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It's time for summer grants!

As students begin to make summer plans, one option is often largely ignored — research. Often discounted because it is expensive to conduct and not as lucrative as a job or internship, research can provide valuable experience in the lab, studio, field, or wherever a student’s interests lead him or her. Below are some resources offered through Carnegie Mellon that enable students to both afford and experience the benefits of research.

SURG (Small Undergraduate Research Grant) program

SURG grants provide funding for undergraduate students to conduct research during the fall, spring, and summer semesters.

“[SURG] is a way to build mentor relationships between students and faculty. It is also a way for students to begin testing out a career interest and really working to obtain hands-on experience,” said Stephanie Wallach, director of the Undergraduate Research Office (URO). “For some students, the process of researching and presenting their findings is pure fun.”

Students from any college can apply to perform research in any field, even if the subject is unrelated to their major.
“There is a general tendency for more applications to come from students interested in or studying the sciences and engineering,” said Jen Weidenhof, assistant to the director of the URO. However, Weidenhof stressed that applications from students of all interests are given equal weight.

At the end of the semester, each student shares his or her research at the Meeting of the Minds symposium.

Who’s Eligible: All Carnegie Mellon undergraduate students enrolled in a degree-granting program in the semester for which the grant is received (including summer).

How Much: Grant recipients may receive up to $500 for individual projects or up to $1000 for group projects.

How to Apply: Applicants must find an advisor and have him or her write a letter of support. Each applicant must also submit a proposal and budget.

Deadline: March 21

SURF (Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship) program

The SURF program operates almost identically to the SURG program. The SURF program is only available for the summer semester.

Who’s Eligible: Carnegie Mellon undergraduate students who are going to be enrolled in a degree-granting program in the fall semester after the fellowship.

How Much: Fellowship recipients each receive $3000 to be dispensed to them by their advisors over the 10-week period in which the research is conducted.

How to Apply: Applicants must find an advisor and have him or her write a letter of support. Each applicant must also submit a proposal.

Deadline: March 21

H&SS Summer Opportunity Grants

H&SS grants allow students to pursue worthwhile but often unpaid internships. Students must find their own internships and housing, but can seek help from the Career Center, Tartan Trak, and other resources.

Students have the option of taking an internship as a fall semester course for Carnegie Mellon credit.

Who’s Eligible: Carnegie Mellon undergraduate students with the exception of graduating seniors. Current sophomores and juniors with primary majors in H&SS, BHA, and SHS who are pursuing positions in government or non-profit agencies will receive preference.

How Much: Grant recipients may receive up to $2000.

How to Apply: Students must complete the common application for summer internships, which is available at (www.studentaffairs.cmu.edu/career/interngrants/application).

Deadline: March 21

Milton and Cynthia Friedman Internships in Washington, D.C.

The Friedman grants were created to encourage Carnegie Mellon students’ participation in policy-related summer internships. Students must find their own internships and housing. Grant money can go toward housing, expenses, or serve as compensation for the internship itself.

Who’s Eligible: Carnegie Mellon undergraduate and graduate students with the exception of graduating seniors.

How Much: Grant recipients may receive up to $3000. Six to 10 grants are awarded per summer. Internships generally last about 10 weeks.

How to Apply: Students must complete the common application for summer internships, which is available at (www.studentaffairs.cmu.edu/career/interngrants/application).

Deadline: March 21

Thomas Johnson EPP Washington Fellowship

Offered through Carnegie Mellon’s Department of Engineering and Public Policy, the fellowship will provide funds for EPP students to intern at EPP’s Washington office addressing issues in public policy, science, and technology.

Who’s Eligible: Carnegie Mellon undergraduate students majoring in engineering and public policy.

How Much: Recipients will receive $1500 a month for up to three months.

How to Apply: Students must complete the common application for summer internships, which is available at (www.studentaffairs.cmu.edu/career/interngrants/application), and submit a one-page statement.

Deadline: March 21

Peter C. Dozzi Pittsburgh Internship Initiative

The Dozzi internship program was created to give students an incentive to stay in the Pittsburgh region over the summer. Dozzi grants are awarded to students who plan to complete internships in Pittsburgh. Students must find their own internships.

Who’s Eligible: Carnegie Mellon undergraduate and graduate students who have applied for or been offered an internship in Pittsburgh. Students taking an unpaid or low-paying internship in the Pittsburgh area will receive preference.

How Much: Grant recipients will receive $1000, to be dispersed in increments of $500. Ten grants will be awarded per summer.

How to Apply: Students must complete an online application, available at (www.studentaffairs.cmu.edu/career/interngrants/dozzigrant). Students must also e-mail a copy of their résumé to mm@andrew.cmu.edu with “Dozzi application résumé” as the subject of the e-mail.

Deadline: May 4

Wallach believes that students in every college should take advantage of the research opportunities available to them.

“I hope that every student at Carnegie Mellon University participates in undertaking a research project,” she said. “Most students who have done so report that it played a critical role in their career choice and overall experience as an undergraduate student.”