Updated information for Summer Research Fellowships (AY2021-2022)

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.

This page details new dimensions of 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. 

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  • Student Stipends

    Starting in summer 2022, A&S student stipends are being raised to $5000 for a full 10-week period of full-time research. Shorter research periods between 6-10 weeks are also possible and will be prorated accordingly. Up to an additional $500 will also be available to A&S student researchers to offset the costs of justifiable research supplies, providing that a budget detailing special needs for travel or supplies is included in the application materials.  

  • Faculty Mentoring/Supervision Stipends 

    Starting in summer 2022, A&S faculty stipends for the mentoring or supervision of undergraduate summer researchers are also being increased. As always, faculty remain welcome to work with as many students as they wish. Faculty members will receive a stipend of $1500 per student for up to three students. For those mentoring or supervising more than three, faculty members will receive $300 for each additional student up to a total of eight. In other words, an A&S faculty member working with eight summer student researchers would receive the maximum stipend of $6000 ($4500+1500). Faculty stipends will be distributed directly by paycheck (subject to taxation) or deposited in faculty development accounts (tax free).

  • The Application Process 

    Beginning in AY2021-2022, the summer research application process is being streamlined to facilitate student participation and better manage faculty resources. Lengthy application research proposals have been phased out in favor of shorter, more targeted statements focusing on student goals and research objectives. The research application deadline will remain about the same as in past years (February 15), as will the notification date (March 4). 

    Students applying to use their Richmond Guarantee funding to conduct A&S summer research will complete a streamlined application that will be reviewed by their mentor or supervisor, rather than the URC, as was the case in past years. 

    Students applying to conduct A&S summer research who have previously participated in summer research or a summer internship under the auspices of the Richmond Guarantee will complete a slightly more involved application that will be reviewed by their research mentor or supervisor and then 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 are also able to initiate student research team applications by instructing the digital application platform to contact a list of students (no matter whether Richmond Guarantee-funded or not) in order to invite them to complete applications to conduct summer research. Faculty interested in initiating team applications ought to do so through the digital application platform by February 11 in order for students to have a chance to complete their applications by the February 15 deadline. Apply here.

  • Summer Housing

    Beginning in summer 2022, students participating in faculty mentored or supervised summer research on campus are able to select different lengths of summer housing (from 5-10 weeks) with different start dates for that housing. All stays must be continuous, all move-ins must take place on a Sunday and all students must be prepared to move out of summer housing by the universal move-out date of July 23 in order to allow staff to prepare campus housing facilities for fall student occupancy. 

    The summer housing period officially begins on May 15. Students who wish to live in the university apartments must begin their housing period on campus on May 15 (or May 8 for transitional housing); students assigned to the apartments will have access to an optional meal plan. Students who seek more flexibility regarding the start date of their research period may select any Sunday from May 8 to June 19 as their start date for housing in the residence halls, so long as their move-out occurs by July 23. Students living in the residence halls will be required to purchase a meal plan due to a lack of kitchen facilities. Students will be billed according to the length of their stay on campus ($220 per week for either apartment or residence hall housing including the meal plan).

    The deadline for applying for summer housing is April 8. More information about summer housing can be found here.

  • 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 may not enroll in summer courses. 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 8 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 prohibited from applying 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 consult with the Office of International Education as soon as possible, but no less than one month before travel.

    Fellowship recipients are required to present at the Arts & Sciences undergraduate 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. Pursuant to federal law, deductions from the entire stipend amount (including housing supplement if available) for FICA, unemployment, and income taxes (if applicable) will be made.

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

    Faculty mentors and supervisors must be full-time continuing faculty who plan to work for the university for at least another year following the research period. All tenured and tenure-track faculty, faculty of practice (directors), librarians with faculty status, Modlin Center and University Museums directors are eligible to serve as faculty mentors and supervisors. Term (visiting) and adjunct faculty are not eligible.

NOTES 

[1] Differences in the way that stipends are paid to students has necessitated the introduction of new nomenclature. “Mentored research” denotes research in which students are required to be paid as hourly employees; these students are typically directly guided by faculty members on joint projects, often in person and often in in a lab setting. “Supervised research” denotes research in which students may be paid through stipend; these students are typically pursuing 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.