College of Education Summer Research Development Fellowships are funded by the Graduate School at
Michigan State University and are intended to support very early stage Ph.D. students in developing their
research skills and approaches.
- Full-time, residential doctoral students are eligible if they will have finished one (and only one) year of doctoral study at MSU by May 2023.
- Part-time and/or non-residential doctoral students are eligible if they have completed no more than 18 credits by May 2023.
- Students who are receiving a University Distinguished Fellowship (UDF) or University Enrichment Fellowships (UEF) are not eligible for the SRDF because they are already funded during the summer after their first year by their university fellowship.
Terms of Award
- $7000 fellowship, funded by the Graduate School and disbursed by the College of Education during Spring or Summer semester.
- Under federal law, a student must be enrolled in at least one credit during the semester they receive the fellowship.1
- The SRDF supports two months of full-time work during the three-month summer.
- Students may work and take classes while on an SRDF (this has been permitted since Summer 2021).
- Students who cannot commit to the equivalent of two months of full-time work due to other commitments (i.e. full- or part-time work) should contact the Office of Academic and Student Affairs when accepting the fellowship or when they become aware so it can be pro-rated.
- Students are expected to submit a short report by the end of summer, Friday August 18, 2023, summarizing their accomplishments.
- College of Education faculty mentors who oversee a student’s project receive a $500 honorarium. Co-mentors will share this allocation. Mentors no longer need to indicate their willingness to participate.
1 If a student plans to receive the fellowship during summer semester, the student must be enrolled during summer semester. If a student will not be enrolled during summer, then the fellowship will be initiated in late Spring for use during the Summer if and only if issuing the fellowship during the Spring would have an adverse impact on the student’s financial aid the college will pay for 1 credit of summer enrollment for any student who needs to take their fellowship in summer due to impact on financial aid.
Submission, selection, and key dates
- Students submit an application to the college via this link by Friday, January 20, 2023, at noon.
- A team of five members (one faculty member appointed by each department and the Associate Dean for Academic and Student Affairs) will read and rate all applications. Awards are made based on the average ratings and resulting rankings.
Type of work to be funded
- The SRDF may be used to develop an appropriate research question, identify or customize methods to pursue a good question, prepare an effective literature review, perhaps collect initial data, or a combination of these. It is not common for a student to be completing a project or publication after their first year, but that work is also eligible under this award.
- The SRDF is intended to support a student’s original work or, possibly, a piece of a larger project assigned exclusively to the student. The SRDF does not support graduate research assistantship assignments.
- No student could be eligible for the SRF and SRDF at the same time; if a student is far enough along to have competed for the SRF in the fall, that student is by definition too far along to compete for the SRDF in the spring.
- Research proposal. Maximum 700 words (roughly 2-3 pages double spaced). The word count excludes frontmatter, appendices, and reference lists. The proposal should:
- Include at the beginning “Frontmatter”: (a) student name, (b) year in the program, (c) proposed mentor’s name and (d) word count.
- Not use a separate title page;
- Summarize the research skills to be developed and how they will be strengthened;
- Discuss prior research skill development by the applicant;
- Bear the file name: SRDF23Prop[LastNameFirstInitial].pdf.2
- MSU transcript for all Ph.D. program coursework.3 Save the transcript as a PDF and attach it to the research proposal after the last page before uploading the proposal.
2 For example: SRDF23PropBowmanK.pdf.
3 How to secure and insert your MSU transcript (submit only your PhD coursework): 1) go to student.msu.edu and navigate to the Academic Records tile; 2) Select View Unofficial Transcript; 3) Select Submit; 4) Save the PDF and attach it to your SRF proposal PDF after the last page.
Although there is not a formula for rating proposals, evaluators consider criteria including:
- Is the proposal well-written and well-organized?
- Does the author demonstrate an understanding of the field and its direction?
- How important are these skills/approaches in the field?
- Is the development of these skills/approaches likely to advance the student’s research significantly?
- Is the scope of the proposal appropriate (2 months of full-time work)?
- How strong is the student’s academic record?