Scholarships and Grants

Several awards provide different levels of funding for undergraduate students to work on research teams with MSU faculty mentors. All NatSci students, except those currently appointed as a Professorial Assistant (PA), are encouraged to apply for these awards.

Application

To apply, you must be enrolled as a full-time student at MSU with a major in the Natural Sciences. Students eligible for summer support must have been enrolled as a full-time student during the prior Spring semester and not have graduated. These awards do not require that the faculty mentor(s) be NatSci faculty. Students in Lyman Briggs, Engineering, Agriculture & Natural Resources and other colleges are not eligible; please see your college for similar scholarship opportunities.

Deadlines & Award Timing

Applications for these awards will be accepted until September 15th for fall semester and January 15th for spring semester. For the summer, applications are due April 1. Applicants will be notified approximately 4 weeks after the deadline of the award status.

Time Commitment

While students do not need to enroll for research credit, they are expected to engage in a research project for approximately 8 to 10 hours per week during the academic year and at least 20 hours per week during the summer.

Required Presentation of Work

Students who receive funds are expected to present their results at a research forum. This could include the University Undergraduate Research and Arts Forum in April, a similar departmental program, or a regional or national scientific meeting. The presentation should be within two semesters after receiving support. If you receive support for more than one semester during any academic year, you would be required to give only one presentation for that year if the support is for the same research project.

Award Programs

Different parameters govern each award. Some of the awards provide stipends (student salary support) and some pay for material support (supplies and travel). Students may apply for multiple awards. Students must submit separate applications for each award.

Available Awards

Larry D. Fowler Endowment Undergraduate Research Stipends

Approximately seven awards of $3,500 will be made each summer to support undergraduate students participating in summer research in the Natural Sciences. The funds from the Fowler Grants are to be used for student stipends. Awards will be released when the mentor informs the NatSci Office of Student Affairs that the student has initiated their project. Awardees will have demonstrated merit in their studies. Any student in the Natural Sciences can apply. Applications received without Research Advisor and Unit Chair/Director reference letter indicating support will be considered incomplete and not reviewed.

Deadline: April 1

Laurence D. Harrup Undergraduate Research Scholarship

Approximately two awards of $3,000 will be made each summer to support undergraduate chemistry majors participating in research in pollution prevention (“green chemistry”) within the Department of Chemistry. Awards will be released when the mentor informs the NatSci Office of Student Affairs that the student has initiated their project. Applications received without Research Advisor and Unit Chair/Director reference letter indicating support will be considered incomplete and not reviewed.

Deadline: April 1

Undergraduate Research Support Program

Approximately eight $1,000 awards are funded each Fall and Spring semester and approximately five $3,000 awards are funded for the summer semester. Funds from these awards are generally to be used for student stipends; exceptions should be explained and justified. Awards will be released when the mentor informs the NatSci Office of Student Affairs that the student has initiated their project. Student awardees and their mentors are required to file a brief assessment report as a follow-up to their projects. Additionally, each mentor is required to provide one judge for the University Undergraduate Research and Arts Forum in April.

Each award requires a sponsoring department or faculty mentor to contribute $200/semester (Fall and Spring) or $300 (Summer), either from a research grant or from a general funds account. The rest of the award will be provided from NatSci funds.

Any student in theNatural Sciences can apply. Awards will be selected on the basis of both merit and financial need. Applications received without Research Advisor and Unit Chair/Director reference letter indicating support will be considered incomplete and not reviewed.

Deadline: September 15 for fall semester; January 15; April 1 for Summer semester

How to Apply

 

  1. Log in to MSU Scholarships page at https://scholarships.msu.edu/
  2. Complete the application(s) for each scholarship you are interested in by the posted deadline
  3. Upload required and requested documents.
  4. Please make sure to request two references: your faculty research mentor to write a letter indicating your research project and progress, and the Unit Chair/Director for your major to indicate a willingness to cost-share for the CNS Undergraduate Research Scholarship.
  5. Contact Shelby Gombosi with questions at rossshel@msu.edu.
  6. Fully complete and submit the application in the MSU Scholarship system.