SURF 2017 Guidelines

SURF 2017: Guidelines for RFPs

The Office of Undergraduate Research at Lamar University (LU) is inviting applications from undergraduate students to explore their field of study by engaging in creative activities and research work mentored by at least one LU faculty member in the discipline of the research topic during the summer of 2017. The work on this project should be unique in the sense that no part of it should be financially sponsored or accommodated by a different program (e.g. McNair, STAIRSTEP, ASCENT, Honors etc.) at the time of submission. However, further development of the project beyond the end of the grant is highly encouraged. The written proposal must be created and submitted by the student and approved by the faculty mentor(s). Each student, whose project is deemed meritorious, up to a maximum of seven projects per year, will be awarded a stipend of $2,000 and up to $1,000 for research support. All expenses must be documented and approved by the faculty mentor(s).

Number of Awards per Year: 5-7

Disciplines: All majors

Eligibility: Undergraduate students enrolled in the Fall-2017 semester as a full-time LU undergraduate student.  Minimum 2.8 or higher cumulative GPA and 3.0 or higher GPA within discipline.  Must have at least one faculty mentor in the discipline of the research topic.

Application Deadline: March 1, 2017

Award Notification: By April 1, 2017

Spending Window: April, 2017 – August, 2017

Benefit for Selected Students:

  • Certificate of recognition for completing the SURF program
  • Free housing during the summer at Cardinal Village
  • Recognition as SURF Alumni (name, picture, and report will be available on OUR website).

Student Stipend: $2,000 with 50% of the stipend distributed at the orientation program and the rest distributed after submission of the following materials:

  • A PowerPoint/Beamer presentation (poster or oral presentation slides) for display on the Office of Undergraduate Research website.
  • Post-grant report (length and format to be determined)
  • Completion of a research survey for continuous development of SURF program.

Research Support: Up to $1,000 will be awarded for research support which may include supplies, disposable costs, small equipment, software, analyses services, research-related travel, etc. Ownership of equipment purchased with this fund belongs to Lamar University.

Post-Grant Report: Awardees must submit a post-grant report on the project’s results. These reports are due by November 1, 2017, and should include the results, a brief section with the possible continuation of the project, and a summary of the expenses.

Attendance/Expectations: Awardees expectations are as follows:

  • Must attend the SURF orientation
  • Work 20 hours per week during the 10-week summer semester
  • Attend OUR sponsored lectures, seminars and other workshops during the summer session
    • Must present their findings at the Texas STEM Conference or the Humanities, Arts, Social Sciences & Education Conference and the Annual Undergraduate Research Expo at Lamar in 2018 If not graduated in Fall 2017.
  • Each fellow must submit an application for the Poster on the Hill-2018 competition.
    • Each fellow must serve as a panelist in the 2018 SURF Information session to be held in the Fall/Spring of the 2017-18 academic year.
  • Additional funding for travel to present at a professional conference in one’s discipline may be applied for separately through the Office of Undergraduate Research.
  • SURF fellows and their mentors will be encouraged to publish in academic journals.
    • SURF fellows will acknowledge support from the Office of Undergraduate Research in all publications and/or presentations resulting from the project.

Benefit for SURF Mentor:

  • Any full-time faculty can be a SURF mentor
  • A $1,000 faculty stipend
  • A $500 travel award will be available for the mentor during the following academic year

Review Guidelines: The Office of Undergraduate Research Advisory Committee will use the following guidelines to assess proposals. Therefore, this should be a guideline for you as you prepare your proposal.

  • The proposal has a research hypothesis or question or creative project that is interesting, appropriate for an undergraduate project, fresh, and significant for an undergraduate. The potential for future development of the project is another factor the committee will take into consideration.
  • Applicant explains his or her ideas in an organized and compelling way with a detailed budget
  • The student describes research methods that are appropriate to the discipline and the project.
    • The faculty mentor’s support letter strongly indicates that the research project is significant and gives strong evidence that the student has the qualifications to carry out the project successfully within the time period; including a clear commitment for supervision of the project