the end of the proposal. This figure or scheme should be a reasonable size and should not be separated into multiple parts so as to act as multiple schemes or figures.
- Methods and instrumentation. In approximately 400 words, describe the methods and instrumentation that you will use to answer your research question(s) or test your hypothesis.
- References. Please list up to five sources from the published literature that are relevant to your project. For each source, provide both a complete bibliographic reference and a one-sentence description of how the information in that source relates to your project.
- Budget. If your project requires expenses related to copying, mileage, equipment, or materials, please prepare a one page PDF file of your requested budget that is not part of the three to five page Project Description. Make sure to start the name of your file with your LAST NAME capitalized. Include explicit and relevant details for each item. For example, “Materials” should include quantities, descriptions, and sales tax; “Mailing expenses” should include number of pieces at a specific cost; “Mileage” should include total distance in miles, number of trips, and destinations. The cost for mileage is calculated as distance (in miles) x $0.67/mile. The budget document should include:
- A list of all anticipated expenses
- An explanation and justification for each expense
- The expected cost of each item including sales tax
- The total budget amount requested
- Faculty recommendation. Your faculty research advisor must submit an online recommendation form for your application to be complete.
Please note the following eligibility requirements:
- Students currently enrolled at Puget Sound who are returning the following fall semester and planning to conduct research in the fields of exercise science, physics, chemistry, biology, geology, mathematics, or computer science are eligible to apply for a Summer Research Grant in the Sciences and Mathematics.
- Interdisciplinary projects are eligible only if the home department of the proposed faculty research mentor 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 advisors. Field-based projects under the direction of Puget Sound professors are 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 made only for work scheduled to be completed before graduation.
- Students must be enrolled during fall semester after their summer research experience.
- Students who have previously received a Summer Research Grant in the Sciences and Mathematics are eligible to re-apply.
- Students who apply for a Summer Research Grant in the Sciences and Mathematics are ineligible to apply for a Summer Research Grant in the Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences.
Responsibilities of Grant Recipients
Students who receive a Summer Research Grant in the Sciences and Mathematics agree to:
- Submit documentation for the applicable requirements below via this form:
- All summer researchers must complete an online CITI training course in the Responsible Conduct of Research (RCR) before beginning research. Visit the CITI instruction page for more information. Submit CITI certificate of competition.
- All summer science researchers will complete the necessary online training modules on the HSI platform related to their research project (e.g., Lab Safety, Hazard Communication, etc.) before beginning research.
- If the proposed research involves the use of nonhuman vertebrate animals or cephalopods, submit a protocol to the Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC). Research projects that involve the use of nonhuman vertebrate animals or cephalopods cannot be conducted without IACUC approval. Visit the IACUC website for more information about protocols. Submit IACUC approval.
- If the proposed research involves human participation of any type (for example, participation in experiments, interviews, or survey completion), submit a protocol to the Institutional Review Board (IRB). Research projects that do not involve the participation of human subjects do not require IRB approval. Research projects that involve participation of human subjects cannot begin without IRB protocol approval. Visit the IRB web page for more information. Submit IRB approval.
- If your research involves international travel, meet with a staff member from the Office of International Programs. Submit waivers and other documentation relevant to your destination via the Horizons portal.
- Devote full time to the project for at least ten weeks during the summer. Students who cannot devote ten weeks of full time work to their research should not apply.
- Avoid full-time employment while engaged in research. Limited part-time employment may be allowed with the permission of the faculty mentor and Dean Nick Kontogeorgopoulos.
- Meet regularly with their research mentor.
- Engage in the larger interdisciplinary research community on campus.
- Submit their final Summer Research project to document that they completed the work. Depending on their research project, the work they upload may be a poster, a paper, visual art, or another form that demonstrates their effort.
- Present their work at the Summer Research Symposium held in early September.
- Complete a post-summer research survey.
Grant recipients will receive stipend checks at the start of the summer around the time they are expected to begin their research.
While not required, students are encouraged to present the results of their work at regional, national, or international research conferences.
Summer research grants may be considered taxable fellowships by the IRS. Awards will not be reported to the IRS on either Form 1099 or Form W-2. However, awards may be included as gross income for federal income tax purposes. You should seek advice from a tax professional that is specific to your own tax status and filing form. For more information, visit the Office of Finance website.
Types of Grants
Puget Sound Summer Research Grants
Students selected for Puget Sound Summer Research funding receive a grant of $4,000. Proposals from students who receive a Puget Sound Summer Research Grant will automatically be considered for additional University Enrichment Committee (UEC) support of up to $500, according to the budget included as part of the original application. UEC Student Research Awards cover the cost of materials used in research, or to defray other costs such as travel or services related to data collection. No additional application for UEC support is required: proposals will automatically be forwarded to the UEC for consideration.
The most competitive applications will be considered for Agricola and McCormick grants, described below.
Agricola Summer Research Grants
Agricola Grants are designed to encourage and support original collaborative research projects between Puget Sound faculty and students in the sciences, mathematics, arts, 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. Agricola was among the first to create scientific order out of knowledge derived from practical work and based his writings on careful observation and experience, often rejecting the superstitions of his time.
Agricola Scholars receive a summer grant of $4,500. Funds of up to 150% of the stipend may be requested for research expenses associated with the project. Awarded funds must be expended before March 1 of the year following the summer research. Because Agricola Scholars receive supporting funds for materials or other research expenses, they are not eligible for UEC Student Research Awards for the same project.
Agricola faculty mentors who supervise and collaborate with an Agricola Scholar receive a stipend of $1,000.
McCormick Summer Research Grants
McCormick Scholars receive a $4,500 summer grant and may request project funds to cover the cost of materials used in research, or to defray other costs such as travel or services related to data collection. These project funds will not exceed $5,000. Awarded funds must be expended before March 1 of the year following the summer research. Because McCormick Scholars receive supporting funds for materials or other research expenses, they are not eligible for UEC Student Research Awards for the same project
McCormick faculty mentors who supervise and collaborate with a McCormick Scholar receive a stipend of $4,000.
Clare Boothe Luce Summer Research Grants
The Clare Boothe Luce Scholar Program is open to "female undergraduate students in the disciplines of chemistry (analytical, inorganic, organic, or physical), computer science, geology, mathematics, or physics." Clare Boothe Luce Scholars commit to forming a mentoring community during the summer, and creating ePortfolio reflections. They also commit to participating in monthly events (such as lectures and professional development workshops) during the academic year following their summer of research.
Clare Boothe Luce Scholars receive a $5,500 grant and may request project funds to cover the cost of materials used in research (up to $1,200) and/or to defray domestic travel costs related to data collection. Students may also request conference travel support up to $1,350. Awarded funds must be expended before March 1 of the year following the summer of research. Because Clare Boothe Luce Scholars receive supporting funds for materials or other research expenses, they are not eligible for UEC Student Research Awards for the same project.
Clare Boothe Luce faculty mentors who supervise and collaborate with a Clare Boothe Luce Scholar receive a stipend of $2,000 and may request conference travel support up to $1,350.
Questions about the Clare Boothe Luce Scholars program can be directed to Dr. Amy Spivey, Professor of Physics, at email@example.com.
Meeting the Experiential Learning Graduation Requirement
Beginning in Fall 2022, all incoming Puget Sound students will complete at least one form of Experiential Learning before they graduate by choosing between an internship, study abroad, summer research, or community-based learning. Students wishing to fulfill this requirement with their summer research experience must engage in an accepted summer research project and take either EXLN 298 during their summer research experience or EXLN 301 after they completed their summer research project. Summer researchers are invited but not required to take either course; however pairing the research experience with the course is required to fulfill the requirement.