Full Time Undergraduate Research Program

The Office of Undergraduate Education offers a limited number of Full Time Undergraduate Research awards to provide funding for Rensselaer undergraduates who are conducting research with a faculty advisor during the summer months or their Arch Away Semester.  This program offers students the opportunity to become immersed in a research topic full-time for a ten-week period.  Awardees will receive a $4,000 stipend. 

Submission Deadlines

  • For Arch Away Fall Semester Research, 2nd Monday in March
  • For Arch Away Spring Semester Research, 1st Monday in November
  • For Summer Research (after Freshmen and Junior year), 3rd Friday in February
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Eligibility

The full time Undergraduate Research Program is open to all Rensselaer undergraduates who are planning to conduct research on campus with a faculty advisor.  Students may not be on academic probation and must be planning to enroll at Rensselaer the following term. Graduating seniors and incoming first year students are not eligible.  Students from all fields may apply.  If you have questions about eligibility, please contact the Office of Undergraduate Education at 518-276-2244.

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Arch Away Semester Policies

Students who decide to participate in a research experience at Rensselaer during their Arch Away Semester, must have the experience approved by the Office of Undergraduate Education (whether receiving matching funds or not). 

Students must submit an application that includes a proposal that has been approved by the faculty advisor and a letter of recommendation from the advisor.

In addition, the advisor must agree to the following in their letter of recommendation:

  1.  At least a 10 week experience (can be more), 40 hours per week, and a salary of at least $10.40 / hour.  There are a limited number of Office of Undergraduate Education matching grants ($2K). 
  2. Provide careful oversight of the project and that the project is feasible.
  3. Send the student to a national or international meeting within 6 months of the project being completed (please indicate what meeting in the letter of recommendation).
  4. To send the students to a collaborators laboratory for at least 3 weeks during their research experience.
  5. To support the student participating in the Undergraduate Research Symposium for the following spring (or current spring).

To apply for the limited number of matching fund opportunities, students need to indicate that they are applying for matching funds on the application.  The proposals will be reviewed and the funds granted on a competitive basis.

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Matching Funds

The matching funds are competitively based on proposals submitted by students. The stipend is intended to cover ten weeks of full-time research (40 hours per week). Recipients are responsible for their housing expenses.

For Full Time Summer experiences, the faculty advisor supplies 1/4 of the funding.  For Full Time Spring and Fall experiences, the faculty advisor supplies 1/2 of the funding.

 

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Review Process

  • Proposals are read and rated by a selection committee of Rensselaer faculty members.
  • Proposals will be read by at least one faculty member within the student's school, and will also be read by faculty who are not trained in the student's academic field. For this reason, we advise students to write their proposals in a way that an educated reader outside their field of study can understand the research question and the significance of the proposed research.
  • All students and their advisors will be notified by email with the results of the evaluations
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Apply

Proposal Application Process

  1. Identify an advisor and a project.
  2. Proposal must follow the Guidelines to Writing a Successful Proposal (Documents & Resources). It is recommended that students meet with their faculty researcher at least once prior to submission of a proposal to review a draft.
  3. Complete the appropriate full time application (Documents & Resources).
  4. Include one copy of an abstract and final research proposal.
  5. Signed letter of recommendation from a faculty member willing to advise the project.  Note: Advisors need to commit to the items listed on the application form in their letter.

Submit one copy of the full time application, brief abstract, final proposal (no more than three pages), and signed letter of recommendation to Kim Ellenwood at smithka@rpi.edu, Office of Undergraduate Education.

Late proposals will not be accepted.