For Current Scholars

Getting Started

In the first week of the first term of your assistantship, get in touch with your faculty mentor to set up an initial meeting. In that initial meeting, you should address the following:

  • Work schedule: What days/hours your faculty mentor expects you to work.
  • Expectations: What your faculty mentor expects you to accomplish during the term.
  • Meetings: How often will you and your faculty mentor meet (preferably not less than once a week, and setting up a regular time is best)
  • Troubleshooting: What you should do or whom you should contact if you have difficulty with any of the tasks you have been assigned. Note that it is your responsibility to let your faculty mentor know when you need help with tasks. 

Compensation

Students may not receive both a stipend and academic credit for the same term of the Presidential Scholarship.

Stipend:

  • The $1000 stipend is paid as a lump sum at the end of each term and is contingent on confirmation of satisfactory work by both the student and the faculty mentor.
  • Scholars are not required to complete timesheets.
  • Stipend payments for international students (non-resident aliens) are subject to a 14 percent tax.
  • Direct deposit is currently not offered for student payments (i.e., stipends, scholarships, reimbursements, awards).
  • Checks are ordered once a week and only after both the Scholar and the faculty mentor have submitted the online confirmation forms.
    • Once the check has been ordered, it takes two weeks for it to be issued by the Accounts Payable office; it may take longer for international students. This time frame is non-negotiable – there is no way to speed up the process.
    • The end-of-term confirmation form asks students whether they would like their check sent to their Hinman Box or their legal mailing address as listed in Banner Student.
  • If you don't receive your stipend check, contact UGAR. In some cases, the confirmation form may not have been received. In other cases, there is simply a delay while Accounts Payable processes the request. It is possible, too, that the check has been sent to the wrong address or lost in the mail, so please do check with us if you have not received your check by the beginning of the following term.
  • Students may not receive additional funding or wages for the same hours required of the Scholarship. That is, faculty cannot pay students for research unless students are working on the project more than 7-12 hours per week.

Academic credit (only available in the 2nd term of the assistantship):

  • Independent Study credit must be arranged through the faculty research mentor and approved by that professor's department prior to the start of the academic term.
  • The faculty mentor ultimately makes the decision as to whether independent study credit is appropriate, and this option generally requires a larger time commitment from the student than the stipend option.
  • Some departments have specific requirements and pre-requisites for approval of research for credit, and students must satisfy these requirements in order to be eligible for independent study credit. 
  • If the independent study is approved by the department, students must register for the course through the Registrar's office. UGAR is not involved in the course registration process.

Transcript Designation

Transcripts of students who successfully complete both terms of the assistantship will carry the notation James O. Freedman Presidential Scholar Research Assistant.

Students who satisfactorily complete the assistantship and successfully complete the honors program in their major department/program will be designated James O. Freedman Presidential Scholars at Commencement and on their transcripts. The Presidential Scholarship and the honors program are not required to be in the same subject or department.

Senior Honors Thesis Fund

Available to undergraduates who have successfully completed two terms of a James O. Freedman Presidential Scholar assistantship and who have departmental approval to do a senior honors thesis. Your thesis topic does not have to be in the same department as or related to your Presidential Scholar research.

Students who complete the requirements of the Presidential Scholar program may apply for up to $300 in additional funding for expenses directly related to honors thesis research.

NOTE: These funds are for students conducting honors thesis work who do not need a full thesis grant.

Senior Honor Thesis Funding Application