Frequently Asked Questions

I. What is SMART?

II. What to you fund?

III. How do I apply?

IV. What are some common problems with proposals?

V. Why should I bother?

  1. What is SMART?

    1. SMART Stands for "Student/Mentor Academic Research Teams."
    2. The SMART Program encourages undergraduate research at IUSB
      1. Small grants program reimburses research expenses. Average amount of $200. This includes travel grants to present at conferences.
      2. Summer Fellowships program pays several students to work on their research during the summer. They are for $2,000 (full summer) or $1,000 (half-summer).
      3. Conferences provide a forum for students to share their research with others.
  2. What do you fund?

    1. Our guideline is that we fund any type of project that would be considered creative and scholarly activity for the faculty
    2. Some specific examples (not limited to these)
      1. Materials: Chemicals, equipment, duplicating and postage for surveys, duplicating of library materials, dance costumes, art materials.
      2. Travel related to research: travel to gather data.
      3. Presenting at conferences: travel, lodging, food, and registration
      4. Your time: ONLY on the summer fellowships
  3. How do I apply?

    1. Basic Steps:
      1. Choose a basic area of interest and approach a faculty member about becoming a mentor.
      2. Develop a research proposal. This can be your own idea, or you might work on a part of your mentor's research. You should write the proposal but your mentor can help you edit it .
      3. Locate the appropriate grant guidelines (see below) and complete the forms. Your mentor can help you on the budget. You can also contact SMART Committee members for information.
      4. Your mentor must submit a letter of support.
      5. Meet the deadlines. You should receive a response within two weeks.
    2. Grant guidelines
      1. Small grants program
        1. Application available from Erika Zynda in Admin 247 (520-4181) or on the Web at
        2. Deadline is the end of each month
        3. You must apply before you undertake the project or travel
      2. Summer Fellowship program
        1. Instructions are publicized in early spring.
        2. Instructions vailable from Erika Zynda in Admin 248 (520-4181) or on the Web at
    3. Then what happens?
      1. Proceed with you project. Keep receipts of all expenses.
      2. When you have finished, turn in:
        1. Final report of the project
        2. Expense report with receipts
        3. Self-evaluation
        4. Final mentor letter
      3. Your reimbursement check will be sent to your home address
      4. You final report will be automatically considered for the next year's Merit Award.
      5. You will be invited to present your project to upcoming conferences
  4. What are common problems with proposals?

    1. Description of proposed project is not clear.
      1. Remember the committee is made up of faculty from a variety of disciplines
    2. Budget is not justified.
      1. We need to know why you need to spend the money.
      2. We appreciate the effort to find bargains (share rooms, used equipment, etc.)
      3. Extra information (like the conference form or an advertisement for the equipment) might be helpful.
      4. We don't pay for typing, travel within town, childcare, or other costs not directly associated with the research.
    3. Messy, error-riddent application
      1. Please type all information. Check for error.
      2. Disks with the application in any word processing format are available from Erika Zynda (520-4181).
    4. Late
      1. Missed the deadline
      2. Turned in after the project is complete
    5. Need signatures from you and mentor and mentor letter.
  5. Why should I bother?

    1. Research is expensive.
    2. It looks great on you resume or grad school application
    3. You will learn how to apply for grants. The SMART process is a fairly accurate reflection of the general grant-application process