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Dean's Research Scholars

The Dean’s Research Scholars are a group of outstanding undergraduate students who represent the nearly 5,500 hard-working science and mathematics majors in the College of Natural Science at Michigan State University.

The program is currently in its tenth year, and this select group of students participates in special events and speaking engagements to showcase current student success to generations of alumni.

Dean’s Research Scholars have the ability to clearly communicate their research and classroom experiences to MSU alumni in order to best showcase what student life is currently like on campus, in the classroom and in the laboratory.

NatSci coordinates and covers the travel costs for scholars. In addition, each scholar receives a $750 scholarship each semester ($1500/school year) to help support their involvement with this program.

If you have any questions regarding the Dean’s Research Scholar program and/or their availability, please contact Sara Ford, Assistant Director of Alumni Relations and Events.

Criteria For Becoming a Dean’s Research Scholar

  • Scholars must be enrolled full-time (12 or more credits/semester) in a major in the College of Natural Science (Lyman Briggs majors are not eligible). Students may have additional majors in other colleges, but their primary major must be in Natural Science.
  • Scholars must have completed at least one semester of research with an MSU faculty mentor (the faculty mentor can be from any college, not just Natural Science) prior to application.


The Dean’s Research Scholars represent the College of Natural Science at events and speaking engagements across the U.S.

As representatives of the College of Natural Science and Michigan State University, scholars will be expected to abide by the terms set forth in the description and expectations as well as general university rules and regulations governing student conduct and discipline set forth in the Spartan Life handbook.

Scholars are named for a 12-month term from May through the following May. During that time, scholars will participate in in the following:

  • 2-4 College of Natural Science events or speaking engagements;
  • Attend an orientation meeting on being a Dean’s Research Scholar in August 2023  (usually the Monday or Tuesday before classes begin);
  • Attend the NatSci Alumni Awards program on Friday, April 21st, 2023.
  • Participate in a panel discussion during Classes Without Quizzes in April 2024 (date, time and location to be determined);
  • Write a student point-of-view during the school year for posting in MSU Today.

The Dean's Research Scholars scholarship may affect a student’s financial aid. Prior to accepting their appointment as a Dean's Research Scholar, students should contact the MSU Office of Financial Aid at 517-353-5940 or finaid@msu.edu to determine this.

NatSci is not responsible for determining how this scholarship will affect each student's financial aid.


When candidates submit their online application, they will be contacted by a staff member from NatSci Alumni Relations with a Qualtrics request for their availability. Candidates must respond to this survey in order to be considered.

After the March 3rd application deadline, all applications will be forwarded to an Evaluation Committee comprised of College of Natural Science alumni.

  • Interviews with potential candidates will be conducted via telephone from March 13 - March 19, dates and times that are mutually-agreeable to the Evaluation Committee member and the candidate.
  • Candidates may be interviewed by more than one Evaluation Committee member and at different dates and times.
  • The College of Natural Science will coordinate all interviews via email, so it is imperative that candidates be responsive to email in this process.

A limited number of Dean’s Research Scholars will be selected based upon their qualifications and major.

Applicants will be notified by March 27 via email if they have been selected as a 2023-24 Dean’s Research Scholar. Selected students will have until April 3 to accept their appointment. Students not selected as a 2023-24 Dean’s Research Scholar will be notified by April 7 via email.

Apply to Become a Dean’s Research Scholar

The application to become a Dean's Research Scholar is now closed. Please note you do not need to be conducting your own research. You will discuss the research you are taking part in with your faculty mentor in the application.

Thank you for applying and good luck!


Please contact Sara Ford, Assistant Director of Alumni Relations and Events.