Information Concerning Summer Research Fellowships

Students interested in a full-time (40 hr/week) summer research experience at the University ought to initiate the process by identifying a faculty mentor or supervisor[1] who works in their area of interest. The next step is to meet with that potential faculty mentor or supervisor to discuss opportunities for summer research. Participation is open to all undergraduates before their senior year; while many will participate in research during the summer after their junior year, many rising sophomores also receive research support. What’s more, although many students choose to conduct research within their major, others explore other interests within the sciences, social sciences, humanities, and arts. Nor is geography necessarily a limiting factor: even though many students conduct research on campus during the summer, many others routinely work off campus, at national or international libraries, archives and research sites. Finally, students are not limited to a single summer of sponsored research and may apply for support as rising sophomores, rising juniors, and rising seniors.[2]

Faculty, too, have the opportunity to initiate collaborative research with A&S undergraduates by identifying potential candidates and inviting them to think about a summer research project, either as individuals or as members of a research team. Faculty initiated projects, like student-initiated ones, take place both on campus and on site elsewhere in the nation and the world.

Below, please find detailed information on the A&S research programs run by the Undergraduate Research Committee (URC) concerning student stipends, stipends for faculty mentors and supervisors, the application process, and summer housing. Please also note deadlines and relevant dates for this year in the sidebars on the right of this page.

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  • Student Stipends

    A&S student stipends amount to $5000 for a full 10-week period of full-time research. Shorter research periods between 6-10 weeks are also possible and are be prorated accordingly. Up to an additional $500 is also available to A&S student researchers through their mentors or supervisors to offset the costs of justifiable research supplies or research travel.

  • Faculty Mentoring/Supervision Stipends 

    A&S faculty receive a stipend for mentoring or supervising undergraduate summer researchers who apply through UR Summer Fellowships program.  While faculty are welcome to work with as many students as they wish, they will receive a stipend of $2,000.00 per student for up to three students then $500.00 for each additional student up to a total of six students. In other words, an A&S faculty member working with six or more summer student researchers would receive the maximum stipend of $7,500.00 ($6,000.00 + 1,500.00). 

    Faculty stipends will be distributed via their paycheck.

  • The Application Process 

    Each year, student and faculty applications are due in early February (check the Deadline Sidebar on the right for this year’s deadlines); students and faculty are notified of the results of the application process just before or during Spring Break.

    Students applying to use their Richmond Guarantee funding to conduct A&S summer research complete a streamlined application that is reviewed by their mentor or supervisor. Students applying to conduct A&S summer research who have previously participated in Richmond Guarantee-funded summer research or a summer internship complete a slightly more involved application that is reviewed by their research mentor or supervisor and the URC as well.

    Students applying to conduct summer research may apply as individuals or to work in research teams, depending on the faculty mentor or supervisor and the research project. Students ought to closely coordinate their applications with their A&S mentors and supervisors in order to ensure the strongest possible application. Application Preview. Apply here.

    A&S faculty mentors and supervisors may also initiate student research team applications by filling out a form (check the Application Sidebars on the right for the link) that instructs the Slate system to invite a list of students (no matter whether Richmond Guarantee-funded or not) to complete summer research applications. Faculty interested in initiating team applications ought to do so through the digital application platform earlier than the student deadline in order to allow students the a chance to complete their applications in time (check the Deadline Sidebar on the right for this year’s deadlines). Apply here.

    Late applications delayed by health crisis or family emergency must be accompanied by a note from the appropriate coordinate college dean indicating awareness of the issue in question.

  • Summer Housing

    The University supports a small, vibrant undergraduate community in campus housing each summer. Students participating in faculty-mentored research or university-supported internships, and summer student employees are eligible to live on campus. 

    Students requiring maximal scheduling flexibility are housed in the residence halls and may select any Sunday between early May and mid-June as their start date for summer housing. 

    Students wishing to live in the apartments must begin their scheduled housing at the beginning of the summer research period (or earlier, during the transitional housing week). 

    More information about summer housing, dates, deadlines, and meal plans can be found on the Summer Housing website.

  • Terms

    Summer research is a full-time, 40 hr/week endeavor: if a student accepts a summer fellowship, she or he may not have any other paid or unpaid summer jobs or internships, including resident assistant positions or other on-campus jobs during the fellowship period. Students who are participating in faculty mentored or supervised summer research also typically may not enroll in summer courses [3]. As part of the fellowship, students are expected to devote their attention full-time to their research. In addition, enrolling in coursework while receiving a fellowship will necessitate that the fellowship count as financial aid and could have significant negative consequences for the student’s financial aid package. If a student has a significant extenuating circumstance that makes it necessary to simultaneously hold a fellowship and enroll in summer school, they should contact both their faculty mentor or advisor and Brendan Halligan, associate director of experiential learning in the Office of Alumni and Career Services.

    Students engaging in a minimum of 6 weeks of full-time research (40 hr/week) who are working under the mentorship or supervision of a faculty member are eligible to earn 406 class credit for their academic transcript. 406 credit ensures that research experience is recorded on student transcripts; it is rated as 0 units and graded S/U.

    A&S students with senior status are not eligible to apply for a summer research fellowship administered by the URC. A&S students with senior status who are also U.S. citizens may work on A&S summer research after graduation only if they are funded by an A&S endowment grant or a faculty mentor or supervisor’s external grant.

  • Conditions

    If a research proposal involves the use of animal or human subjects, final approval of the Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC) or Institutional Review Board for Protection of Human Subjects (IRB) must be obtained before an award will be made.

    If international travel is involved, the student must coordinate with the Office of International Education (OIE) as soon as possible. UR Summer Fellowship (URSF) awards will not be issued for activity taking place internationally if OIE approval is not complete.

    Fellowship recipients are required to present at the Arts & Sciences Student Symposium during the spring following their research experience. Exceptions must be approved by the associate dean.

    Student mentees will receive biweekly checks for the duration of their project, while those conducting supervised research receive a two-part stipend. Please visit the URSF website for more information about guidelines and policies.

    If a fellowship recipient is unable to fulfill the conditions of the award, all unexpended funds will revert back to the URC.

    All tenured and tenure-track faculty, continuing faculty, faculty of practice (directors), librarians with faculty status, Modlin Center and University Museums directors are eligible to serve as faculty mentors and supervisors. Under certain conditions, term faculty who have been hired to teach during the coming year may also serve as mentors or supervisors. Please check with the term faculty member’s department chair and/or the URC to determine eligibility. Please note: term faculty members’ last names are not included in the drop-down box on the Slate application and must be added to the application manually.


[1] This program differentiates between “mentored research” and “supervised research” in order to determine how student stipends are paid. “Mentored research” denotes research in which students are required to be paid as hourly employees; these students are typically guided directly by faculty members on joint projects, often in person and often in a lab setting. “Supervised research” denotes research in which students are paid by stipend; these students typically pursue more independent projects under faculty guidance, be it in person or remote.

[2] Awards for second- and third-time undergraduate researchers are subject to A&S budget limitations.

[3] If a student has a significant extenuating circumstance that makes it necessary to simultaneously hold a fellowship and enroll in summer school, she or he should contact both her or his faculty mentor or advisor and Brendan Halligan, associate director of experiential learning in the Office of Alumni and Career Services. Please note: enrolling in summer classes while receiving a research fellowship may necessitate that the fellowship be considered to be financial aid, which may in turn have significant negative consequences for the student’s financial aid package.