Summer Undergraduate Research Experience

Important Dates

Deadline for Submission

March 20, 2020

Apply Now


April 6, 2020

Student Information

Westminster College is pleased to announce the availability of summer 2020 undergraduate research grants for students conducting research projects with Westminster faculty. Any Westminster student is eligible to apply if they will be enrolled as an undergraduate at Westminster in the fall of 2020. The program provides students up to $3000 (maximum) paid in increments every two weeks for full-time research conducted over the eight-week summer session. These grants are contingent upon funding availability, eligibility of the project, satisfactory progress, and the participation in interdisciplinary research support meetings. Various programs, including the Gore Math/Science Endowment, the Eskuche Fund, the Environmental Studies Program, the Great Salt Lake Institute, the Dee Foundation, the Martin Fund, the Provost's Office, and the W.M. Keck Foundation support these grants.

The Teaching, Learning, and Resource Faculty committee will consider all applications and make recommendations concerning the awarding of funds. Eligible projects are those on which a student and Westminster professor can work collaboratively during the summer. A student may approach a potential faculty mentor with a specific research topic in mind, or may simply ask a potential faculty mentor to suggest possible research projects that would be appropriate. In either case, a mutual agreement between the student and potential faculty mentor regarding general project goals must be identified prior to submission of this application.

Program Overview

The goal of this program is to provide an intensive research experience for students working one-on-one with a faculty mentor. The definition of Undergraduate Research communicated by the Council of Undergraduate Research (CUR) is: An inquiry or investigation conducted by an undergraduate student that makes an original intellectual or creative contribution to the discipline. It is expected that each student research project:

  • will produce a significant, high-impact student learning experience,
  • has well-defined objectives and methods,
  • requires engagement with the disciplinary literature, and
  • will involve both oral and written presentation of information

Students receive training in the research methods applicable to their specific project, employ critical analysis, and create written and oral presentations of their results. They attend 6–8 weekly interdisciplinary meetings designed to address some practical aspects of research and present their work at the Westminster College Undergraduate Research Fair. In addition, students are encouraged to present at other regional and/or national conferences.

Program Expectations

  1. Each student will work closely with a faculty mentor on a research project (20-40 hours per week) for 8 weeks, or the equivalent, unless agreed upon by the student and faculty member and approved at the time of project acceptance. We advise that students working full time on research projects should not enroll in more than one summer course and should not have any other significant work or volunteer commitments. Ultimately, students and faculty mentors must discuss project commitment requirements prior to proposal submission.
  2. Students will attend 6–8 interdisciplinary meetings. If faculty and /or students will not be on campus for these meetings, they will participate to the equivalent level in an online interdisciplinary research group. (Schedule TBA)
  3. Each student is also expected to present the results of their research (either by delivering an oral presentation or participating in a poster session) at the Westminster College Undergraduate Research Fair in the academic year.

To be considered for one of these grants both the student and faculty mentor must submit a proposal using the online forms. If the research project is a student-initiated, independent project, the student will provide the faculty member with a 500–1000 word project overview that also addresses the research outcomes (below in faculty section) that will be submitted by the faculty mentor. It may be helpful to compose and edit responses first using a word processor and then cut and paste responses into the text boxes in the online form. There is no "save draft" function; once you click "Submit" your application will be submitted.

Student Application