Finding a VUSRP faculty adviser is primarily the student’s responsibility. There are a number of steps an applicant can take to identify a research mentor/adviser.
First, many potential applicants are already working with a faculty member as a research assistant, or in the context of an independent study, directed research, or honors project. In many cases, this faculty member would make an ideal VUSRP adviser as well as an Immersion Vanderbilt faculty adviser.
Second, the Immersion portal opportunities database and many departments (via webpages or bulletin boards) list research opportunities for undergraduates, and the faculty offering such opportunities are good candidates to serve as VUSRP advisers. If such listings of opportunities are not readily available, it is worth inquiring in the relevant department’s main office about whether such opportunities exist.
Finally, perhaps the most common method of finding an adviser (or connecting with a faculty member generally) is through word of mouth and a student’s own initiative. Talk with your peers about which faculty are working with students, what they are working on, what it is like to work with those faculty members, etc. Consider speaking to professors you know in the department that interests you and they will often be able to link you with their colleagues. They may even be interested in having you work with them. Make appointments to discuss your research interests with faculty whose research appeals to you.
Full-time Vanderbilt faculty, including faculty in the graduate and professional schools, are eligible to serve as VUSRP advisers.
All the information needed to apply for a VUSRP stipend is available through the VUSRP website. Although it is often helpful to attend the VUSRP information session, attendance is not required to apply. The primary purpose of the meeting is to allow potential applicants to have their questions answered about the program. All potential applicants are invited to attend.
Absolutely! All applications will be submitted through the InfoReady Review portal, which students access with their VUnetID and password. Students are responsible for submitting their application, including a scanned PDF of the completed and signed VUSRP Faculty Adviser Information and Acknowledgment form. The faculty adviser must sign this form and return it to the student who will then upload the completed and signed copy.
The VUSRP program requires that students and faculty advisers engage in 10 weeks of full-time research side-by-side over the summer. VUSRP students are not permitted to enroll in concurrent coursework that would interfere with their full-time research experience. The official dates generally coincide with Vanderbilt’s full summer session. Therefore, enrollment in courses during the 10 weeks of full-time research is not permitted.
The VUSRP program requires that students and faculty advisers engage in 10 weeks of full-time research side-by-side over the summer. Similar to taking summer courses, VUSRP students are not permitted to hold outside employment that would interfere with their full-time research experience. Therefore, working another job during the 10 weeks of full-time research is not permitted.
If you are interested in pursuing full-time research this summer and think you can submit a strong application, then you should definitely apply. Each year, the committee receives a number of strong applications from rising sophomores, and some of these applications are funded. In order to be successful, it is essential that the applicant has both a well-articulated research plan and a strong GPA.
Vanderbilt faculty may advise two applications per competition.
You can propose to continue ongoing research for your VUSRP application, as long as you make clear in your application what you plan to accomplish on your research project during your summer experience. Some VUSRP students propose projects for the summer that are new for them and their adviser and are intended to be self-contained within the summer research time frame. Such proposals, when well thought-out and strong, may also be funded.
Applications proposing ongoing projects are likely to be viewed more favorably if it is made evident to the committee that the summer research will allow the student to pursue a project or thesis that is more meaningful and substantial than would be the case without the proposed summer activities.
The VUSRP application is intentionally kept brief. Submitting materials beyond those explicitly requested on the application (i.e., the application itself and the Faculty Adviser Information and Acknowledgment form) may be interpreted by members of the review committee to be an attempt to gain an unfair advantage over other applicants. In cases in which the applicant or adviser would like to call attention to special or extenuating circumstances around the application, they should contact firstname.lastname@example.org to discuss the issue and to determine the best way of fairly communicating this information to the committee.
It depends. The official dates of the program coincide with Vanderbilt’s full summer session. For any number of reasons, these exact dates may pose problems for students, who might want to start the program late, end it early, or take some time off in the middle. Shifting participation dates in the program up to a week from the official dates is often possible without causing disruption, as long as the student discusses deviations with their faculty adviser. Arrangements should be made to ensure that VUSRP students and faculty advisers engage in full-time research side-by-side for 10 weeks over the course of the summer (e.g, by starting the program early or ending late).
Substantial deviations (more than one week) from the official dates must be approved in writing by a student’s faculty adviser and sent to email@example.com. Students should also discuss substantial deviations in their application.
The stipend is intended to defray students’ living expenses (including room and board) so that they can work on their research. The program does not offer on-campus housing. In the summer, suitable sublets are readily available. In mid-April, after the awards are announced, there will be an orientation meeting for all of the current year's VUSRP students. Students often use this meeting to plan summer housing with one another. For further assistance, contact the Office of Housing and Residential Experience for possible on-campus summer housing options.
No. The stipend represents the only funds associated with VUSRP. If your proposed project requires research funding, it is expected that these funds will be provided by your faculty adviser using their research funds.
The VUSRP award is an undergraduate stipend processed through Financial Aid. It is not directly associated with any effort through payroll. The VUSRP award is considered to be a service-free stipend, and thus, it is not reported to the IRS. VUSRP students will not receive a W-2 from Vanderbilt reflecting this income.
There is an exception for international students. The International Tax Office will provide tax information to these students.
InfoReady Portal Questions
You must submit your application through the InfoReady Review portal.
To start, you will select the VUSRP application from Vanderbilt’s InfoReady Review portal. Then select “apply” in the upper-right hand corner.
You will then select the “Vanderbilt University Login” button. You must login with your Vanderbilt University username (VUnetID) and password. Please consult this InfoReady Screenshot Guide if you need more information.
The student is responsible for submitting the entire application—this must be done through the InfoReady Review portal. Once the student completes the “personal details” and the “proposal details” sections, the student should send this information as a PDF with the Faculty Adviser Information and Acknowledgment form to their faculty adviser. The student should fill out the “student information” section of the form before sending it to their faculty adviser.
Faculty advisers and students may work on Faculty Adviser Information and Acknowledgment form together, or the faculty adviser may opt to work on the form alone. Regardless, the student must upload the completed and signed form into the InfoReady Review portal by application deadline.
You will need to download a PDF of the application. There is a PDF button near the top of the page, under the main toolbar.
Yes. This includes the personal details section, proposal details section, upload files section (incl. completed and signed VUSRP Faculty Adviser Information and Acknowledgment form), and acknowledgement.
The application runs on IE 9+, Chrome, Firefox 3+, and Safari for Macintosh.
You have the ability to save your application as a draft, allowing you to work on the application over a period of time and as you are available.
Yes. This will aid the VUSRP application review committee.
Direct all other inquiries and comments to firstname.lastname@example.org