Finding a VUSRP faculty sponsor is primarily the student’s responsibility. There are a number of steps an applicant can take to identify a research mentor/sponsor.
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 sponsor.
Second, the ImmersionHub 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 sponsors. 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 a sponsor (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 in the department who you know about your interests, and they will often be able to link you with their colleagues, or they may even be interested in having you work with them. Make appointments to discuss your research interests with faculty whose research sounds interesting to you.
All full-time Vanderbilt faculty, regardless of school, college, or rank, are eligible to serve as VUSRP sponsors.
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 recorded nor is it 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.
Information about the date, time, and location for the information session can be found on ImmersionHub.
Absolutely! All applications will be submitted through the InfoReady Review portal, which students access with their VUnetID and password. The student is responsible for submitting the application, including a scan of the VUSRP Faculty Sponsor Information and Acknowledgment form. The faculty sponsor must sign this form and return it to the student who will then upload the completed and signed copy.
No. The VUSRP program requires that students and faculty sponsors engage side-by-side in 10 weeks of full-time research over the summer. VUSRP students are not permitted to enroll in concurrent coursework during their full-time research experience. The official dates generally coincide with Vanderbilt’s full summer session.
If you are interested in pursuing full-time research this summer and think you can submit a strong application, then you should definitely consider applying. 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 sponsor 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 mentor, and are intended to be self-contained within the summer research period. Such proposals, when well thought-out and strong, may also be funded.
Applications proposing ongoing projects are especially likely to be viewed 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.
No. The VUSRP application is intentionally kept brief. Submitting materials beyond those explicitly requested on the application (i.e., the application itself, your academic transcript, and the Faculty Sponsor 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 mentor would like to call attention to special or extenuating circumstances around the application, they should contact email@example.com 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 not a problem, as long as the student discusses deviations with their faculty sponsor. Arrangements should be made to ensure that VUSRP students and faculty sponsors engage side-by-side in 10 weeks of full-time research 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 sponsor and sent to firstname.lastname@example.org. Students should also discuss substantial deviations in their application.
No. 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 this year’s VUSRP students. Students often use this meeting to plan summer housing with one another. If housing is going to be a problem for you, contact https://www.vanderbilt.edu/meetatvanderbilt/intern-housing/ 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 sponsor, 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 the tax information to these students.
InfoReady Portal Questions
You must submit your application through the InfoReady Review portal.
To start, you will select the “Vanderbilt Undergraduate Summer Research Program 2020” 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, and 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 Sponsor Information and Acknowledgment form to the faculty member.
The student should fill out the “student information” section of the Faculty Sponsor Information and Acknowledgment form before sending it to the faculty member. The faculty member and the student may work on the form together, or the faculty member 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. Official Vanderbilt Transcript AND completed and signed VUSRP Faculty Sponsor 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 email@example.com.