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Kauffman and Miller Research Awards

Kauffman Miller Research Awards
Amanda Williams, junior Bekah Mongold and Hannah Daley '17 take a break during summer data collection on Crab Run in Bergton, Virginia. Williams and Daley are the recipients of the first EMU Summer Research Grant, which they are using to explore the relationship between canopy cover and water temperature.

Summer 2018

Information and application guidelines

General information

We are pleased to announce the Summer 2018 EMU Kauffman and Miller Research Awards Award competition, sponsored by donors to the Daniel B. Suter Endowment. There are up to six monetary prizes of $2500 each available, which will support research activities under the mentorship of an EMU Biology or Chemistry professor, during the summer of 2018. The money may be used for student summer research wages, research supplies, travel and fees to present ongoing or past work at a scientific meeting, or any combination of these activities.

Application and Selection Process Overview

Application materials include:

  1. A mini-research proposal
  2. A budget plan
  3. A signed letter of commitment from the EMU faculty mentor

Complete hardcopy application materials are due to Diane Farrar, Suter Science Center Office Coordinator, by the end of the day February 16th 2018.

During the week of February 19, all of the complete applications will be considered by a group of three EMU Biology and Chemistry faculty members, selected from those who do not have any student mentees applying. The most compelling applications win. The announcement will be made to all applicants by the end of the day March 1.

Mini-Research Proposal Expectations


A descriptive title (approximately one line of text; no title page is necessary).

Introduction/background (400-1000 words)

The intro should convince the reader that there is a need for this project: show the reader that the work has not already been done and inform the reader how and why the findings would be useful. Use the research literature to provide the basic background information to help the readers understand what you plan to do and why. This section should not be an essay going over everything you have ever learned on your topic, nor should it be sequential summaries of semi-related research papers. Instead, you must choose what is relevant to help explain what your goals are, logically moving from the very general to the most specific. Show the readers that you’ve done sufficient reading in the primary literature that you know where the knowledge boundaries are in this field of study. If your project is something that you’ve been working on already, give a description of your findings and how they might inform your next steps. The intro should logically build towards a research question, which should be clearly stated at the end of this section.

Preliminary Methods and Research Plan (200-800 words)

Describe your experimental/project design, noting how your methodology will answer or inform your research question. Give a rough project timeline/plan. If the award is primarily a continuation of past or current work, explain the methods that were already used and briefly state your findings and note what new samples or methods will you investigate further.

Student's personal statement (200-500 words)

Explain your current level of expertise in the discipline, with the work you intend, and what you hope to gain from the experience.

Cited references

Use the citation/reference system that your professor/mentor suggests.

Research proposals already written for courses or for other funding opportunities are welcome to be repurposed here. They should still include the above components, but may vary in length or organization from the above guidelines.

Budget Plan

Work with your EMU faculty mentor to write a clear budget plan. The award is $2500. This amount may be spent on any combination of the following:

  • Student summer research wages: $10 per hour (the professor and student will need to work with EMU’s Human Resources department to get the student onto the payroll as an EMU employee.)
  • 10% fringe benefit on student wages must be included in the budget
  • Summer research supplies: include only the consumable supplies (such as disposable tubes and consumed chemicals) that are used during the summer research period
  • Travel expenses, per EMU policy, to present your work at a scientific meeting. EMU policy generally involves reimbursement for direct travel expenses (45 cents per mile for driving or bus or airfare) to the meeting location and back, reasonable lodging and meal expenses during the trip.

Letter from EMU Faculty Mentor

The letter should include a clear statement of support for the project being proposed, of intention to oversee the work proposed during the intended timeline. The letter should also clearly state the professor’s intention to manage the finances for the project.

From the Biology and Chemistry faculty –

Any questions should be referred to Steve Cessna, Professor of Biochemistry and Suter Chair.