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 «


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 Science Research Grant. Interdisciplinary projects are eligible only if the home department of the proposed research advisor 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. Awards are made only 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:

  • Complete an online training course in the Responsible Conduct of Research (RCR) before their initial research stipend check is released. See this page for CITI Instructions for Summer Science Researchers.
  • 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 (exceptions are possible but require a written explanation and approval by the research advisor as well as possibly the Dean);
  • submit a copy of the research poster or report to the faculty research advisor and an electronic copy of the poster or report to Collins Memorial Library for publication in Sound Ideas, an online repository of Puget Sound academic materials, by September 21, 2020;
  • Give a poster presentation at the Fall Student Research Poster Symposium held in early September.

While not required, students are encouraged to present the results of their work at a regional, national or international research conferences.

Types of Awards

There are several types of general awards, including the Mellam Scholar, Summer Science Scholar, Adam S. Goodman Scholar, Simpson Tacoma Kraft Scholar, Washington NASA Space Grant Scholar, and John Gilbertson 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 Scholar 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. 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 stipend of $3750; funds of up to 150% of the stipend may be requested for research expenses associated with the project. Awarded funds must be expended before May 1 of the year following the summer research; unused funds will be awarded to other students the following year.

Agricola Faculty Mentors

A faculty member supervising and collaborating with an Agricola Scholar may receive a stipend of $1000.

McCormick Scholar Award

McCormick Scholar Award recipients receive a $3,750 summer stipend 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 May 1 of the year following the summer research; unused funds will be awarded to other students the following year.

McCormick Faculty Mentors

Faculty who are mentoring McCormick Scholars may apply for a McCormick Faculty Mentor award. These applications are to be 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, rather than projects in which the student works independently under supervision of a faculty advisor. The faculty stipend is proportionate to the work anticipated and will not exceed $4,000.

The Agricola Faculty Mentor 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.

Summer Research Grant stipends are intended to pay for living expenses during the summer. The summer stipend is not intended to supplement external research programs such as NSF-REU programs or field camps.

Students who receive Agricola or McCormick project funds are not eligible for University Enrichment Student Research awards for the same project.

Important Dates

The online application is due no later than 5 p.m. on March 11, 2020.

Students should read and follow these important GUIDELINES to prepare their proposals.


Award Administration

Award recipients will receive stipends in two payments. The first payment is issued on or about May 15, and the remaining $500 payment is issued after the research report is submitted to the Associate Dean, following the Fall Student Research Poster Symposium presentation in early September. If the public presentation, survey, and research reports are not completed by September 21, the final $500 payment will be forfeited and returned to the pool of funds to be awarded to other students the following summer.

See this page for sample proposals that were funded in prior years. These proposals 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 is available on the Residence Life Summer Housing webpage.

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