Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship
The Misericordia University Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship Program (SURF) is sponsored by the Vice President of Academic Affairs Office. It will provide 14-15 undergraduate students with funding to participate in a 10 week one-on-one faculty guided summer research training program in residency on the Misericordia campus. (5/26/19 – 8/4/19) Research fellows receive one-on-one, faculty guided research training and participate in bi-weekly professional development seminars geared toward better preparing them for graduate school, future research experiences, and employment. The summer program culminates with two mandatory presentations of the students’ findings: a 15 minute oral presentation in the last week of the program and a poster presentation in October for the entire campus community.
Summer Research Fellows are expected to work full time in residence (27-35 hours per week) for the entire 10 weeks of the program. Students may not work additional jobs on campus while participating in the SURF program, except if that work is brief and directly related to the student’s research topic. For example: 5 day OT Kids with Autism camp as data collection for research project. Students may with the permission of their research mentor and the SURF Steering Committee work off campus for limited hours that do not interrupt their full-time commitment to the research program. Failure to abide by this policy will result in a one year suspension from SURF participation for the student and mentor. Students are expected to spend approximately 2 hours every other week in professional development workshops. Non-attendance must be reported to the student research mentor and the AVPAA.
Student/Faculty Mentor teams will be selected together by the SURF Steering Committee according to the following process and criteria:
- Student criteria for eligibility:
- Minimum 15 credits earned at the time of application
- Suggested Minimum 3.0 GPA overall.Students with GPA’s below 3.0 and their advisors must address in their application materials why the student is a good candidate for an undergraduate research experience despite a low GPA.
- Priority will be given to first-time participants
- Applications must be submitted by the faculty mentor, and should include:
- Cover sheet / application form
- Please write a 1p (no more than 300 words) letter of interest that describes your desire to participate in the project, your expected outcomes / benefits of participating, and the skills / experiences that have prepared you for this undertaking.Address your GPA if necessary.
- On a separate sheet, please list any funding you have received (including pending applications) for research (indicate project titles, dates, amount awarded / requested, and brief description of no more than 50 words for each)
- IRB approval for research involving human subjects must be provided with the application or no later than the first day of the program for students to participate in SURF. All IRB submissions must have CITI training certificates accompanying the application. For information on IRB submissions and CITI training, please go to http://www.misericordia.edu/irb.
- Please submit materials budget (if necessary)
- Please submit a project abstract (no more than 1page) that succinctly outlines the research to be conducted, the goals for the summer, whether the project is ongoing or new, the responsibilities to be carried out by the mentee, and any potential scholarly contributions the work will make to the field / discipline.Please address the student’s GPA if necessary. (which may include the Scholarship of Teaching & Learning [SoTL])
- Faculty must also disclose any concurrent funding supporting the research project proposed to SURF (including any funding applications pending review, internally or externally)
- Applications will be judged on the:
- Quality of the research plan
- Potential for student learning & development
- Potential contributions to the discipline / field (which may include SoTL)
- Application process:
- February 25, 2019: initial applications due
- March 15, 2019: Faculty mentors and students will receive notification of acceptance to the program
- March 22, 2019: Faculty mentors and students must formally commit to the SURF 2019 program.
Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship – 2020
Frequently Asked Questions: Student
What is the Application and
Students who have completed 15 credits at the
time of application and retain an overall GPA of 3.0 are eligible to
participate. Students should reach out to a faculty member in their area of interest and inquire about the possibility of SURF participation. Students and faculty mentors must submit joint applications.
The student portion of the application requires
a 300 word letter of interest as well as information about previous, current, or future funding for SURF or related research. Deadline for complete application is February 28, 2020.
Research project proposals will be reviewed by
the SURF Steering Committee and selected faculty/student teams informed by mid-March. Those with projects not selected
will also be notified in March.
What are the
Expectations for Student Researchers?
Selected student researchers are expected to
work full time, 27-40 hours per week, in residence for the 10 week program. Students are expected to meet with their faculty mentors at least once per week and to participate in bi-weekly, two hour professional development workshops. One 15 minute oral presentation at the end of the 10 week program and an October poster presentation for the entire university community, will disseminate your research results to the community.
What are the benefits
for participating in SURF?
Students will have the opportunity to develop a
close working relationship with a faculty member, enhance their problem solving ability, and have the opportunity to learn disciplinary topics to transcend previous classroom learning through real world research. Students will also be able to demonstrate professional work habits, perseverance, and examples of creativity and ingenuity for graduate school applications and resumes for the work force.
Do students receive a
stipend for participation in SURF?
Students will receive a $4,000 stipend for the 10 week program. The first stipend payment will be at the end of June/beginning of July, while the second stipend will be paid on the last
day of the program. Students also may live on campus free of charge, but must pay for their meals. Selected students will receive more specific information about payroll and housing closer to the program start.
Can my participation
in the SURF program be used for credit?
Students do not receive academic credit for SURF participation. Even those students enrolled in majors requiring research experiences may not receive credit for SURF.
Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship – 2020
Frequently Asked Questions: Faculty
What is the Application and Selection Process?
- Faculty should reach out to a student in their area of interest or major and inquire about the possibility of SURF participation. We depend on SURF faculty mentors to fully vet the students chosen for participation with them. Students who have completed 15 credits at the time of application and retain an overall GPA of 3.0 are eligible to participate. If a student’s GPA is slightly lower, the student and in particular the mentor must address why undergraduate research is appropriate for the student in the application materials. Students and faculty mentors must submit joint applications. In 2020 there is funding for 15 students and so generally faculty are restricted to mentoring 1 student on 1 project though there could be an opportunity to add an additional student if applications fall below 15.
- The student portion of the application requires a 300 word letter of interest, information about IRB approval, as well as information about previous, current, or pending funding for SURF or related research. The faculty portion of the application requests a materials budget, a short abstract and disclosure of previous or pending funding for the project. Deadline for the complete application is February 28, 2020. It should be submitted to Brenda Nowalis in the VPAA’s office (email@example.com)
- Research project applications will be reviewed by the SURF Steering Committee and selected, with all teams (1 faculty/1 student) informed by mid-March. Those with projects not selected will also be notified in March.
What are the Expectations for Student Researchers?
- Selected student researchers must have completed 15 credits at the time of application and retain an overall GPA of 3.0, or a GPA slightly below with advocacy from the student’s mentor and a student explanation of GPA.In addition, where necessary, students must have received IRB approval before beginning the 10 week program or they will be disqualified from participation.All IRB submissions must have CITI training certificates accompanying the application. For information on IRB submissions and CITI training, please go to http://www.misericordia.edu/irb Opens a New Window. .
- They are expected to work full time, 27-35 hours per week, in residence, for the 10 week program. Students may not work additional jobs on or off campus during the 10 week program. Students are expected to meet with their faculty mentors at least once per week and to participate in bi-weekly, two hour professional development workshops.One formal 15 minute oral presentation at the end of the 10 week program for all SURF participants, mentors, and invited guests as well as an October poster presentation for the entire university community, will disseminate their research results to the community. All students are expected to attend the entire oral presentation session.
What are the Expectations for Faculty Mentors?
- Faculty mentors are expected to oversee application for IRB approval, if necessary, regularly communicate with, and properly scaffold, their mentees by meeting with them frequently (i.e. minimum of a once per week). Faculty members are also strongly encouraged to join their students at the bi-weekly professional development workshops. Faculty mentors and students both must attend and participate in the entire oral presentation day session, as well as the October poster presentations.
What Type of Projects will be Selected for Participation?
- Research within the faculty member’s discipline that has the potential to contribute to original findings (in the long or short term). Such research should be sufficiently rigorous, in that it is comparable to capstone-level or early graduate-level work in quantity as well as quality. Faculty members from diverse disciplines across the institution are invited to apply. For a list of previous projects please consult Brenda Nowalis in the VPAA’s office. SURF Steering Committee Members are happy to discuss potential projects with interested faculty.
What can I request through the Materials Budget?
- This might include essential equipment, chemicals, biological materials, and technology for gathering and analyzing data. If travel to archives and / or off-site research locations is necessary, these monies may also be used to subsidize that travel. However please note that SURF is a residential program and that primary travel is not in the scope of any eligible projects. Keep in mind that materials funds are limited for SURF 2020 so faculty are encouraged to pursue other types of funding, such as internal summer research grants, to secure / supplement materials for SURF.
Angela Asirvatham, Ph.D.
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