Founding Generation Summer Fellowship for Undergraduates Guidelines

ICIS is offering a limited number of grants of up to $4,000 to support undergraduate student research in infancy science during the summer of 2022.

The grants will fund research with a mentor at an institution other than the student’s own.  Students should apply after they have corresponded with a prospective summer mentor and developed a plan for the summer project.

Students are expected to work approximately 20 hours per week for 8 weeks.  A stipend of $2,400 can be requested to offset lost wages at $15 per hour.  Other expenses (e.g., transportation, internet hotspot, food, housing) can be included in the proposal, for a total budget of $4,000.  Receipts will be required for reimbursement of all non-stipend expenditures.

Students will present their work at a virtual symposium in early fall of 2022, attended by ICIS Board members, mentors, and student awardees.  Students are also encouraged to submit their work to the 2024 Congress to be held in Glasgow (they may apply for travel support).

An ICIS committee dedicated to the Founding Generation Summer Fellowship will review all applications. 

Key Dates

Sponsor interest deadline – January 10

Sponsors listed on website – Mid-January

Student application deadline – February 15

Announcement of awardees – March 15

1. Application Guidelines

Who can be a student/mentee?
Anyone who is an undergraduate graduate student and member of ICIS in good standing. (Students may join ICIS and then apply if they are not already members). There are no restrictions on where mentees are geographically located or the institution where they are based. The quality of the student/mentor application will be the primary basis for awards, with preference given to students from underrepresented groups; first generation college attendees; and to students who would not be able to devote a full summer to research without the funding.

Who can be a mentor?
Anyone who is a regular member of ICIS can be a mentor. There are no restrictions on where mentors are geographically located or the institution where they work. Mentors must agree to work closely with the student (remotely or in person for 2022) for an 8-week period; ensure a stimulating research experience; define a project and associated tasks that the student can begin immediately and complete during the summer fellowship; provide one-on-one contact with the student during weekly standing meetings; and identify individuals who will train the student and monitor student progress.

How to identify a mentor?
Students may identify a mentor from a list posted on the ICIS website in mid-January. The mentor must be at an institution other than the student’s own. Students may also initiate contact with someone whose research they know and specifically ask them to participate in the Summer Internship program.  

What happens after a student identifies a mentor?
Students must contact their prospective mentor and, jointly, develop a plan for the summer internship.  In most instances, students will work on an ongoing project in the lab of the mentor to ensure productivity and efficiency.  However, a student who has a research question that fits with the expertise of the mentor can approach him/her with the idea.  After a student-mentor pair has agreed on a summer project, the student will submit an application that has been reviewed by the mentor .

2. How to Submit an application

How to apply

The application consists of a proposal and support materials listed below.

The proposal should include a description of the project, including the following:

  1. research question and methods;
  2. anticipated roles to be played by the student, and anticipated products/outcomes;
  3. student preparation for this work (course work, related experience);
  4. an explanation of how the project will benefit the applicant academically, personally, and/or professionally; and
  5. indication of financial need.

Proposals should be up to three pages, double-spaced, 1” margins, 12-point font, 1-inch margins.

In addition to the proposal, applications should include the following supporting materials:

  • Information page (download format here)
  • Current resume
  • Unofficial transcript (a screen shot is acceptable)
  • Detailed budget proposal itemizing projected expenses and furnishing a rationale for expenditures.
    • Budgets can include stipends of up to $2,400 to offset lost wages.
    • For students participating remotely, the budget is likely to include only the stipend. However, other legitimate expenses, such as internet hotspots or purchase of research materials may be included.
    • For students participating in person, travel, food, and lodging are allowable expenses.
  • A letter of recommendation from a faculty member at the student’s institution
  • A letter of support from the student’s prospective summer mentor

Students should submit their proposal and supporting materials as a single pdf to the ICIS Secretariat via email.  Submissions are due by end of day February 15, 2022.

3. Additional Support Letters

Letter of Recommendation

Students should request a letter of recommendation from a faculty member at the college or university they are attending.  These letters are typically written by a faculty member who has had the student in a class or has otherwise worked with them, and should speak to the student’s academic performance, responsibility, initiative, motivation, and interest in infancy research.

Letter of Support

Students should request a letter of support from the mentor with whom they wish to work during the summer.  These are not recommendation letters, but instead should include the following:

  • The role the student will play in the lab or on the specific project.
  • The mentor’s willingness to support this student and the work.
  • The mentor’s plan for mentoring the student both in developing research skills and regarding preparation for graduate school.
  • How the mentor will facilitate the student’s integration into the larger lab/campus community.
  • Confirmation of the mentor’s willingness to help the student prepare an abstract to ICIS 2024 and the poster/presentation, if accepted.
  • Confirmation that the work to be done has been, or expectation that the work will be, approved by the host institution’s Institutional Review Board before the student begins.
  • Should the mentor have matching funds to support the student, please indicate the amount available in the letter.  The availability of matching funds WILL NOT impact the selection but will aid ICIS in determining if additional students can be supported.