FACULTY ENDORSEMENTS USING THE OUR APPLICATION SYSTEM

UNDERGRADUATE RESEARCH PROGRAM (URP) APPLICATION SYSTEM

When a student applies to a grant program in the Office of Undergraduate Research and s/he indicates you as endorser, you will receive an automatic email with a link into the online application system.  Log in with your NetID and password. We have the least technical glitches with Firefox.

  • When you log in, you should see a grid with your student’s application.
  • Click on the proposal title to see a PDF of the application.
  • Click on “Endorse” in the Action Required column to open the endorsement field.
  • We do not accept formal letters of recommendation; instead you will have four questions to complete (specific questions listed below by program in the FAQ section).
  • You have the equivalent of 1 ½ single spaced pages in each box (4,000 characters).
  • We recommend that you write your answers in a separate document and then cut/paste them into the online form. This way if an unforeseen technical glitch occurs you won’t lose your work.
  • All endorsements should be written after you have reviewed the student’s proposal.

You will receive automatic response emails from the system when you have successfully completed a task.  If you don’t receive an email after 15 minutes or receive an error message, please contact your program’s administrator for assistance.

 

Below in the FAQ, you will find the specific endorsement questions asked by each program along with an overview of how the program works.

FAQ

Academic Year Undergraduate Research Grants (AYURGs)

Open to all current Northwestern undergraduates.  Students must be enrolled in an independent study or thesis seminar.  This program offers up to $1,000 in funding for research related expenses.  Additional money is available for international projects.

The student’s project must be autonomous. While the project may relate to your research, or develop from work within a lab, the student must design and execute the project independently, with only advisory assistance from you.  In no cases may the funds cover faculty research expenses.

If a student’s project includes work with human subjects, they are required to submit a separate application to IRB (with you as PI) before they submit their application.

The endorsement questions you will need to answer:

  1. What is your opinion on the quality and significance of the proposed project?
  2. What is the independent contribution of the student to the project?  What is your plan for mentoring/supporting this student during the grant period?
  3. What are your opinions on the student?  How long have you worked with the student, and in what capacity?  How confident are you that the student will successfully complete the proposed project?
  4. Do you know of other funding sources for this project? Do you believe that the budget is appropriate?

Your endorsement is due no later than 24 hours after the student deadline. The Review Committee meets to vote on proposals early in the following week. Proposals cannot be seen for review until your endorsement is received.  If you feel that you need more time to complete your assessment, you should make arrangements with the student to receive a copy of the application materials well in advance of the deadline.  Un-endorsed proposals will not be considered by the Review Committee.

After the completion of the project, your student will submit a two-page summary describing the results/outcome of the project, which will also require your approval/endorsement. The grant cannot be closed with this endorsement.  You will receive an automatic email once your student has submitted her/his report.

Summer Undergraduate Research Grants (Summer URGs)

Open to all returning Northwestern undergraduates (no graduating seniors).  Project must be for 8 weeks full time – students are not allowed to do any internships, paid employment, or courses during the grant period.  Offers a $3,500 living expense stipend.  Additional money is available for international projects.

The student’s project must be autonomous.  While the project may relate to your research, or develop from work within a lab, the student must design and execute the project independently, with only advisory assistance from you.  In no cases may the funds cover research expenses as the grant provides only a living expense stipend.

After a student’s project is accepted for funding, s/he will be required to submit a separate application to IRB (with you as PI) if their project includes work with human subjects before they can receive their funding.

The endorsement questions you will need to answer:

  1. What is your opinion on the quality and significance of the proposed project?
  2. What is the independent contribution of the student to the project?  What is your plan for mentoring/supporting this student during the grant period?
  3. What are your opinions on the student?  How long have you worked with the student, and in what capacity?  How confident are you that the student will successfully complete the proposed project?
  4. Do you know of other funding sources for this project?

Your endorsement is due within 72 hours after the student deadline. The Review Committee must review hundreds of proposals during finals and spring break. Proposals cannot be seen for review until your endorsement is received.  If you will need more time to complete your assessment, you should make arrangements with the student to receive a copy of the application materials well in advance of the deadline.  Un-endorsed proposals will not be considered by the Review Committee.

After the completion of the project, your student will submit a two-page summary describing the results/outcome of the project, which will also require your approval/endorsement.   The grant cannot be closed without this endorsement.  Students are enrolled in a 0-credit GEN-LA course with the grant, and without your endorsement, they will review a U grade.  You will receive an automatic email once your student has submitted her/his report.

Undergraduate Language Grants (ULGs)

Open to all Northwestern undergraduates (no graduating seniors). Grants support the intensive and experiential learning of foreign languages during the summer for up to $5,000 and can cover up to 75% of total expenses.  Study programs must be at least six weeks in duration, and language instruction must be the predominant (if not the sole) aim of the program.  In particular, the Review Committee seeks to fund students who will be using this language training to help them achieve specific academic and professional goals.

Students are encouraged to consult with language faculty to identify quality summer language programs.  Faculty guidance is also tremendously beneficial for applicants as they work to articulate their goals and specific ways in which summer language study will benefit them.

Students need two faculty endorsements:  one from a language instructor with whom the student has taken language coursework, and a second from a faculty member who can address the ways which an Undergraduate Language Grant will contribute to the student’s academic and/or career goals.

Outside faculty may be used as recommenders; graduate students and post-docs are not eligible, unless they are the student’s primary language instructor.  If a recommender falls into one of these categories, contact the ULG Coordinator prior to the deadline for details, as additional steps are required to get access to the system.

The endorsement questions you will need to answer:

  1. Please offer your opinion on the language proficiency and abilities of this student. (For language instructors.)
  2. How, in your opinion, will this language learning fit into the student’s overall academic/career goals?
  3. Do you feel that this program/country is a good match for this student at this time?
  4. Please offer your opinions on the student.  How long have you worked with the student, and in what capacity?  How confident are you that the student will successfully complete the proposed program?

Your endorsement is due within four days after the student deadline. The Review Committee meets to vote on applications soon after the deadline, and proposals cannot be seen for review until your endorsement is received.  If you need more time to complete your assessment, you should make arrangements with the student to receive copies of the application materials well in advance of the deadline. Un-endorsed proposals will not be considered.

Conference Travel Grants (CTGs)

Open to all Northwestern undergraduates.  Students cannot receive funds to attend conferences following graduation.   You are not required to attend the conference or event with your student.

Awards are for 50% of the total conference expenses up to a maximum of $500.  To apply, students need to provide an abstract of her/his paper/poster, proof of acceptance to present at the conference, information about the conference’s standing in the field, a budget, and an explanation of how s/he plans to fund the other 50% of the expenses. We are happy to cost share with other programs.  The student’s name must appear on the abstract.

While the research may have been group in nature, the student must be the primary presenter in order to be eligible, and only one student will be supported for each presentation.  For example, grants may not be used to fund multiple students jointly presenting a poster.

Applications may be submitted at any time and will be reviewed on a rolling basis; however, applications must be submitted before the actual travel takes place.

The endorsement questions you will need to answer:

  1. Please offer your opinion on the student’s project.
  2. Please offer your opinion on the quality of the conference itself and the specific opportunity that it affords your student.
  3. Please offer your opinions on the student.  How long have you worked with the student, and in what capacity?
  4. Do you believe that the budget is appropriate? Do you know of other funding sources for this conference?

Your endorsement is due as soon as possible after the student submits her/his application.  Un-endorsed proposals will not be considered by the Review Committee.

Circumnavigators Travel-Study Grant

The Circumnavigators Travel-Study Grant offers a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.  The winner receives a $9,000 award to spend the summer travelling to at least five different countries (excluding the U.S. and Canada) on at least three different continents.  Applicants must be full-time Northwestern juniorsDuring the trip, the winner will study/research a topic of her/his choosing.

Faculty serve primarily as recommenders for the purpose of this grant, rather than project supervisors. Faculty support students in developing projects and in selecting appropriate research sites. The unique travel requirements of the grant pose challenges distinct from those of traditional, more narrowly focused research projects, and having the opportunity to discuss ideas with faculty has been key to students’ successful development of meaningful and feasible global projects.

All Circumnavigator applications require an endorsement by two faculty recommenders. Outside faculty may be used as a recommender; graduate students and post-docs are not eligible, unless they are added as a supplemental third endorsement.  If a recommender falls into one of these categories, contact the Circumnavigator Coordinator prior to the application deadline for details.

The endorsement questions you will need to answer:

  1. Please offer your opinion on the quality and significance of the proposed project.
  2. How, in your opinion, does this project fit into the student’s overall academic/career goals?
  3. Please offer your opinions on the student.  How long have you worked with the student, and in what capacity?
  4. How confident are you that the student will successfully complete the proposed project?  How well prepared do you feel this student is to undertake the world travel associated with this award?

Your endorsement is due 48 hours after the student deadline. The Review Committee meets to vote on proposals soon after the deadline, and proposals cannot be seen for review until your endorsement is received.   If you need more time to complete your assessment, you should make arrangements with the student to receive copies of the application materials well in advance of the deadline.  Un-endorsed proposals will not be considered by the Review Committee.