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Scholarships and Research Grants

There are two lists of scholarships:

  • The first lists grants that you have to write proposals for. I encourage you to start thinking about what sort of things you might be interested in researching NOW, because once it's your senior year, it's hard to get the money in time to do the work. Don't worry about being underqualitified--your potential faculty advisor will guide you toward the work that you are qualitied to do and your qualifications will grow as you do the work. This is how research works.
  • The second list covers scholarships to support your undergraduate and/or graduate educations. Scholarships to support summer field camp are listed on the Summer Field Camp page.

Research and Teaching Grants

Doing undergraduate research allows you to work closely with a faculty member. Not only will you learn a lot, but the skills and character traits that you display during the course of your project give a faculty advisor a lot of material to rave (or complain) about when it comes time to writing letters of recommendation. These detailed letters carry a lot more weight when applying for graduate school than do the more general letters written on the basis of class performance alone. The detailed knowledge that an advisor has also can be tremendously effective when talking to potential employers during phone interviews. (Yes, potential employers often do call the people you list as references!)

Talk to your advisor about these various scholarship possibilities--you may get some particularly useful advise particular to a given funding body.

USX Foundation and Christine Toretti Undergraduate Research Awards

Summary: Students with a QPA > 3.25 can apply for $3,000 to support an independent research project. Go talk with someone whose class you found interesting and see if the two of you can dream up a research project. Faculty often have a handfull of appropriate projects on hand.

Department of Energy Research Internships

Summary: Juniors and seniors can apply for research positions at selected national laboratories across the country that house amazing analytical facilities for geologists and environmental geologists. The link takes you to the list of labs--you will see that several are in great parts of the country and include a lot of environmental research. The appointments are usually for one semester and include a weekly stipend, free housing or a housing allowance, and one roundtrip airfare.

Brackenridge Undergraduate Scholarships

Summary: Brackenridge Fellows are selected on the basis of their academic record and the originality and promise of their proposed projects, as well as their aspiration to create and participate in an interdisciplinary community of students in the humanities, social sciences, natural sciences and applied disciplines. They get $800 per month over the summer months to free them from summer employment needs and thus allow a complete focus on the proposed work.

Undergraduate Teaching Fellowships

Summary: $600 is available to students wishing to help teach an course in collaboration with a faculty member. If you liked a class but could see ways in which you would have liked to have improved it, go talk with the professor and see if your ideas can be incorporated within the class the next time it's taught.

Chancellor's Undergraduate Research Fellowships

Summary: $600 is available to students wishing to undertake some independent reserach. Go talk with someone whose class you found interesting and see if the two of you can dream up a research project. Faculty often have a handfull of appropriate projects on hand.

The Nationality Room Scholarships

Summary: There is a wide range of scholarships available to support summer study abroad expierences. These could include normal classroom experiences, or you may be able to support an undergraduate research project that is based in another country. There are scholarships specific to certain countries as well as ones that can be used for any foreign country. The amounts generally range from $1,000 to $4,000. A paid summer in another country beats a summer job in retail!

You have to go to the Nationality Rooms Program Office (1209 Cathedral of Learning, phone 624-6150) to check out the details and pick up the application forms. These forms become available after Thanksgiving, interviews begin in early to mid-December, and the last completed applications are due sometime in late January.

The Undergraduate Research Office

Summary: This site maintains a set of links related to undergraduate research funding. Click on "Funding" to see a list of funding sources. The "NSF REU" links get you to various National Science Foundation program pages. There is a separate undergraduate research opportunities program under the Earth Sciences division, which your faculty advisor should know all about.

Note that the "Opportunities" link from the URO may have internships and other programs of interest.

General Undergraduate Scholarship Programs

Annie's Homegrown Environmental Studies Scholarship Program

Summary: Annie's Homegrown (they make organic foods) is offering 25 $1000 scholarships each year (no application deadline) to undergraduates who are in a program of study related to preserving the environment. I would say that Environmental Studies and Environmental Geology majors would be well-suited to apply for this scholarship. I wonder how many people are competing for this one?

Under "Our Programs" they give information on other scholarship programs plus things like ways to get cheap or free food from the company (site content seems to vary, so check it out!).

The (Bill) Gates Millenium Scholarship Program

Summary: If you are an undergraduate who is African-American, American Indian/Alaska Native, Asian Pacific American, or Hispanic and you've got a GPA > 3.3, you could get full support for the remainder of your undergraduate career or for graduate school!

University Honors College Scholarship Page

Summary: This provides an excellent list of scholarships and fellowships in support of undergraduate education.

University Honors College Graduate Scholarship Page

Summary: This pages gives links to the Rhodes, Marshall, and Truman scholarships, but not to the National Science Foundation or Churchill scholarships.

The Undergraduate Research Office

Summary: This site also has some "post-undergraduate" links, such as to the Fullbright Scholarship Program, that are related to funding graduate school.

You may want to hunt around the Undergraduate Research Opportunities or Honors College pages to see if other opportunities come up. If you know of anything else that I should post on this site, let me know!

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