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The Office of Undergraduate Research

Sustainability Fellowships

Student Sustainability LogoThe Summer Sustainability Research and Creativity Fellowship application for 2016 will be available here, beginning January 11, 2016. The deadline for the application is February 29, 2016.

Faculty Letters of Recommendation for the application will be accepted here, beginning on January 11, 2016 and the deadline is February 29.

The Summer Sustainability Research and Creativity Fellowships are funded by the Environmental Stewardship Fee and seek to promote projects that will make a significant contribution to the student’s academic growth, while concomitantly contributing to sustainability focused research initiatives at the University of Kentucky and within the community at large. Where appropriate, we are also seeking projects that will make a scholarly contribution in their discipline. Sustainability here is understood as the process of simultaneously advancing economic vitality, ecological integrity and social equity, now and into the future.

The grants, amounting up to $2000.00*, are intended to take advantage of the rich resources available through the libraries, the laboratories, and the academic personnel at the University of Kentucky. Undergraduates at all levels of matriculation are eligible for support. Both individual projects and joint ventures are encouraged by the selection committee, which is particularly interested in funding interdisciplinary efforts that will directly benefit the University of Kentucky.

Proposals are reviewed by members of the Undergraduate Sustainability Research Oversight Committee according to a defined rubric. The final selection of applicants will be undertaken by the Student Sustainability Council. The grants can be used any way the recipient chooses. The money is awarded in one lump sum at the beginning of June and is subject to tax.

Summer Sustainability Research and Creativity Fellowship applicants will be notified of the status of their applications in­­ early April each year.

International students should contact stating their international status upon application. This is solely for payment purposes. This information will not be revealed to reviewers nor will it affect the outcome of the review.

*The University of Kentucky pays these fellowships through payroll. Whether or not a student is required to report the monies as income, depends on how said monies are used. Please follow the links below to learn more.

Application Requirements

Please carefully read all of the information below before applying. 

1. Only students in good academic standing at the University of Kentucky who are returning to the University as full-time undergraduates for the following Fall semester are eligible for sustainability research grants. Normally, only students with at least a 3.0 GPA will be considered for an award, but exceptional proposals may be considered from students with lower GPA's. Students may receive academic credit in conjunction with a Summer Sustainability Research and Creativity Grant. That is to be worked out with the academic advisor. The Office of Undergraduate Research does not have jurisdiction over this matter.

2. A faculty member's recommendation (2 pages maximum) and willingness to supervise the project are very important elements in the selection process.

3. Students must submit a sustainability research proposal with their application. Proposal details can be found below.

5. The grant requires a 1-2 page progress report and a final report (minimum 4 pages).

6. Recipients are also required to present their work at the Showcase of Undergraduate Scholars the following academic year. Of course, there are exceptions, such as December graduation or Study Abroad, etc.

Proposal Guidelines

The proposal should be between 2 and 4 pages long and uploaded as a Word document or PDF. The document itself must include the project title, the student researcher's name, and faculty sponsor's name. The body of your proposal should provide a brief background along with the question you plan to address. An emphasis on how your project relates to the three pillars of sustainability should be a focus of your proposal. Consider the following when writing your grant proposal.

1. What background information do you have about the topic you will be studying?

2. What role did you, the student, play in planning the project?  What is the role of the faculty advisor?

3. What is the specific issue you will be addressing or question you will be asking?

4. How is your project directly related to simultaneously advancing economic vitality, ecological integrity and social equity, now and into the future?

5. What specific methods will you use to perform your research or creativity?

6. How will the project make a scholarly contribution to the discipline?

7. What do you expect to gain from the experience?

8. How does your project impact UK and/or the Kentucky Community?

9. What is the budget of your project? Your faculty mentor should be able to help you provide a brief overview of costs associated with your research. Providing this budget does not mean you are required to use your monies for the direct purpose of the project.

10. What is the timeframe of this project?  Can you complete all or most of it during the academic summer term?

For more information please contact:

Office of Undergraduate Research
Phone: 859-257-0049