Grant Opportunities

Research Grants

Fordham College at Rose Hill provides funding for students to conduct supervised research across all disciplines throughout the academic year.

Research Grants serve as a vehicle for students to become intimately engaged in the research process as they work on their own project or that of a faculty mentor. A goal of this funding is to provide students with the dedicated time to receive training in the research methods of their discipline as they work to collect and analyze data, develop an original composition, or participate in other appropriate scholarly and creative activities. With the guidance of their mentor, students are expected to learn about how their work fits in with the larger academic community as they prepare their projects for public dissemination and presentation. With the support of these mechanisms, FCRH students have presented their findings at prestigious venues around the country.

Deadlines: Applications are accepted at three points during the academic year; deadlines for fall 2017, spring 2018, and summer 2018 will be posted shortly. Faculty recommendations are due by the day after the deadline.

Travel Grants

In an effort to support students who have had their research accepted for presentation at a professional conference, FCRH accepts requests for funding to help defray costs associated with conference attendance.

Deadline: None; applications are accepted on a rolling basis. All requests for travel support funding should be made in advance of the conference.

What are the required components of a grant proposal?

  • Abstract: up to 250 word executive summary of the project
  • Project description: up to 4 pages detailing the project's statement of research (i.e. the problem), and why this question is important (scholarly significance or application)
  • Preliminary bibliography: listing of books, articles, and other scholarly sources that have been consulted in the project description
  • Budget and budget justification: expenses incurred and rationale
  • Anticipated outcomes: statement of skills gained or professional development activities (e.g. work portfolio development, graduate school ambitions, research experience for R&D or lab based programs and positions, senior thesis, fellowships, and others); specific anticipated conferences, journal publications, and national meetings (if relevant) should be included here as well

Common mistakes

Because grant funding is limited, be mindful of the most common mistakes:

  • Poor writing, including typos
  • Inaccurate costs and sloppy budget justification
  • Vague discussion of project's overall objective and importance
  • If part of a faculty mentor's broader research project, vague explanation of your own personal role and objective
  • Feasibility of project scope
  • Failure to write to a broad audience outside your own area of expertise

How will I be evaluated?

The grants committee is composed of faculty members and administrators from the humanities, sciences, and social sciences. Each member takes the following items into consideration when scoring a project:

  • Strength of student’s discussion regarding the significance of and justification for the project
  • Clarity and feasibility of research question and methodology (including the bibliography)
  • Quality of writing (uses proper grammar and citation format and writes clearly to a varied audience)
  • Clarity of student contribution to the project (committee members will not base the project's score on amount of contribution, i.e., independent vs. collaborative research, but rather the student’s ability to discuss individual responsibilities and goals)
  • Strength of faculty recommendation
  • Strength of stated outcomes

Examples of Successful Applications

Samples of Successful Project Abstracts from the Humanities, Sciences, and Social Sciences:

Humanities (History, Archival Research)

In 1946, a new era dawned in American history, as relations with the Soviet Union deteriorated and both John F. Kennedy and Richard Nixon began their political careers, each winning elections to the House of Representatives. This project will examine the rhetoric and policy positions taken by Kennedy and Nixon regarding the Taft-Hartley Act’s labor restrictions and legislation regarding foreign aid. Studying these two issues together allows for a clearer understanding of how domestic and foreign policymaking reinforced each other. Further, a focus on Kennedy and Nixon points to key distinctions within the anticommunist coalition, which would become increasingly critical in the coming decades. This project will examine if the symbiotic relationship between the personal experiences of Kennedy and Nixon and local conditions in their respective districts gave rise to two distinct anticommunist philosophies. On the one hand, the confluence of an elite New Deal tradition, the Truman administration’s foreign policy aims, and concerns of immigrant and labor constituencies gave rise to Kennedy’s understanding of communism as an unsavory byproduct of gross disparities in wealth. He thus suggested that the United States could defeat communism by addressing poverty at home and abroad, to offer all people a stake in the capitalist system. On the other hand, concerns about a radical labor movement combined with Nixon’s experiences in Europe and revelations of Soviet spying in the United States to fuel a populist conservatism focused on suppressing covert Soviet action, which Nixon considered the main factor responsible for communism’s spread.

Sciences (Biological Sciences, Lab and Field Studies):

I am applying for an Undergraduate Research grant to fund an ongoing project examining sexual reproduction in Japanese knotweed, an aggressive invasive species that causes many ecological problems in New York and other areas in the U.S. This plant rapidly spreads through asexual, or clonal, reproduction, which it accomplishes through the production of rhizomes. It is also capable of sexual reproduction, but sexual reproduction in Japanese knotweed is not well studied. More specifically, it is unclear how much sexual reproduction occurs, and of the sexual reproduction how much involves hybridizing with a similar species. I will determine whether hybridization is occurring by using flow cytometry in seedlings (sexually reproduced) and rhizome-grown offspring. This method provides estimates of chromosome number, which indicates whether the individual is Japanese knotweed, the related species, or a hybrid. I conducted the first round of this investigation in Fall 2016. Repeating the methods with a larger sample size would provide a more comprehensive analysis of Japanese knotweed reproduction. I will be conducting this research at Fordham University in Larkin Hall and the Louis Calder Center under the guidance of graduate student Acer VanWallendael and Dr. Steven Franks. The results will solidify the genetic foundation of Acer’s dissertation work with Japanese knotweed. My research will also provide a more complete understanding of the invasive species’ reproductive patterns, which would lead to the development of better tools to combat the species.

Social Sciences (Psychology, Lab Based, Human Subjects):

This study will examine the effects of sleep quality on autobiographical memory. Poor sleep quality has been linked to many poor outcomes, including anxiety and depression, decreased athletic performance, and problems with attention. A large literature has also documented the enhancing effect a good night of sleep can have on memory. However, a gap in the literature remains regarding sleep and autobiographical memory; minimal research has been conducted on this topic. The effects of emotion on memory are also inconclusive. Some evidence exists for a positivity effect – a tendency for individuals to remember more positive stimuli than negative stimuli. Evidence also exists for a negative cognitive bias, with a few studies linking this effect to poor sleep quality. Closing these gaps in the literature is important because memory affects people’s everyday lives. Autobiographical memory is of particular relevance for individuals suffering from dementia, PTSD, and mood disorders. It is especially important to study sleep in college students because of the extreme variability in their own day to day sleep patterns as well as among each other. In this study, I will use actigraphy to objectively measure participants’ sleep. They will wear an accelerometer device on their wrist for 14 days and then complete the Memory Experiences Questionnaire – Short Form for two memories prompted with two neutral cue words. I plan to sample approximately 25 undergraduate students at Fordham University. My hypothesis is that individuals with poorer objective sleep will report more negative memories than individuals with better sleep quality.

Am I eligible to apply?

Only FCRH students are eligible for funding, and only one grant may be awarded at a time to any given student. If students are currently receiving financial compensation or academic credit for their research they may still apply for a research grant, however, funding can only be requested for research materials and supplies (money cannot be requested for a stipend).

Faculty Recommendation

Faculty mentors who plan to supervise FCRH grant-funded research must provide a letter of recommendation for their student of no more than 400 words by midnight of the grant application due date. The faculty member will automatically be notified to submit a recommendation after the student submits his/her application, but letters can be submitted in advance of the student submission.

Funding Details

Fall and Spring: Maximum funding is $1,500 per student project. Up to $1,000 may be used as a student stipend; the remaining $500, if requested, should be allocated towards any research costs. Alternatively, students may request the full $1,500 for materials and supplies expenses that are necessary to carry out the research project. Students do not need to conduct their research on-campus (e.g., the award could be used to travel to an archive).

Summer: Maximum funding is $3,800 per student project. Up to $2,800 may be used as a student stipend; the remaining $1,000, if requested, should be allocated towards any research costs.

During the summer, students may request on-campus housing at Rose Hill if the research project requires the student to live on campus. On-campus housing costs will be included in the grant, but do not count towards the maximum funding. No reimbursement of off-campus housing costs is permitted.

Faculty members who supervise student research during the summer receive a $1,000 stipend per student project. The faculty stipend does not count toward the maximum grant funding.

If the student intends to present a poster at the Undergraduate Research Symposium, it is acceptable to include the poster printing charges in the budget.

Equipment Purchases

Any non-disposable, reusable research equipment (including books) purchased through FCRH Undergraduate Research Grant funding must be returned to the Director of Undergraduate Research in 320 Keating Hall upon completion of the research project. Students will be responsible for the cost of equipment not returned to the Dean's Office.

IRB Approval

All research involving human subjects is subject to review and approval by the Fordham Institutional Review Board (IRB). The IRB requires that both the student and faculty mentor have completed the human subject protection online training course called “CITI” (Collaborative Institutional Training Initiative). CITI certificates of completion for both the student and faculty mentor must accompany submissions to the IRB in order to be reviewed. Grant recipients will be required to submit IRB approval documentation prior to initiating work. Students with questions about IRB approval and access to the online CITI course should contact the IRB Manager, Michele Kuchera, at mkuchera@fordham.edu or 718-817-0876.

Symposium Participation

All students who receive funding in Summer 2016, Fall 2016, and Spring 2017 are expected to present their research findings at the Undergraduate Research Symposium on April 26, 2017.

End-of-Year Reports

Students are expected to complete a 3-5 page final report no later than one month after the conclusion of the semester in which funding is awarded. A new grant application will be returned without review if the student has not submitted the final report for a grant awarded in a previous funding cycle.

Summer Housing

Summer grant applicants may request on-campus housing at Rose Hill for Summer Sessions I and/or II if the student needs to be in New York in order to carry out the research project. No reimbursement of off-campus housing costs is permitted. The cost of on-campus housing should not be included in the grant budget and does not influence the review of the proposal.

Summer grant applicants who anticipate short term hotel and other travel costs should include them in the regular budget for the grant. These expenses must be well justified and the travel must be integral to the successful accomplishment of the research project.