Global Education Office (GEO) Undergraduate Research Fellowships

The Global Education Office will fund three unique undergraduate fellowship awards for research projects, mentored by VCU faculty. Research proposals should show evidence of significant engagement with a culture originating from outside of the US that is different from the applicant’s native culture. Successful proposals should exhibit how the project will increase the student researcher’s knowledge, skills and experience to demonstrate successful functioning across a variety of borders, such as national, linguistic, cultural, religious, and/or others. Each fellowship award includes $1500 in funding for the student and $500 for the faculty mentor. Similar to the VCU UROP Summer Fellowship, student applicants should establish a partnership with their faculty mentor before applying. We do not match students with their mentors.

Eligibility - Full time VCU undergraduates with at least 1 full academic year left to complete before graduation.

  1. Global Research Experience – Proposals for this fellowship should include data collection or analysis conducted in a country outside of the United States. There is also the opportunity to apply for a travel award to defray the cost of international travel if you are awarded this fellowship.
  2. Research in the Diaspora – Proposals for this fellowship award should focus on a first and/or second generation immigrant community in the local or Central VA area. This fellowship award is a collaborative initiative between GEO, the Division of Community Engagement and UROP.
  3. International Virtual Collaborative Research – Proposals for this fellowship award should be based on a collaborative research project with a research counterpart in another country. This project should not include physical travel, but should instead be conducted virtually using communicative technology like Skype, Trello, etc. A key component of this project will be the quality of interaction with the applicant’s global collaborator.

Application Requirements

  1. The student and mentor together must write a maximum 5 double-spaced-page proposal, detailing:
    • The significance of the proposed work - briefly, what similar work has been done by others, and how has it contributed to human knowledge?
    • A research question - what do you propose to find out in your project?
    • The specific aims of the work - what objectives are you setting out to accomplish?
    • The methods to be employed - what will you do to answer the research question and to meet your specific aims?
    • Results expected - what outcomes do you expect from your project, and how will you know whether or not you have achieved them?
    • How the project will increase the student researcher’s ‘global knowledge’
    • A detailed work plan: that covers the 10 weeks during the summer, assuming a minimum of 20 hours of work per week. The workplan must contain elements that correspond to the specific aims laid out in the proposal.
    • A statement wherein the student pledges to submit a mid-term project report by August 15 and to participate in the VCU Undergraduate Symposium/Poster Day the following spring semester.
  2. The student must write a maximum two-page personal statement addressing these questions:
    • What experience or qualifications have prepared you for the work you propose?
    • What will the Summer Fellowship do to help you advance your career goals?
  3. The mentor must write a letter of support for the Summer Fellowship application, addressing the following questions:
    • How long and in what capacity has the mentor known the student applicant? Have you mentored this student before?
    • What experience, knowledge, skills, or capacities does the mentor believe the applicant possesses that qualify the student to conduct the proposed work?
    • How does the mentor believe the Summer Fellowship experience will help the student meet his/her career goals?
    • An assessment of the extent to which the project will increase the student researcher’s ‘global knowledge’
    • A brief statement describing the mentor’s support for the workplan.

Applicants must upload their materials to http://go.vcu.edu/vcuresearchfellowships by the deadline of March 1st for review.

Faculty Mentors should email their letter of support to urop@vcu.edu with the title “GEO Fellowship Letter/(name of student)” by the deadline of March 1st for review. Awards will be announced in mid-April.

For help in thinking about your Summer Fellowship project, or about other ways to participate in research or creative scholarship, visit the Resources for Undergrad Research web pages, especially the For Students page. If you have questions contact Herb Hill at hhill@vcu.edu