Fellowships Offer $20,000 for Undergraduate Research

Two new awards will fund student research in a wide range of subjects.

April 28, 2010

By Carrie Madren

George Washington undergraduates have a new opportunity to satisfy their intellectual curiosity. Two research awards, each totaling $10,000, will be given this year to undergraduate students for the first time. The awards will cover research-related expenditures, including payment for students’ time, travel, living expenses, equipment and supplies.

The one-year awards—sponsored by the Office of the Vice President for Research, led by vice president Leo M. Chalupa—will be administered by the Undergraduate Fellowship Office. The first two winners could begin research as early as July 1, and projects must be completed by April 30, 2011. Applications are due May 15.

“These awards provide a new chance for GW undergraduates to carry out research with our faculty, and I encourage students from all fields, the humanities to the natural sciences and engineering to apply for this funding,” says Dr. Chalupa.

The research can be based in the sciences, humanities, business, policy, international affairs or any other subject so long as it answers a research question. Applicants must have a GPA of 3.4 or higher and a letter from a faculty or staff member who will serve as a mentor. The research should result in work that could merit presentation or publication in a scholarly venue, and students must submit a brief report on their findings.

Two other fellowships have been supporting research at the undergraduate level for years: the Luther Rice Fellowship and the Gamow Fellowship.

Columbian College of Arts and Sciences sophomores and juniors can apply for the Luther Rice Collaborative Fellowships, which support student-initiated research. Named for the Baptist minister who raised money and lobbied to create the university, the awards fund students’ examination of a significant, focused question under the guidance of a faculty mentor.

The Gamow Fellowship—named for George Gamow, a distinguished theoretical nuclear physicist who was on the faculty at GW from 1934 to 1956 and who is best known for developing the “Big Bang Theory”—funds undergraduate research, scholarship or a creative activity in the humanities and creative arts, social sciences, sciences and engineering or professional fields.

This year up to three additional Luther Rice and three additional Gamow fellowships will be awarded for proposals related to sustainability, specifically water resources. Luther Rice and Gamow fellowship applications were due April 1.

“Given the thirst so many of our undergraduate students have for close faculty interaction, the research grants are a great start to accommodate to this aspect of the undergraduate academic experience for selected students at GW,” says Robert Chernak, senior vice president of student and academic support services.

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