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Engineering  |  Grand Challenges Scholars Program

Research stipend

The purpose of the Grand Challenges Scholars Program (GCSP) research funding is to support students conducting research in their Grand Challenge theme areas. The research stipend will be for 1 semester only in the amount of $1,600 and is not renewable.

The Summer and Fall 2019 application is now closed, please check back for future opportunities!

Eligibility requirements

  • Current Grand Challenges Scholars Program student
  • Completed at least 12 credit hours at ASU
  • Making progress toward achieving GCSP Competencies (minimum requirement: successfully completed FSE 194/FSE 150: Perspectives on Grand Challenges for Engineering)
  • Cumulative GPA of a 3.00 or higher
  • Will be working on research that is related to the Grand Challenges for Engineering through Fulton’s Research Themes (Health, Energy, Sustainability, Data, Security, Education)
  • Currently not receiving research funding from any other source(s) such as FURI, REU, etc…

Program requirements

Students selected to participate in this program will be expected to…

Meet these goals:

  1. Commit to working the entire funded semester on the research project.
  2. Meet with the mentor during the first week of the semester to develop a research plan and work schedule (expect to work approximately 10-12 hours per week, depending on mentor’s expectations).
  3. Maintain good standing in the program by meeting regularly with the mentor, performing the research activities, and completing professional development activities.

Complete these deliverables by their deadlines:

  1. Review the online workshop and take the quiz for newly funded FURI/GCSP Research Stipend students at the beginning of the semester as an introduction to the program.
  2. Submit a one-page mid-semester summary by the deadline.
  3. Submit a 100-word abstract for the Symposium Abstract Book.
  4. Participate in the semi-annual research symposium on the Tempe campus by creating and presenting a poster displaying their research achievements.
  5. Complete two professional development activities by the deadline (such as attending a resume workshop, touring a lab, etc.)
  6. Submit a two-page summary of accomplishments at the end of the semester by the deadline.
  7. Provide feedback on your funded semester so the GCSP Research Stipend program can continually improve.

Failure to fulfill these requirements may result in the loss of funding.

Application materials

  • Research Proposal (2 page limit, plus additional page for references): In your own words explain what the research is, and clearly state the specific research question(s) that you will investigate. Describe your goals in this research, and the activities you will perform to conduct the research. Also describe how the research relates to your Grand Challenge theme.
  • Bibliography (1 page limit): list at least five resources you reviewed that are related to your research area.
  • Timeline: Create a reasonable and descriptive timeline that relates to the proposed research activities for the requested semester.
  • Personal Statement: Write about how the proposed research activity relates to your personal and professional goals. Also describe how the research relates to your progress in the Grand Challenges Scholars Program (including how you have been actively engaged in GCSP)
  • Resume: students will submit a current resume, showing transferable skills and abilities. Contact the Fulton Engineering Career Center for help creating or updating your resume. Unofficial Transcript: students will submit an unofficial transcript. Students must be in academic good standing with a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0 to be eligible for the GCSP Research Stipend.
  • Faculty Mentor Proposal Support Letter: students will receive approval from their faculty mentor to submit the proposal. Faculty will submit a letter of support to the GCSP office

Application evaluation criteria

  • The research question or hypothesis to be investigated is well-thought out and described.
  • There is a clearly defined research plan that describes the tasks that will be conducted in order to answer the research question.
  • The proposal explicitly states how the research aligns with the student’s Grand Challenge Theme.
  • The timetable is descriptive and correlates to the research plan defined in the proposal.
  • The proposal provides a concise review of research previously published relevant to the proposed work with appropriate citations.
  • The personal statement demonstrates that the student is motivated, and aligns the proposed research activities with their experiences in the GCSP as well as their personal and professional goals. This statement should demonstrate that student is actively engaged in making progress toward achieving the GCSP competencies.
  • The resume demonstrates an ability to achieve goals and participation in activities.
  • The overall transcript illustrates good academic standing and the student’s ability to manage the course load and research.
  • The proposal support letter strongly endorses the student’s abilities and preparation for the project and demonstrates a clear commitment toward the student’s project as a mentor.

Tips for a successful application

Finding a mentor

  • Feel free to use Fulton’s online guide to Getting Started with research!
  • Look for faculty across ASU’s campus. They can be in a different discipline than yours!
  • Review School and faculty research websites
  • Look at FURI website under “Research Opportunities”
  • Review previous FURI Abstract books to see what projects mentors have done with students
  • Talk to faculty about their research
  • Ask current students conducting research
  • Visit GCSP faculty advisors (see GCSP Blackboard site ‘contacts’ for advisors)
  • Request an appointment with faculty to discuss opportunities

Preparing the application

Writing your proposal

A successful proposal will include….

  • Objective statement – states the overall objective of the research project, including a research question or hypothesis to be investigated.
  • Background/literature review – describes previous research already conducted on this topic (including citations to prior research in this area is highly recommended), the importance of the proposed work to this field of study, and alignment to a Grand Challenge theme
  • Research plan – describes the tasks that will be conducted in order to complete the research project.
  • Impact of research – describes what benefits to society would result from the successful completion of this project and how the proposed project is related to your Grand Challenge theme.

Proposal structure examples

Example 1

·         Statement of Problem

·         Objectives

·         Plan of Action

·         Expected Outcomes

·         References

Example 2

·         Research Question

·         Background

·         Methodology

·         Practical Applications

·         Expected Results

If applicable, also be sure to discuss

  • Who else is involved in the project? How will you define roles?
  • If this is a continuation of current research, describe your progress to date
  • If including human subjects, include IRB information

What to consider when developing a proposal

  • Work with your faculty mentor to understand the research project
  • Read related literature about the topic
  • Think about what you plan to work on, why it’s important, and how you plan to conduct your research
  • Be sure your research question is not too large or too small to be completed during your requested semester
  • Decide how to organize your proposal – which sections will you include?
  • Understand your audience – the Grand Challenges Scholars Research Committee is comprised of several Engineering disciplines
  • Realize your proposal will be persuasive writing

Creating a timeline

  • Should provide an overview of your specific research steps
  • Provide details and be realistic

Writing your personal statement

  • Describe your personal goals and how this research relates to your goals
  • Describe your interest in participating in the research and how you got interested
  • Explain how your technical skills will help the research
  • Describe your involvement in the Grand Challenges Scholars Program, and how this research connects to your progress in the program. What experiences have you completed so far in GCSP (and/or plans for future involvement), and in what other ways have you been actively engaged with GCSP?

GCSP Research Stipend

Click here to learn about Grand Challenges Scholar Alyssa Nazareno and how she’s using the GCSP Research Stipend to further her research in solar energy!