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CUSP Independent Research and Creative Projects Grant

CUSP Summer Enhancement Fellowship: Summer 2015 Application

This CUSP Summer Enhancement Fellowship is a competitive grant that secures partial financial support for Scholars who wish to conduct either independent research with a faculty member undertake a creative project of their choosing. This opportunity is secured solely by the student. Grant amounts will vary in accordance with the needs of the proposal and the funds available.

Application Instructions

Completed applications for summer 2015 awards must be submitted to Lavinia Lorch as an email attachment with the title: “Lastname_Firstname_CUSP Summer Enhancement Fellowship Applications 2015."

Applications will be evaluated by a selection committee on the basis of their overall fulfillment of the selection criteria. Incomplete applications and candidates who do not meet the criteria will not be considered. Interviews for selected applicants, and notification of the final decision, will take place in April.

  • All Scholars receiving the CUSP Summer Enhancement Fellowship will be expected to update an Edu-blog on a weekly basis during the summer, beginning on the first Friday of their summer fellowship.

  • Scholars are expected to submit a paper (20-25 pages) by Friday, September 18, 2015.

  • Scholars should include at least one visual representing the project.

  • The final blog entry will consist of the abstract.

  • When Scholars blog their final abstract, they will also email their budget reconciliation and scanned receipts to the graduate student mentor of their edu-blog.

  • Scholars should also be prepared to present the results of their research at the symposium in October.


Attendance at two workshops is mandatory to be considered as a Summer Fellow. These workshops are designed to prepare applicants for what is expected of them by CUSP over the summer and upon their return to Columbia.

Workshop 1: The Fellowship Application, Spring 2015

This workshop is being offered at three (3) separate times to best accommodate your schedule. Your attendance at one (1) of the three workshop slots is mandatory to be considered for the Fellowship:

Monday, March 23, 2015 (12:00-1:00 p.m.), 309 Hamilton     
Thursday, March 26, 2015 (6:00-7:00 p.m.), Lerner 401         
Thursday, March 26, 2015 (7:00-8:00 p.m.), Lerner 401   

The first workshop will cover the following skills:  

  • Budget preparation and reconciliation
  • Self-assessment and reporting techniques/edu-blog postings
  • Abstract writing

Workshop 2: Cultural and Workplace Boundaries & Guidelines for Scholars with Summer Grants

Tuesday, April 21, 2015 (6:00-8:00 p.m.), 203 Mathematics

This workshop will address a range of issues and situations that students might encounter in an office setting, in a foreign country, in the field.

If you have a class scheduling conflict with the time and day of these required meetings, please contact Lavinia Lorch.

Applying for the CUSP Summer Enhancement Fellowship: Independent Research/Creative Projects

The preparation for a summer of productive research or creative work is an exciting process and should be a thorough one. The application process is therefore a full-year of work that is divided into two semesters.

During the fall, the process covers skill building (three seminars on how to write a research proposal) as well as training in the specific process of gaining approval for human subject research if warranted. Once selected early in the spring semester, Fellows will attend three seminars to prepare them for their fieldwork.

Criteria for Selection

To be considered for the grant, applicants must: (1) have a GPA of at least 3.0; (2) be in good academic standing with Columbia College and the School of Engineering; (3) be in good standing with CUSP; and (4) have attended the three required Seminars in the fall semester.

Applications will be evaluated on: (1) the basis of the originality and scholarly promise of the project; (2) the feasibility, clarity, and coherence of the proposal; (3) the ability of the applicant to undertake the research; and (4) the commitment of a faculty sponsor.

Human Subjects Research

Many applicants wish to undertake “human subjects research” in which they interview or survey people.  Because of the importance of treating human subjects ethically and ensuring that no harm comes to someone who participates in research, all universities are federally mandated to oversee approval of all human subject research through an Institutional Review Board (IRB). Any applicants wishing to undertake such research will be required to contact Dean Hazel May in the Office of Academic Affairs. 

Award Agreement

Fill this out once you have been accepted and approved for a grant.



CUSP does not vet the safety or security of the setting in which the students intend to pursue their projects. It is the individual students’ responsibility to take the appropriate precautions about the settings in which they intend to pursue their project. The nature of this fellowship is solely for financial support.

Columbia Undergraduate Scholars Program


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