Columbia College | Columbia Engineering

CUSP SEF Internship & Research Assistantship Grant


The CUSP Internship & Research Assistantship grant provides partial financial support for Scholars who wish to participate in an internship or research assistantship over the summer.

The CUSP Summer Enhancement Fellowship for Internships & Research Assistantships is a competitive grant that assists Scholars in securing partial financial support for structured research and internship opportunities (including research-related activities such as conferences, symposia, travel, publications, etc.) and unpaid or low-paying summer practicums (in line with the Program’s mission and the student’s academic trajectory). This opportunity is secured solely by the student. 

All Scholars funded for Summer 2018 are expected to:

  • Post a response on an educational blog on a weekly basis during the summer, beginning in June.  The final blog entry will consist of the abstract.
  • Provide a budget reconciliation report listing your CUSP-related expenses and appropriate original receipts.  This will be due by the Welcome Back Dinner & SEF Showcase on September 13, 2018 in Rennert Auditorium (Kraft Center) from 6-8 pm.



*Welcome Back Dinner & SEF Showcase (MANDATORY ATTENDANCE)

Wednesday, September 13, 2018
6:00-8:00 p.m.
Rennert Auditorium (Kraft Center)


* SEF Information Session (MANDATORY ATTENDANCE)

Thursday, November 8, 2018
6:00-8:00 p.m.
401 Lerner Hall


* A to Z Workshop #3: for all Scholars applying for Summer Funding (MANDATORY ATTENDANCE)

  Friday, March 29, 2019
  3:00-5:00 p.m.
  Location TBD                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         


In accordance with the Undergraduate International Travel Policyall students traveling overseas with CUSP SEF funding or through a different Columbia-led, Columbia facilitated and/or Columbia-recognized program must submit a school sponsorship application at least 4-weeks prior to departure.  We recommend that you initiate this school sponsorship application at your earliest convenience even if you have not confirmed all of the details of your travel plans. School sponsorship approval must be conferred before mid-May when CUSP SEF decisions will be rendered.  We will not be able to consider your application without this approval.

Once you receive confirmation of your school sponsorship, log in to the Undergraduate Travel Web App to complete:

  • The online pre-departure orientation; and
  • The Assumption of Risk declaration, waiver, and release form.

Additionally, all students must:

  • Register their travel (including side trips) through the International SOS.
  • Confirm that, while abroad, they will be covered by a health insurance policy that also provides coverage outside the United States for routine, urgent and emergency care.

It is critical that you familiarize yourself thoroughly with the Undergraduate International Travel Policy and complete all steps outlined above. For related questions, contact

Submitting a school sponsorship application does not guarantee that you will receive CUSP funding.  Similarly, receiving CUSP SEF funding does not guarantee approval of your school sponsorship application.  Please note that students who submit a school sponsorship application and do not receive a CUSP SEF funding award must withdraw their school sponsorship application (unless supported by a different Columbia-led program).         



 * APPLICATIONS FOR SUMMER 2019 WILL BE DUE MONDAY, APRIL 15, 2019 BY 4:59 PM Applications must be submitted via webform.  A letter of recommendation is required as part of this application.  A link will be sent to you via an email confirmation following your application submission and you can forward the link to the recommender for completion.  As a courtesy, you should contact your prospective recommender as soon as possible, thereby giving to them at least 3-4 weeks advance notice.  The recommendation letter must be submitted no later than Friday, April 29, 2019.

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.  Notification of the final decision will take place at or about mid-May. 

The online application will need to be completed in one sitting; you will not be able to save and continue your submission.  As such, you should have available at the time of your submission: the logistical information about your internship/research assistantship and contacts; your resume as a .doc or .pdf; your budget breakdown (e.g. amount for food, transportation, housing, and supplies); and, an essay answering the supplementary questions as a .doc or .pdf.  The supplemental questions will ask you about your internship and why you chose this opportunity; about what you intend to learn during the summer;  to describe the CUSP events that you attended and how each event contributed to your understanding of this year's theme of Insight.  If you were approved to attend alternate events due to academic conflicts, then you will have to describe your experiences at those events. 


Criteria for Selection: To be considered for the SEF grant, applicants must: (1) have a GPA of at least 3.0; (2) be in good academic standing with Columbia College and Columbia Engineering; (3) be in good standing with CUSP; and (4) have attended at least EIGHT CUSP event during this academic year.


Applications will be evaluated on: (1) the feasibility, clarity, and coherence of the proposal; (2) the ability of the applicant to undertake the internship/research assistantship; and (3) faculty recommendation.


Expectations of Award Recipients: Recipients of the SEF Internship/Research Assistantship award are expected to - 

  • Post responses on an educational blog on a weekly basis during the summer beginning in June, with the final blog entry consisting of the abstract summarizing their summer experience;

  • Submit at least one (1) visual representing the project when prompted in the blog;

  • Submit a budget reconciliation report listing their CUSP-related expenses and appropriate original receipts by the Welcome Back Dinner & SEF Showcase in September 2018. 


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). Given the short duration of SEF Independent Projects, CUSP will not support projects by Scholars requiring IRB approval unless they are listed as an approved researcher by the faculty sponsor.  For applicants wishing to undertake such research, the letter from the faculty sponsor must include a statement confirming that the IRB process has been fulfilled.  For questions regarding IRB permits, please contact Ariella Lang in the Office of Academic Affairs. 



To apply for the SEF Internship or Research Assistantship grant please CLICK HERE - SEF APPLICATION!

Good luck!  We look forward to reviewing your applications.

Questions about the SEF application? Contact us at



* IMPORTANT: CUSP does not vet the safety or security of the setting in which Scholars intend to pursue their projects.  It is the individual students’ responsibility to take the appropriate precautions follwing the approval and recommendations of the Undergraduate Travel Committee.  The nature of this fellowship is solely for financial support.   

Columbia Undergraduate Scholars Program


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