Swanson-Holcomb Undergraduate Research (SHUR)(Formerly Sigma Xi Undergraduate Research)

Gustavus administers the Holcomb and Swanson funds. These funds enable an undergraduate research grant program. Students submit a brief research proposal which is reviewed by a faculty panel. Starting Summer 2023, awards will be made three times a year and typically range from $300 to $500 for equipment or supplies.

2024-2025 SHUR Undergraduate Research Grant Opportunity

Eligibility: Undergraduates majoring in one of the natural sciences, mathematics, or psychology.

NEW: Summer 2024 SHUR program! 

The Summer application will be posted in early April, 2024. The application deadline will be : Friday, April 19, 2024

 Obligations: An oral presentation or a poster of the summer research accomplished must be given at the Fall Research Symposium held on the Gustavus campus in the fall.

Timeline:  Research may start June 1, 2024 and must be completed (with receipts submitted) by August 15, 2024.

 Grant Size: Maximum of $500.00. These funds are expected to be used for purchasing supplies that are not routinely available in the department. This grant will not cover summer student housing. Summer student travel for fieldwork or supplementing travel to visit another instutition for analysis will be considered. 

To Apply:

You (or a group of students) submit a clearly-written document of three to four pages containing the following clearly labelled sections:

  1. Lay Abstract: five-six sentence project goal and summary for a lay audience (think of a Gustavus non-science major);
  2. Introduction: project introduction that describes the topic background (with references);
  3. Methods & Materials: methods and materials to be used;
  4. Timeline: timeline showing anticipated research progress accompanied by a statement that you will be participating in the Spring Science Symposium, and
  5. Budget: a detailed budget including shipping, and a justification for the necessity of each requested item.

 The online submission form located at https://gustavus.edu/forms/SHUR-proposal will prompt you for the proposal title, the student(s) applying, and the faculty mentor. The proposal should be a single PDF document. In the main body of the proposal, explain the proposed work and place it into the context of what is presently known. Explain what experiments you plan to do and their anticipated outcomes. Projects using human or vertebrate animal participants must also provide proof of IRB or IACUC approval before any funds can be used. Do not assume that the evaluators are familiar with your research area. The committee will give priority to those proposals that state a clear research goal that attempts to answer a question. Proposals seeking funds for repeating the work of others will be funded only if the work is appropriate to longer range research projects. Any proposal that does not follow these guidelines will be returned without review. The student will do the actual writing of the proposal but it is quite acceptable for you to seek advice from a faculty mentor in the early drafts and in the final revision.

Support your grant request with a detailed budget. The budget will appear as a spreadsheet on a separate page and will be a carefully prepared itemization of the costs you believe will be encountered including shipping costs. Columns will include: item description, vendor, cost, and justification for each item in the budget. Some freedom exists to change budget lines later but you should, in this proposal, defend the use of the materials.  Budget items that are not acceptable include stipends, summer student housing, and poster printing. Please note: Gustavus is tax-exempt. Only in rare instances will funding be approved for paying subjects who participate in a research project.

Submit online proposals by Friday, April 19, 2024 via https://gustavus.edu/forms/SHUR-proposal. (Note: the proposal form will go live April 1.)

Incomplete proposals (missing one of the five sections listed above) will not be considered.

Paper copies will not be accepted. 

The committee will respond as quickly as possible, but no later than two weeks after your submission. Please note that some faculty have some independent study funds available to them so it may not be necessary to wait for a response from the committee in order to begin the research project. A proposal will need to be revised and submitted for a second review.

Models of successfully-funded proposals are provided at

SHUR model proposal-Biology-2fSHUR model proposal-Biology-3f, and SHUR model proposal-Physics

If you have questions regarding the 2024 Summer SHUR Undergraduate Research Grant, please contact Julie Bartley at jbartley@gustavus.edu