Undergraduate Fellowships for Community Engaged and Translational Research

The Division of Community Engagement (DCE) and the Center for Clinical and Translational Research (CCTR) will fund three undergraduate community-engaged research fellowship awards for research projects mentored by VCU faculty and carried out in collaboration with a community partner. Proposals for this fellowship should include a community-engaged research project that creates and disseminates knowledge or creative expression with the goal of contributing to the discipline and strengthening the well-being of the community. At least one of these fellowships will be awarded to a project that focuses on the advancement of human health. Successful proposals must discuss how the project will increase the student researcher’s knowledge, skills and experience through a mutually-beneficial partnership in the community.

Each fellowship award includes $1500 in funding for the student and $500 for the faculty mentor. Similar to the VCU UROP Summer Fellowship, student applicants should establish a partnership with their faculty mentor before applying. We do not match students with their mentors.

Eligibility - Full time VCU undergraduates with at least 1 full academic year left to complete before graduation.

Application Requirements

  1. The student and mentor together must write a maximum 5 double-spaced-page proposal, detailing:
    • The significance of the proposed work - briefly, what similar work has been done by others, and how has it contributed to human knowledge?
    • A research question - what do you propose to find out in your project?
    • The specific aims of the work - what objectives are you setting out to accomplish?
    • The methods to be employed - what will you do to answer the research question and to meet your specific aims?
    • Results expected - what outcomes do you expect from your project, and how will you know whether or not you have achieved them?
    • How the project will contribute to the research knowledge and skills of the student
    • How the project has the potential for contributing to the well-being of the community
    • Evidence of collaboration between the student researcher and the community partner
    • A detailed work plan: showing a significant amount of time dedicated to your project, assuming around 20 to 30 hours of work per week. The workplan must contain elements that correspond to the specific aims laid out in the proposal.
    • A statement wherein the student pledges to submit a mid-term project report by August 15, and to participate in the VCU Undergraduate Symposium/Poster Day the following spring semester.
  2. The student must write a maximum two-page personal statement addressing these questions:
    • What experience or qualifications have prepared you for the work you propose?
    • What will the Summer Fellowship do to help you advance your career goals?
  3. The mentor must write a letter of support for the Summer Fellowship application, addressing the following questions:
    • How long and in what capacity has the mentor known the student applicant? Have you mentored this student before?
    • What experience, knowledge, skills, or capacities does the mentor believe the applicant possesses that qualify the student to conduct the proposed work?
    • How does the mentor believe the Summer Fellowship experience will help the student meet his/her career goals?
    • An assessment of the extent to which the project will increase the student researcher’s knowledge and skill in community-engaged research/scholarship
    • A brief statement describing the mentor’s support for the workplan.

Applicants must upload their materials to http://go.vcu.edu/vcuresearchfellowships by the deadline of March 1st for review.

Faculty Mentors should email their letter of support to urop@vcu.edu with the title “CE/CCTR Fellowship Letter/(name of student)” by the deadline of March 1st for review. Awards will be announced in mid-April.

For help in thinking about your Summer Fellowship project, or about other ways to participate in research or creative scholarship, visit the Resources for Undergrad Research web pages, especially the For Students page. If you have questions contact Herb Hill at hhill@vcu.edu