Students who attend our office hours or workshops frequently ask the following questions.
Some awards require institutional endorsement. For these awards, the Office of Undergraduate Research and Fellowships conducts an internal process in order to select applicants for endorsement. If you are interested in applying for an award that has an internal deadline, please contact us to receive further information about the process.
Many scholarships and fellowships are highly competitive, and a wide array of factors can determine whether an application will be successful. When applying, carefully consider the specific selection criteria and mission of the scholarship or fellowship in order to determine if these match your strengths and experiences. Most fellowship applicants also report that the application process itself was highly beneficial, helping them sharpen the focus of their ambition and preparing them for subsequent applications for graduate school or employment opportunities.
Information about selection criteria and the mission of a scholarship or fellowship can be found on the Office of Undergraduate Research and Fellowships site. You can also visit the website of a specific award for further details.
Many scholarships and fellowships require that applicants be US citizens. You can search for opportunities for non-US citizens on the Office of Undergraduate Research and Fellowships site. Some scholarships or fellowships permit applicants to apply through their country of citizenship.
These terms are often used interchangeably. In some cases, a scholarship may refer to a grant in support of undergraduate education, and a fellowship may refer to a grant for post-baccalaureate work.
The amount of time required for selection varies by scholarship or fellowship. Often this information will be available on the scholarship or fellowship website. Advisors in the Office of Undergraduate Research and Fellowships can also provide guidance in terms of when applicants typically receive a response.
Selection committees vary, but frequently include experts in a particular field or past winners of scholarships or fellowships. During internal campus reviews, selection committees consist of Northeastern faculty and advisors in the Office of Undergraduate Research and Fellowships.
No, you cannot apply for more than one PEAK Experiences Award at a time. The nature of the PEAK Experiences Award process is such that you are applying for a particular award based upon the match its your project and your particular skill level. Applying for more than one at a time would mean that you are not properly calibrating or matching your application with the award criteria, which are distinct between levels.
Yes, you can use a PEAK Experiences Award to fund a co-op. Please note that a specific research or creative endeavor project that speaks to our selection criteria within the co-op must be clearly articulated within our application. Your project must have a Northeastern University faculty mentor, as well as on on-site mentor (if the co-op does not take place within Northeastern University).
Students are able to do PEAK Experiences Projects outside of Northeastern University. However, regardless of where one undertakes your project, you must have a Northeastern faculty member ALSO serve as a faculty mentor so that we can easily verify project progress and administer the award funds appropriately. The Northeastern mentor will serve as primary mentor, but please attach a letter of support from the off-site project mentor as part of your application materials. The PEAK Experiences Awards, depending on level and degree of applicant independence, are administered in one of three ways:
- Award used for supplies, administered through Northeastern faculty account. We do not fund supplies for projects conducted at other institutions.
- Award used to pay student wages (see this note to determine if a wage or a a stipend is appropriate), administered through faculty overhead account.
- Award used to stipend a largely independent student project (see this note to determine if a wage or a a stipend is appropriate), administered directly to a student account.
For those who are applying to awards that require the project development workshops, if you have class or a co-op during the time of the workshops, please email URF@northeastern.edu so we can be in touch about accommodating your situation.
It is not necessarily a problem if your endeavor is unrelated to the field in which you are currently working. The Trail-Blazer Award might be a good fit for those who have ideas that push the envelope and take the plunge into something new.
We are looking for projects or chunks of projects! Projects that you can complete in the time you lay out — typically a semester. These projects will need to be embedded in an exisiting field or framework, with the goal of doing, understanding, or shaping something new. This can be a new business, a new insight, a new organization. Ultimately, all research or creative activity has to do with understanding what has come before and the shape of your field of endeavor.
We encourage students to consult with their faculty mentors as to what constitutes as a novel contribution to a specific field.
How the 9 weeks can be structured in the Trail-Blazer Award would depend on the project, the amount of funding received, and the limitations of the project. It is highly encouraged to discuss with your faculty mentor, or come in for our Open Office Hours linked here.
This question may be referring to thesis with the Honors Program, or an Honors thesis within your discipline. If this is in reference to the former, the Northeastern Honors Program may have some resources available. Either way, a PEAK Award can be used for thesis work.
Recipients of the PEAK Awards are required to report their progress and end-results with our office in various ways depending on the award. These are reviewed and are helpful to us to keep you in mind when navigating you to different opportunities. The nature of these awards and our office are as such that these projects are not graded. However, our expectations are that you continue the project for the timeline of the award, keep us updated on progress and changes, and reflect on the experience in SAIL.
No. The award numbers will vary based on any number of factors, including application numbers, quality, and funding amounts available. Our goal is to support a broad array of disciplinarily diverse projects, at all stages of development, and coming from students with a range of personal, intellectual, creative, and professional experiences. We seek to cast a wide net.
Those who do not receive a PEAK award during one cycle are more than welcome to apply in upcoming cycles.
There are specific instructions regarding the timeline under the Application Procedure section for each award.
The timelines are highly dependent on the project.
We review and evaluate the awards in a way that is customized to the cohort who applies that cycle. Therefore, it depends on the year, but students will be notified in time for the starting point of the project.
We offer some awards seasonally throughout the year, such as the Base Camp, Ascent, and Summit Awards. The deadlines will be in the semester prior. For example, if you are looking to do a project in Fall 2020, the deadline would be during the Summer 2020 semester.
We also have the Trail-Blazer Award which would only be for projects conducted over the summer.