Skip Navigation

Office of Sponsored Projects & Research

Putnam Science Center

Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowships (SURF)

  1. Purpose and Programs
  2. Eligibility and Availability of Funds
  3. Proposal Submission Guidelines
  4. Allowable/Unallowable Costs
  5. Review Committee and Process
  6. Post-award Requirements and Administration
  7. Past Awards and Abstracts

Purpose and Programs

With generous support of outside donors, alumni, and the Provost, the Office of Sponsored Projects & Research offers a limited number of summer undergraduate research fellowships on a competitive basis.

These fellowships allow talented students to spend a portion of their summer conducting research or carrying out a creative project that makes an original contribution to their chosen discipline, extending learning beyond the academic year.

Projects emanating from all disciplines are eligible, as well as interdisciplinary projects. Each fellowship offers $4,000-$5,000 (taxable income) to the successful applicant.

Summer research fellowships are intense educational experiences in that they expose the student to the entire research or creative process from start to finish, including:

  • Formulating a question or problem to be addressed, and articulating the current understanding of the issue at hand.
  • Writing a proposal situating their project in the context of previous scholarly or creative work, and extending that work in new directions. Proposals should reflect a sophisticated grasp of the problem or issue at hand, an appropriate, perhaps novel approach to addressing it, and/or a new perspective.
  • Carrying out the research or creative project, adhering to the scholarly standards of the relevant discipline(s).
  • Disseminating the project results or product. Projects are expected to generate new knowledge or data, produce a new creative work, and/or offer a new synthesis or original viewpoint. All fellowship recipients are expected to write a final report and to disseminate their results/products at the annual KSC Academic Excellence Conference in the spring following their summer fellowship, and/or other venues as appropriate.

Students may propose projects of their own design, or projects related to the supervising faculty member's research provided it is a clearly articulated, distinct aspect of the larger project. However, all summer research fellowships are conducted under the guidance of a Keene State College faculty member. Consultation with the faculty mentor throughout the proposal, implementation, and dissemination phases is expected. The timeline for the summer fellowship (typically 8 weeks minimum) is to be created in consultation with the faculty advisor.

Each year, one outstanding student will be selected to receive the Bruce LeVine Mellion '69 Summer Student Research Fellowship, named after the first Keene State College Alumnus to establish a summer research fellowship through annual giving. This Fellowship will award $4,000 to the student to conduct research or carry out a creative project that makes an original contribution to their chosen discipline.

Starting in the Summer of 2014, we are pleased to announce the addition of the Clarke Distributors, Inc. Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship. The Clarke Distributors, Inc. Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship will award $5,000 to an outstanding student to spend a summer term conducting in-depth research (either on campus or elsewhere) of substance abuse in the community.

Interested in donating to undergraduate summer research fellowships?
Please contact our Office of Development.

  Top


Eligibility and Availability of Funds

For all programs, eligibility criteria include:

  • Applicants must be currently enrolled and matriculated students, but cannot be graduating seniors. Students receiving SURF Fellowships must be eligible to he hired in the United States.
  • Fellowship projects are expected to be of a scope that would require a substantial portion of the student's summer (typically 8 weeks minimum). Applicants should plan their project timeline in consultation with their Faculty Advisor, and articulate that timeline in the application.
  • Students in all scholarly disciplines are eligible.
  • Students must be working with a Faculty Sponsor on the research or creative project as well as the proposal process.
  • Student projects involving any kind of off-campus travel must follow the KSC Student Travel Guidelines, and complete the Student Travel Pre-Approval form. The travel must be approved prior to any grant funds being released.
  • All compliance requirements (i.e. IRB approval, IACUC approval, off-campus travel approval and compliance training) need not be complete by the submission of the proposal, but must be complete prior to the receipt of any grant award.
  • All activities must take place after the date of award. Applications for retroactive activities cannot be accepted.

Availability of funds:

For Summer 2015, we anticipate awarding 4 Summer Research Fellowships, including the Bruce LeVine Mellion '69 Fellowship and the Clarke Distributor, Inc Fellowship.

  Top


Proposal Submission Guidelines

Proposals must be submitted electronically, using the SURF Application Form. This form is designed to help you provide the necessary information in the required format. Please download the form to your computer before completing the application. If you have questions or difficulty accessing the form, please contact Susan Ericson-West.

A formal letter of support, speaking to the nature of the project, the qualifications of the student, appropriateness of time line, and the faculty member's role in working with the student must be submitted by the Faculty Sponsor prior to the proposal deadline. Proposals submitted without a faculty endorsement will not be reviewed for consideration. Faculty should review their responsibilities prior to writing their letter of support. Information on Student and Faculty Sponsor Responsibilities

All compliance requirements (i.e. IRB approval, IACUC approval, off-campus travel approval and compliance training) need not be complete by the submission of the proposal, but must be complete prior to the receipt of any grant award.

To assist students in their proposal preparation, a copy of the SURF review form is available for review. This document will be used by the Committee to review each proposal submitted, and applicants will receive a scored form from the Committee at the end of the review process.

Deadline: December 22, 2014. Please note new submission deadline for 2015 fellowship applications. All proposals must be submitted electronically to Susan Ericson-West, in the Office of Sponsored Projects & Research by 5:00 pm on the deadline date. All applicants will be notified of their final application status in early February.

  Top


Allowable/Unallowable Costs

The $4,000-$5,000 associated with each Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship is intended to help the student defray living expenses and allow them to focus on conducting research rather than holding a summer job. No detailed budget is required for the $4,000 fellowship stipend. Students are advised that this is taxable income, and therefore the standard payroll taxes will be withheld.

Depending on the nature of the proposed project, Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship applicants may also wish to request funding from the KSC Undergraduate Research and Creative Grants program, which can provide funding for research materials and supplies related to the project. If you are requesting this type of funding, please follow the instructions in the fellowship application carefully, providing an itemized budget for this portion of the request only.

*Please note, however, that receiving funding from one of these programs does not guarantee funding from the other.

  Top


Review Committee and Process

Six faculty members (two from each academic school) will review all proposals and make award decisions. The Office of Sponsored Projects & Research will facilitate the review process; OSPR staff will not vote on proposals.

The voting members for 2014 are:

  • Brian Anderson, Chemistry (8-2560)
  • Fitni Destani, Physical Education (8-2804)
  • Nicholas Germana, History (8-2632)
  • Jonathan Schwartz, Film Studies (8-2626)
  • Tanya Sturtz, Education (8-2913)
  • Donna Viveiros, Psychology (8-2333)

  Top


Post-award Requirements and Administration

  • Award Notification: Award recipients and their faculty mentors will be notified in early February. At that time, successful applicants will be instructed whom to contact in Human Resources to discuss details and timing of payment, and to complete the necessary fellowship appointment forms.
  • Final Report: Students are required to submit a final written report detailing the outcome of their work and reflecting on their summer fellowship experience to the Office of Sponsored Projects & Research by final report date specified in their award letter. A portion of the fellowship payment will be held until this requirement has been fulfilled.
  • Dissemination: Students receiving a Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship are expected to present at the Academic Excellence Conference held in the spring of the academic year following their fellowship. If the time line of the award or the project will not allow the student to present at the AEC, the student may present their work in another public forum. The student and faculty sponsor are asked to notify the Office of Sponsored Projects & Research with information regarding the event, date and location of the student presentation.
  • There may be other final reporting and/or stewardship requirements, which will be explained in your award letter.
  • Faculty mentors may view their post-award responsibilities by clicking here Information on Student and Faculty Sponor Resonsibilities

  Top


Past Awards and Abstracts

2013 Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship Awards & Abstracts
2012 Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship Awards & Abstracts
2011 Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship Awards & Abstracts

For Additional Information Contact Susan Ericson-West, Office of Sponsored Projects & Research (603-358-2046)


Contact the Office of Sponsored Projects and Research

Office of Sponsored Projects and Research
Susan Ericson-West
Grant and Contract Administrator
603-358-2046

Staff