Request for Proposals

Due date:  5:00 pm, Friday, March 24, 2017


I.  Overview

            The Student-Mentor Academic Research Teams (SMART) committee announces an expanded Summer Fellowship Program for 2016.  As in previous summers, fellowship winners will receive either $1700 for 5 full weeks (200 hours) or $3400 for 10 full weeks (400 hours) of research or creative activity.  In addition, the student-mentor team may jointly apply for up to $2000 in additional supporting funds.  Fellowship winners will also qualify for travel funding to a regional or national conference or equivalent event to present their project results.  The SMART committee anticipates being able to fund as many as 10 students for 2016, depending on the sizes of budgets requested.


II. Program Description

            The main purpose of the SMART Summer Fellowship Program is to allow students the opportunity to experience full-time work on a major research project or other type of creative activity under the close supervision of a faculty mentor.  Project topics may range across the disciplines, from experiments in the sciences to performances in the arts.  Each student is expected to be actively supervised by a faculty mentor, where the type of supervision will vary by discipline and could include, for example, consultation and guidance on an independent project generated by the student or working with the mentor on a specific part of the mentor's own research or creative activities.

            Each fellowship will be for $1700 for 5 full weeks (200 hours) or $3400 for 10 full weeks (400 hours) of work on the project.  These funds go directly to the student in installments paid over the course of the project.  Students and mentors may submit a supplementary budget request to support mentoring and project activities.  Requirements for the Summer Fellowships are the following:

  • The student must be an undergraduate at Indiana University South Bend above the freshman level, with a GPA of at least 2.5.
  • A faculty member must endorse the project and closely mentor the student.
  • A completed proposal (see guidelines below) must be submitted in electronic format by the due date (March 25, 2016).
  • All appropriate research compliance requirements (eg, animal, biosafety, and human subject approval) must be addressed in the application.
  • A final report of project results must be submitted before the student will be able to receive the final installment of the fellowship stipend.  This final report should be prepared in consultation with the mentor and may take several forms, but at the minimum, it should outline the work that the student has accomplished (eg, activities, results, performances) as a result of SMART funding.


III. Proposal Guidelines

            The proposal should be submitted electronically (hard copies not accepted) no later than 5:00 pm, Friday, March 24, 2017.  Late or incomplete proposals will be returned without review.  Proposals should include all of the following sections:

1.   Cover Page - This should include

  • project title,
  • student information (name, home address; email contact; university ID, and expected graduation date),
  • mentor information (name, school/college or department, email contact),
  • project abstract (200 words maximum).

2.   Project Description - A three-page description of the proposed summer project, written by the student in consultation with the faculty mentor.  The SMART committee strongly advises students to work closely with their faculty mentors in preparing the proposal.  The SMART committee is composed of faculty from many disciplines, so the proposal should be written to be understood by a general academic audience.  The project should be fully described within the three-page limit (single-spaced, 12-point font, one-inch margins) and should not rely on the faculty letter of support for additional details.

3.   Bibliography or Literature Cited

4.   Project Timeline - A tentative timeline for completion of the project.

5.   Project Budget and Justification - Stipend amount requested by the student ($1700 or $3400); full description of additional funds required, with explanatory justification for each item.  Possible items could include, but are not limited to, faculty summer salary, travel to research sites, or purchase of consumables or permanent equipment (all purchases becomes property of the University).  Limits for additional funding will be $2000, where as much as $1700 of that request may be designated for faculty summer salary.  Requests for faculty summer salary must be fully justified in terms of the amount of time required to mentor the research student.  For questions about budget requests, please consult with Erika Zynda in Academic Affairs.


            The faculty mentor should independently submit a letter of support that addresses three issues:  feasibility and worthiness of the project, student qualifications for the project, and educational benefits to be derived by the student.  The faculty letter should not be used to elaborate on the student's description of the research project.  It is the responsibility of the student to describe the project fully and clearly in the Project Description section of the proposal.

            A list of past awards and some sample proposals are available on-line, but please recognize that those proposals were submitted under previous rules for the program, some of which have changed for 2016.

            For more information, please contact committee chair, Andy Schnabel (574-520-4413), or Contracts and Grants Coordinator, Erika Zynda (574-520-4181).  

Application due date: March 24, 2017

 All proposals and faculty letters should be submitted in electronic format. 

Send proposals to Erika Zynda, Academic Affairs