Guidelines

Undergraduate Summer Scholars
Undergraduate Summer Scholars
 Undergraduate Summer Scholars
Undergraduate Summer Scholars
Undergraduate Summer Scholars
 Undergraduate Summer Scholars

Updates to the 2023 Undergraduate Summer Scholars (USS) Program. 

Friday Feb 24, 2023 USS Application Submission Deadline

One of Miami Teacher Scholars Program Initiatives - Undergraduate Summer Scholar (USS) Supplement is providing additional funding that will be available in FY23, 24, and 25. 

The USS student fellowship will be increased by a 600$ supplement bringing the amount to $3,200. Student recipients will report on the USS experience through mechanisms such as presentations within the annual Undergraduate Research Forum or similar venue. Faculty project mentor(s) may check a box on the USS application Page 1 to request up to $600.00 for a combination of supply funding and faculty professional development; a written budget justification and a line-item budget will be required as a component of the USS application. Note: This is separate from the budget justification for 200$ that has been available for student projects through the Office of Research for Undergraduates.

Miami's Western Center invites applicants to request consideration for one of five Western Center Social Impact and Justice USS research fellowships.

These USS applications must address how the research engages with issues of social impact and/or social justice, in the project description. Eligible research explores topics related, but not limited, to equity, diversity, ethics, socio-cultural change, environmentalism, community engagement, identity, inclusion/exclusion, dialogue, and/or utilizes participatory research methodologies such as action research and citizen science. These research projects can be proposed by students from any major or disciplinary perspective/s. Western Center selected USS students will receive an additional $200 as part of their USS fellowship and are expected to submit a 2-page research narrative or reflection by September 1, 2023.

I. USS Program Overview

A total of 105 USS Research Fellowships are available for summer 2023.  Selected students must carry out the mentored research project during Summer Term dates (May 16 - Aug 4, 2023).

Miami University's Office of Research for Undergraduates facilitates the Undergraduate Summer Scholars Program. The USS program's primary goals focus on student-centered learning through mentored research. This 9-week summer program aligns with Miami's focus on offering active, engaged educational experiences for our undergraduates. Responsibility for a successful program will rest with the student scholar, the mentor(s) and the primary mentor's administrative unit (departments and programs).

Department chairs and program directors will determine the review process for USS applications to ensure eligibility of the undergraduate student, faculty/staff mentor(s) and proposed research project. 

The USS program no longer provides tuition waivers. USS Program selected undergraduates will be enrolled in a designated course number for zero credit hours (which eliminates associated fees or tuition). ORU Coordinator will provide further details to students in a USS Selection Notification Letter.

Students are responsible for finding an eligible mentor, co-creating the independent research project and submitting a completed USS application (via email) to the department chair or program director of the student's USS mentor.  Note: A student can submit only one application.

Faculty member(s) who agree to collaborate with specific students in developing and submitting a USS application, are expected to be available to the student during the selected 9-week period of mentorship and will be responsible for facilitating a meaningful and appropriate student experience. A faculty member may be a potential mentor on two USS applications.

II. Eligibility Requirements

Administrative Units that choose to participate, agree to undertake the administrative burden required of them by the USS program. Units are responsible for collecting applications, reviewing and approving the mentored independent study research projects, submitting each eligible application to the ORU Coordinator, selecting student/mentor(s) projects for the allocated number of research fellowships, ensuring the educational value of the student experience, and monitoring the student/mentor(s) collaboration. (See Details in Section V.A. Roles and Responsibilities).

A. Administrative Unit Eligibility. Miami Administrative Units (departments, programs and centers) on the Oxford campus and the College of Liberal Arts and Applied Science campuses are eligible for participation in the USS Program. The student may create a USS project with any eligible mentor(s).

B. Mentor Eligibility. A team of two faculty members can serve as the mentors for one USS student applicant. To promote access and inclusion, TCPL (Teaching, Clinical Professors and Lecturers)  faculty or staff with academic unit affiliations can serve as mentors, as long as they meet departmental guidelines. To participate in the USS program, mentor(s) must be willing and able to supervise and mentor the undergraduate researcher. Each student/mentor(s) team should jointly complete the application. A single mentor can be listed as a prospective mentor on two applications. Other than these restrictions, there is no limit on how many applications may be submitted by administrative units.

C. Student Eligibility. Miami undergraduate students may only receive one USS Research Fellowship while pursuing their degree and must agree to participate during the specified summer term dates stipulated in the USS Program Guidelines. Application is open to any Miami undergraduate student who:

  • is in good standing (minimum 2.0 G.P.A., not on probation, etc.)
  • will have completed the sophomore year (defined as having a minimum of 60 credit hours) or junior year prior to the beginning of Summer Session.
  • will enroll for at least one semester at Miami University as an undergraduate student after the completion of the USS project and who agrees to full-time participation* in the USS program (*as defined by the administrative unit's department chair or program director).
  • who, during the selected 9-week period of USS participation agrees: NOT to enroll, without VERBAL permission of the USS mentor in other courses NOR accept any fellowships, internships, volunteer positions, or employment that would interfere with the student's full-time educational commitment. (See Student Roles and Responsibilities Section V.C. for details.)

III. USS Program Application Preparation & Submission

Student Application Due Date is Friday, February 24, 2023 (by 5:00pm EST) A student can submit only one application. A student can create a project with two eligible mentors who will collaborate on writing the USS application. The individual student is responsible for the email submission of the application to the department chair or program director of the USS mentor. Note: the student will copy the USS mentor(s) on this email. By submitting the USS application, the student and mentor(s) agree to abide by all USS program requirements as well as all Miami University policies. Physical signatures are NOT required.

USS 2023 Program Application Components

Page 1 USS Program Application Cover Page
  • Mark the Checkbox to Request up to $600 from the Undergraduate Summer Scholar (USS) Supplements for a combination of supply funding and faculty professional development. The faculty mentor(s) is required to include a written Budget Justification and include line-item costs. Of note, this supplemental funding will be available in FY23, 24, and 25.
  • Mark the Checkbox to Request consideration for one of five Western Center Social Impact and Justice Research USS fellowships. These USS applications must address how the research engages with issues of social impact and/or social justice, in the project description. Eligible research explores topics related, but not limited, to equity, diversity, ethics, socio-cultural change, environmentalism, community engagement, identity, inclusion/exclusion, dialogue, and/or utilizes participatory research methodologies such as action research and citizen science. These research projects can be proposed by students from any major or disciplinary perspective/s. Western Center selected students will receive an additional $200 as part of their USS fellowship, and are expected to submit a 2-page research narrative or reflection by September 1, 2023.
  • Enter student and mentor(s) data and the proposed project title and review the mentor and student certification statements.

Page 2 Proposed USS Research Project Description. The student/mentor team will provide the USS research project description or outline. Relevant items may include: the project’s purpose, scholarly approach, goal(s) and expected outcomes, as well as expected educational benefits to the student of completing the research project, etc.

Pages 3-4  Plans for USS 2023 Faculty Mentoring/Supervision and Student Responsibilities. Here the student/mentor team will:

  • Describe the plan for mentoring the student’s conduct of the research, the expected manner, form and frequency of interactions between the student/mentor(s)
  • Describe the student’s plan to carry out the research project under the mentor(s) guidance, to meet the project milestones and to manage any product(s) as the result of the research.
  • Share your ideas about dissemination of the project outcomes to non-technical audiences [not professional conferences].
  • Include a brief [DEI] statement about how the proposed research, scholarship, or creative activity, or how your participation in the USS program addresses issues related to Diversity, Equity and Inclusion. A DEI statement will ideally address multiple facets of how your values and experiences advance diversity, equity, and inclusion in your work. It is customary to write the statement in first person. The student/mentor(s) team jointly crafts this statement.
  • If your proposal is requesting consideration for a Western Center Social Impact and Justice USS fellowship, address how the research engages with issues of social impact and/or instead of writing a DEI statement.

Six guiding questions have been developed for consideration by the mentor(s) and student who jointly write a brief DEI statement.

  • How will your research serve the DEI mission of the institution?
  • How will your research contribute to your professional discipline?
  • What are the societal benefits of your research?
  • How is your research relevant for your career development?
  • How will your research project incorporate diversity of thought?
  • How do you take agency/positionality/ownership of your work, and recognize the contribution of others?

Page 5 The Faculty mentor(s) Budget Justification. Provide a rationale for your request of supplement funds in support of the project/or faculty professional development. Include line-item cost.

IV. Roles and Responsibilities

A. Administrative Units
Responsibility for a successful program will rest with the student scholar, the mentor(s) and the primary mentor's unit. All participants are responsible for adhering to Miami University policies covering COVID-19. 

1. General Oversight and Administration of USS Program. While the Office of Research for Undergraduates (ORU) facilitates the USS program, the participating units handle the administration and are responsible for
  • collecting applications and assuring mentor(s) eligibility for the program
  • approving specific student research projects and submitting each eligible student/mentor application to ORU by the deadline (via a provided Formstack link)
  • managing the process to select student/mentor(s) projects for the allocated number of research fellowships
  • requiring the selected student/mentor pairs to confirm their agreement to participate during summer term to conduct the research project.
  • notifying non-selected student/mentor pairs and notifying the ORU Coordinator of both selected and non-selected student/mentor(s) names via a provided Formstack link
  • assuring the educational value of the student experience, and
  • monitoring the student/mentor collaboration
  • tracking and reporting expenditures of funds provided by the Undergraduate Summer Scholar Supplement funding

2. Administrative Unit USS Application Submissions Due Date Friday March 3, 2023.  Department chairs or program directors will delegate a staff member to upload each application. The ORU Coordinator will provide a formstack link to the head of each administrative unit. Apply this naming convention [XXX-uss-23-student unique ID] prior to upload. Replace XXX with the 3-letter department or program code. [xxx-uss-23-potterhj.pdf]

3. Administrative Unit Internal Review and Participant Selection Responsibility. Department chairs and program directors will determine the review process for USS applications to ensure eligibility of the undergraduate student, faculty/staff mentor(s) and proposed research project. The number of slots allocated to each unit may affect the type of internal review and selection procedure. Therefore, we suggest units postpone their internal ranking or other selection procedure for submitted applications until after the ORU announces the number allocated slots. Administrative units will:

  • make final decisions and notify ALL applicants (selected and NOT selected) of the unit’s decision
  • verify that selected students (who accept) will abide by the program conditions
  • require selected students to confirm the summer term dates during which the project will be conducted. Note: Dates can be divided into two different time periods during summer session.

4. Administrative Units Notify ORU Names of Selected Student/Mentor Pairs. Due Mon April 3, 2023

The ORU Coordinator will provide a formstack link for the administrative unit's delegated staff member to upload a marked-up pdf file confirming which student/mentor(s) teams have been selected as USS participants and who have agreed to abide by the program requirements. By Monday April 10, the ORU Coordinator emails an official USS Fellowship Notification Letter to selected student/mentor(s) teams to provide details about USS program participation.

B. Mentor Roles and Responsibilities

1. Project Participation Required During Summer Term May 16 - August 4, 2023

Mentors who agree to participate will collaborate with specific students in developing and submitting a USS application, are expected to be available to the student during the selected 9-week period of mentorship and will be responsible for facilitating a meaningful and appropriate student experience. With permission from the mentor, students may split participation dates. 

2. Compliance with University and Federal Research Regulations 

The mentor(s) must assure that all required regulatory committee approvals: Institutional Review Board (IRB) - human subjects; Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC) - vertebrate animals; radioisotopes or recombinant DNA] are obtained prior to the start of the student project. The mentor(s) must assure that any USS project-related travel is consistent with Miami University travel policies.

3. Faculty Mentor Oversight of Student Project Allowance

Each USS selected student will have access to a $200.00 allowance for supplies, services, and travel to be used in direct support of the student's project. The mentor will supervise spending from the administrative unit's designated banner index using standard University ordering/accounting procedures. Funds must be spent by March 1, 2024 (the date by which the University Accounting Office will clear and close the account). University policy prohibits students from purchasing any personal items (i.e., electronic items) with these funds. The mentor is responsible for any charges made to the account above the allotment.

4. Faculty Mentor Fiscal Responsibility for Tracking Spending of USS Supplement Funds 

USS Supplement funds will NOT be moved to a department index. The ORU Coordinator will provide details for charging expenditures to a specific designated index for funds provided from the Undergraduate Summer Scholar (USS) Supplements. USS Supplement Funds must be spent by March 1, 2024.

C. Student Roles and Responsibilities

1. Student Responsibility to Find Your Own Mentor and Submit the USS Application

The USS program focuses on individual student/mentor relationships for Miami University sophomores and juniors. A student is responsible for finding their own mentor(s). The program provides an opportunity for full-time, intensive interaction between the student and the mentor(s) who agree to collaborate to design the independent study research project During their time at Miami, undergraduate students may only receive one USS Fellowship which must be used for the summer term in the relevant USS Program Guidelines (See Section III Student/Mentor Application Procedures).

2. Summer Term Project Participation Required

The supervising mentor(s), in consultation with the student and department chair/program director, will determine the specific 9 weeks of a student's participation (which can be divided into two different periods during the summer session).

3. Summer Term Employment Limits. The USS program allows Miami students to accept employment at Miami or elsewhere during the selected 9 weeks of their USS participation, provided the student and mentor agree on a plan to ensure that the employment will not interfere with the student’s full-time program participation. However, participating students are strictly prohibited from incorporating any internships or volunteer positions into their USS research project.

4. Summer Term Other Course Enrollment Limits

Due to the nature, duration, and intensity of the program, students accepting to participate MUST seek VERBAL PERMISSION from the USS mentor(s) to register for any additional coursework during the summer term. If permission is granted, the USS student is responsible for all costs associated with taking additional summer credit hours.

5. Student Research Presentation Opportunities

Although not required as part of the USS program, students may produce a product (paper, oral presentation, poster, artwork, portfolio, model, digital, etc.) that summarizes outcomes of their USS projects. The student and mentor should agree on the purpose and form of this product at the beginning of the student's participation. Students will be given the opportunity to present a poster about the results of their research at the annual spring Undergraduate Research Forum.

6. Workshop Participation Requirement

ORU will offer professional development workshops, such as "Communicating research to non-technical/public audiences." Students will commit to attending several of these workshops. Students will commit to sharing a brief project reflection outlining the accomplishments of their project, and how they plan to integrate what they learned through the professional development workshops especially in regard to communicating research to a public/non-technical audience, and outcomes for diversity, equity and inclusion".

V. Financial Matters

A. USS Fellowship Distribution will be described in the Selected Student Notification Letter from the ORU Coordinator.

B. Student Financial Aid Considerations

The USS fellowship amount may be subject to required Student Financial Aid considerations. Miami is required to report the USS fellowship amount to the Internal Revenue Service on Form 1098T.  As required by the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) designated Miami offices manage student records.

C. Housing and Meal Costs Are Student's Responsibility

Students are recommended to decide with their mentor(s) whether the student needs to stay in the Oxford area while participating in the USS Program. Students are solely responsible for arranging for and paying for their own housing and meals during USS participation.

D. Tax Considerations

Miami University is required to report the USS student fellowship on the student’s 1098T. Income taxes will not be withheld from USS student fellowship unless the student is an international student whose country does not have a reciprocal tax agreement with the United States. Depending on the student's use of the fellowship money, portions of the fellowship payment may be considered taxable income by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). For additional information on Scholarship and Fellowship Grants, refer to IRS Tax Topic 421, and Publication 970, Tax Benefits for Education.

VI. Important Dates - USS Timeline

Nov 2022- Feb 24, 2023 Each student/mentor(s) team arranges appropriate collaborations to design the research endeavor. Together they complete the cover page and answer the prompts pages of the USS application form.  The student is responsible to submit the completed application via email by the deadline. (Details in Section III USS Application Preparation and Submission.)

USS 2023 Program Timeline Important Dates
Date Action Step
Friday Feb 24, 2023 – by 5:00pm (EST) Is the Deadline by which the Individual students must email the USS application as a pdf file to the department chair or program director of the faculty member who has agreed to serve as the USS 2023 project mentor. The student must copy the USS faculty mentor on this email.  
Friday March 3, 2023 Is the deadline by which Administrative Units are responsible to upload each eligible USS application to ORU Coordinator via a provided Formstack Link.
Friday March 10, 2023 Is the date by which the ORU Coordinator will send participating units a list of submitted USS applications and announce the number of fellowships allotted to the unit for distribution.  Between March 13-24, 2023 administrative units will review and select student/mentor pairs for the USS fellowship.
Between March 13-24, 2023 Administrative units conduct the proposal review and selection process.  By March 24 units will inform all student/mentor pairs (selected and non-selected) as to the status of their application. Administrative units must require the selected student/mentor pair to confirm their agreement to participate and adhere to USS Program requirements by Wednesday March 29, 2023.
Wednesday March 29, 2023 Selected students must confirm their agreement participate in the USS program to the unit of the USS mentor. 
Monday April 3, 2023 Deadline by which Administrative Units must inform the ORU Coordinator the names of student/mentors pairs who have confirmed participation in the USS program.  ORU will provide a formstack link for units to upload a list of student/mentor pairs who have agreed to accept the fellowship and abide by program requirements.
Monday April 10, 2023 USS Fellowship Selection Notification Letter will be emailed to the to the student and mentor(s) by the ORU Coordinator. The letter will provide program details such as: 1) the requirement for the student to complete the USS Program Acceptance via an online formstack link 2) inform the student that Miami's Office of Research for Undergraduates will enroll students in a Canvas Course for the USS Program Community. 3) inform the student  that Miami's Center for Exploration and Student Success (CCES) will enroll students in a zero-credit hour internship to conduct the research project.  The USS mentor will be the instructor of record for the independent internship course. CCES staff will provide details about using the Handshake Platform for the Internship enrollment.
Monday April 17, 2023 Is the deadline by which the student is required to 1) complete the USS Program Acceptance form via a provided formstack link and 2) follow CCES instructions to complete the internship experience enrollment via the Handshake Program.
05/16-08/04/2023 Summer Term Is the required time period during which USS participants must conduct the research project.  USS Summer Scholars will be enrolled in a Canvas Course to build community and offer a platform for discussion. ORU will host professional development workshops, such as "Communicating research to non-technical/public audiences." Note: The USS program requires students to commit to attending several of these workshops.