FAQs
       
 

 • Who is Eligible for the SURE fellowship program?

 • Who receives preference?

 •
As a Research student, how do I know what I can allow to get published and what I can’t publish?

 • Where do I publish my work? (Issues on intellectual property.)

 •
How do I order chemicals and other lab supplies I need in order to do my research?

 •
What do I do if I my project involves traveling to different cities?

 • Is my stipend taxed?

 •
What is the maximum number of SURE Fellowship students one faculty is allowed to mentor?

 
What are some stipulations of the proposals that I should know?

 • Who evaluates the proposals, and how are applications evaluated?

 •
How many awards are there?

 • Can two students split one fellowship?
 
 •
Are there certain numbers of fellowships set aside for each discipline, or is it competitive           across fields?

 • Can I/Should I apply to more than one program for the summer?

 •
Presumably a student is going to continue research work with his/her ongoing faculty mentor- does this assume that the faculty member must be on campus all summer?

 • How do I know that my proposal has been received?

 • I don’t have my signature digitized, how do I sign my proposal, or how does my faculty advisor sign her/his evaluation form?

 •Will I be required to sign a contract?

 •When will I know whether or not I have received this award?

 Who can supervise/sponsor students?

 •What do I put on my webpage?

 •Will I be responsible for paying to have my poster printed?

     
 

 

     

 

Q: Who is Eligible for the SURE fellowship program?

A: Students Currently enrolled at Marshall University or other undergraduate institution in West Virginia and who have a track record of research. Students who will not return for the fall semester after the summer are not eligible for support under this program. A student may only be supported by the SURE program for a maximum of two summers.

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Q: Who receives preference?

A: Preference will be given to students completing their junior year before the summer begins and those with one or more semesters of research experience. The SURE program is designed to further a student's experience in research, not start it. Currently the College of Science offers a competitive $500 undergraduate award to fund supplies. The WV NASA Space Consortium also offers competitive $1,000 student awards to be used during the spring semester. These awards are designed to support a student who is just starting to perform research. The SURE program is designed to support students who have shown themselves to have a sustained and continuing interest in performing research.

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Q: As a Research student, how do I know what I can allow to get published and what I can’t publish?

A: You need to be in constant communication with your professors and mentors. This will enable you to discuss with them what is for public view and what should be kept indoors until results are out.

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Q: Where do I publish my work? (Issues on intellectual property.)

A: Communication with your mentor will enable you to know what you can publish and how the credits will be published. They will also help you to find out the best journal to publish your research findings.

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Q:  How do I order chemicals and other lab supplies I need in order to do my research?

A: All chemicals and research related supplies are to be ordered in the same manner as research related supplies generally ordered by the lab you are working in. Supply funds are no longer provided by the SURE program and are now the responsibility of the mentors lab with whom you are working. If you are unsure of how to order supplies through your mentors lab please contact your mentor for advice and guidance.

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Q: What do I do if I my project involves traveling to different cites?

A: If your project requires you to travel, you must tell the SURE assistant in advance so that he/she can prepare travel documents for you, otherwise you may not get reimbursed. Be sure to always note your mileage and save your receipts for any expenses in which you will need to be reimbursed. Any specific questions about what expenses can be reimbursed and what cannot should be directed to the SURE assistant.

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Q: Is my stipend taxed?

A: Yes it is. $4,000 is the gross amount, the amount before taxes and other withholdings. Contact Chris Schlenker for further information.

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Q: What is the maximum number of SURE Fellowship students one faculty is allowed to mentor?

A:  A faculty member is allowed to mentor one student each summer.

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Q: What are some stipulations of the proposals that I should know?

A: Writing of proposals and development of research ideas are critical parts of the research process. Students are strongly encouraged to collaborate with faculty mentors in generating proposals and may propose ideas suggested by faculty. However, proposals submitted for consideration as SURE scholarship projects must be written by the student. The evaluation committee will reject proposals if it has reason to believe that they have been authored by someone other than the student. Note that this stipulation includes cutting and pasting of text from pre-existing manuscripts, proposals, etc.
Each proposal must request support for only one student and should clearly justify support for 10 weeks of effort at the 40 hours/week level.

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Q: Who evaluates the proposals, and how are applications evaluated?
 
A: Using the NASA model for selecting proposals supporting undergraduate research, the awards committee (composed of a majority of the departmental representatives) meets to discuss and evaluate the candidates/proposals in order to review and rank them.  It is valuable for the student/professor to inform the departmental representative, since the representative will have the opportunity to voice the case for every proposal in their area. The faculty mentor input is also very important, since the letter of recommendation includes a numerical score of student evaluation, and therefore provides guidance in proposal scoring.  The top 12 proposals will be supported, pending funds.  If the non-salary support request of highly rated proposals is too great, students will have the option to revise their non-salary support budgets downward of to drop from the competition. We would hope to retain all 12, while distributing non-salary support which enables all to succeed.

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Q: How many awards are there? 

A: A total of 16 awards are anticipated, assuming that a minimum of 16 proposals deemed meritorious (including plans for graduate study) are submitted.

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Q: Can two students split one fellowship?

A: Fellowships are meant to support significant effort by one undergraduate researcher.

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Q: Are there certain numbers of fellowships set aside for each discipline, or is it competitive across fields? 
 
A: The fellowships are meant to be distributed to the most meritorious of applicants.  Effort will be made to encourage fellowships across all fields.  However, due to funding constraints, a maximum of only two awards per department can be expected.  For this reason, it is important to discuss your proposal and its merits with your departmental representative before compiling a proposal.  Even excellent proposals may not be funded due to fiscal constraints.  We know that rejection is disappointing and demotivating, but it is also a valid part of the scientific experience.  Although your discussions with your departmental representative can provide some guidance, you should not expect your probability of success to be better than 50% (by comparison, 75% of proposals to NSF are rejected) such statistics dictate that a maximum of 4 students per department should be encouraged to develop proposals.

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Q: Can I/Should I apply to more than one program for the summer?
 

A: It is often in your best interest to apply to more than one program or opportunity for the summer.  Because most programs are highly competitive, in order to insure that you will have an acceptable occupation during the summer, you will likely need to apply to multiple opportunities.  You are not required to enter this information into your SURE proposal, and most other summer opportunities do not request this information.  In some cases this additional information might (unfairly) lower your rankings.  Of course, if you do have multiple options, you will usually be asked to choose one before some clearly defined deadline.  In this case, seeking the advice of your advisor(s) is suggested.

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Q: Presumably a student is going to continue the research work with his/her ongoing faculty mentor- does this assume that the faculty member must be on campus all summer?
 
A: That is a two part question: “Are students required to work on the same project, or with the same mentor as their prior research experience?”  And “Is it a requirement that the research mentor must be available for the entire period of the research support?

We do recognize the value of the deeper research experience one can have by continuing to develop a project for extended periods; however, we also know that the undergraduate education must provide opportunities to “find one’s niche.” Working in one laboratory may have convinced a student that a career with a research component is definitely for them, but the student may wish to change areas of research.  It may even be possible that, for any of several reasons, continuing the prior research thrust is simply not possible.  For these reasons, it is not required that the prior research and the proposed research is linked.  However, a supporting letter from the prior mentor and from the proposed mentor should be requested for inclusion in the proposal packet.   I.e. more than one letter of recommendation can be included in your packet if circumstances require it. Your departmental advisor can assist you in this determination.

 Although we would like to have many hard and fast rules, we do not want to lock out faculty or students due to vacation plans.  If the faculty can plan for 10 weeks of summer research with the student, the stipend will cover 10 weeks, rather than the stated exact research period.  If another mentor is willing to supervise for part of this 10 weeks, that can also be accommodated.  In similar programs, we have definitely punctuated the research period with family vacations, conferences and other matters.  This may be a matter for the student to discuss with the departmental representative.

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Q: How do I know that my proposal has been received?

A: We all know that there are erratic problems with email.  There may even be systematic problems, for example I have been informed that MU may block certain email services (maybe even AOL).

Therefore, it is very important that any student must verify that their application has been received.  If they do not receive immediate (1 day) email confirmation of receipt, they should contact their departmental representative, who can assist in submitting an electronic copy of the proposal to the SURE Assistant through the Marshall server.


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Q: I don’t have my signature digitized, how do I sign my proposal, or how does my faculty advisor sign her/his evaluation form?

A: A typed signature will be satisfactory.

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Q: Will I be required to sign a contract?

A: Yes, for purposes of ensuring a harmonious working environment, SURE recipients are required to sign a contract. A copy of the contract for the 2011 SURE program can be found by clicking here.



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Q:  When will I know whether or not I have received this award?

A: Awardees are notified as soon as the committee has reached consensus and all financial (funding) considerations have been resolved. Awardees may expect to be notified through email by the second week of April, if not earlier.

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Q:  Who can supervise/sponsor students?

A: Only tenure track/tenured faculty can supervise SURE students.

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Q:  What do I put on my webpage?

A: The SURE student webpages are designed so students can get experience making a webpage and to show what they did during the SURE program. Before adding to their webpage, students should discuss with their faculty mentors what they should and should not put on the website. This is to ensure that no sensitive material is published on the student's webpage.

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Q: Will I be responsible for paying to have my poster printed?

A: Students will be responsible for paying to have their posters printed at the end of the program.

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For more details, please feel free to contact:

Dr. Michael L. Norton
Department of Chemistry
1 John Marshall Drive
Marshall University
phone: 304-696-6627
fax: 304-696-3243
email:
norton@marshall.edu
web
: atomcrafters.com

   
 
 

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