Student-initiated Summer Research Fellowship Funding Skip Navigation

Applying for Student-initiated Summer Research Funding

Students interested in conducting academic research on a self-selected topic may qualify for funding from the university.

Student-Faculty Collaboration

Professor Galvez and a student collaborate on a research projectStudent-initiated research fellowships envision research projects supervised by faculty members, but proposed by students.

A student wishing to pursue a self-inspired research project should identify and consult with a Colgate faculty member to receive guidance and a commitment from the faculty member to serve as a formal adviser throughout the project. The project does not need to be related to the faculty member's own research.

The student and faculty member will then collaborate on an application for funding, found below.

Important deadlines:

Stage Deadline
Student submits proposal to Division Director, including support letter from faculty mentor.
Awards to students are announced
Summer housing


Students who receive funding will be compensated at $425 per week.

Notes and Restrictions

  • Graduating seniors are not eligible for student-initiated fellowships.
  • Halfway through the project, the student must submit a 500-word update to the director of undergraduate research.
  • At the project's conclusion, students must submit an abstract highlighting the project's accomplishments, written for a non-specialist, to the Center for Learning, Teaching, and Research. This abstract will be included in the Directory of Summer Research.
Human and Animal Subjects
Research projects that will be using human or animal subjects are subject to review, rules, and guidelines from Colgate's Institutional Review Board (human participants), and the Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (animal participants).


This type of funding envisions research projects supervised by faculty mentors but proposed by students. This research does not need to be related to the faculty member’s research, but the faculty mentor must agree to supervise the student for the duration of the project. Students apply for funding in consultation with faculty mentors.

The student proposal is submitted to the faculty mentor’s division director and must include:
Project title
Each proposal should be for a single project, and should include the title for that project.
Cover sheet
Every application must include a cover sheet that is submitted both electronically, and a signed paper version. Before beginning the form, you will need to determine the proposed start and end date for your research (beginning on a Monday and ending on a Friday is preferred).

Complete the online form to submit electronically, and it will also generate a printable document. Please print this out, sign it, have your sponsoring faculty member sign it, and submit it with your final application.


3-5 page narrative
Please consult with your faculty mentor when preparing your proposal. The narrative must follow these guidelines:
  1. Written for a non-specialist. 
  2. Clearly identify the question to be addressed by the research project, and its significance. 
  3. Specifically and concretely describe the sources, experimental plan, approaches, or methodology that will be used, and how they will address the research question
  4. Describe any alternative approaches or experimental plans, if applicable. 
  5. Where applicable, appropriate references must be included. 
  6. Include a timeline of anticipated tasks.
Faculty statement
Included with your application you must submit a letter of support by your faculty mentor. The letter should address the following points:
  • The significance of the proposed work
  • The quality of work that may be expected from the student
  • The plan for consultation and supervision, given the student’s needs and ability to work independently
Faculty will be accessing student transcripts through Degree Works as part of the evaluation process.

The timeline for this type of funding is listed in the table above. Proposals should go to the faculty mentor’s division director by the listed deadline. Division directors will collate proposals and circulate them to all chairs, allowing them at least a week to review department members’ and other proposals under consideration.

Contact Information

Questions regarding the summer research application process and funding opportunities may be directed to:

Karyn Belanger, Director of Undergraduate Research