How to Apply

Presidential Scholarship application deadline

Students will be notified of their eligibility to apply for Presidential Scholarships in winter of sophomore year. Applications are due in spring term of sophomore year:

  • Next deadline: April 29, 2020 (due by 11:59pm)
    • The application link, at the botton of the Presidential Scholars application webpage, will be live as of February 4, 2020

** Late applications are not accepted. If you have questions or issues related to your application, you must contact UGAR before the application deadline.

Application Timeline

  • Eligible students are notified in winter of sophomore year.
  • If you are off campus in the winter, do not wait until spring to begin contacting faculty as some faculty may select their Scholars early in the process.
  • Applications are not reviewed until after the application deadline in the spring, so there is no benefit to submitting application materials early. Late applications are not accepted.
  • Student application forms and faculty mentor confirmation forms must both be submitted by the application deadline.
  • Research assistantships may begin as early as “sophomore summer,” and both terms must be completed by the end of spring term of junior year.
    • Both terms of the assistantship must be conducted while students are on campus and enrolled in classes. In some cases, this policy may be waived if there is a compelling reason to do so (e.g. student and faculty mentor are both on the same off-campus program). Students who want to pursue this option must submit a request via email BEFORE the start of the assistantship, and it must be approved by both the faculty mentor and the Office of Undergraduate Advising & Research.
  • Students will receive notification of acceptance to the program 3-4 weeks after the application deadline.

Application Process

Once you have found a faculty research mentor, complete the application form. This will generate an automatic email to both you and your faculty research mentor:

  • Save a copy of this email as it is confirmation of your application submission.
  • The email includes a link for your faculty mentor to confirm the research assistantship. Be sure to follow up with your faculty research mentor to ensure that the s/he has received the email and is aware of the deadline. If your faculty research mentor does not receive the automatic email or is having difficulty with the form, contact Undergraduate Research.

Selection by a faculty mentor does not guarantee acceptance into the program.

If there are more applications than stipends available, applications will be judged on factors such as grades in relevant courses, description of the project, student's role, and the relationship of the research to the student's academic goals.

Email notifications

All communications from UGAR will be sent from the "undergraduate research" blitz account. To ensure that you receive these emails, be sure that spam filtering is set up correctly in your email. The college provides detailed instructions on how to ensure that emails from specific email addresses are not inadvertently delivered to your spam/junk folder.

Finding a Faculty Mentor

  • The program does not match students with faculty, students are responsible for finding their own faculty research mentors.
  • Your Presidential Scholar research assistantship does not have to be in your major department.
  • Students should contact potential faculty mentors directly to arrange interviews during winter and/or spring term. UGAR does not coordinate or facilitate the interviews. 
  • Interviews are conducted by the faculty at their discretion. Faculty will not necessarily interview all interested students.
  • If you will be off campus during the winter term, you are strongly encouraged to contact faculty about assistantships during winter term rather than waiting until you return to campus in the spring. Students who are off-campus in the winter may be able to arrange interviews via phone or Skype. Some faculty wait until spring term to select a Scholar so that all interested students have the opportunity to interview for the assistantship, but some opt to select a Scholar during the winter term.
  • You may interview with as many potential faculty mentors as you wish, but you may submit an application for only one two-term assistantship with one faculty advisor.

Online Application Form

  • Do not complete the application form until you have all of the required information (including project title and description).
  • Check out the application do's and don'ts before beginning the online form.
  • Required fields are marked with an asterisk (*).
  • Use only alphanumeric characters (no symbols, dashes, quotation marks, tabs, line breaks, unusual fonts, etc.)
  • Be sure that all information entered is accurate and free of errors as this information will comprise your formal program record.
  • Incomplete application data will be saved and accessible for one week from start date, at which point, any applications not submitted will be automatically purged.
  • Do not submit incomplete applications.

Instructions by Section

  • Project title 
    • Maximum of 85 characters (not including spaces).
    • Capitalize only the first word of the title and words that are always capitalized (names of people, countries, etc).
  • Project description
    • Total length: 150-200 words
    • One paragraph written as prose (no bullet points, lists, diagrams, references, etc.)
    • Written in such a way that it is comprehensible to a broad audience.
    • Written from your perspective (do not cut and paste a faculty project description from the online database).
    • Do not include your project title in the description.
    • Elements of a project description:
      • Research topic: Begin your abstract with a clear statement of the topic and provide a concise description of your project. Are you experimenting with color in watercolor paintings? Are you trying to identify the neural correlates of cognitive processes? Are you synthesizing a chemical compound? Are you analyzing how the media influences political processes?
      • Background: This will vary according to the type of project but should be very brief, just enough to put the project into context. It may include such things as previous findings in the field, consideration of the wider context of the issue, etc.
      • Methods: Briefly describe how you intend to approach the project (are you doing experiments? Interviews? Archival research?). This section should be quite brief as you will be asked to provide more information about your specific role in a different question.
      • Conclusion: Comment on your anticipated outcome and/or the contribution of the research to the academic field.
  • Your role in the project: This should be written from the first person perspective (using words like I, me, my) and should describe what you will specifically be doing (e.g. interviewing subjects, making annotated bibliographies, synthesizing chemical compounds, etc.)
  • Relationship of the project to your academic goals: You do not need to refer to specific classes (although you can if it is relevant) but you should provide a thoughtful explanation of how this experience will contribute to your academics (e.g. provide "real world" context for courses you have taken, help you figure out your academic path, allow you to explore something outside of your major/minor).
  • Relationship of the project to your career goals: This can be very specific if you already have career plans, but it could also be more general (e.g. you are hoping to figure out whether to go to medical school to be a clinician or graduate school to be a researcher)

Submit Your Application

Presidential Scholars Application (This link is active during the application cycle.)

The form must be submitted no later than 11:59pm on the day of the deadline.

When you submit the form, you will receive an automated email. Save this email as it is confirmation of your application submission. Do not contact UGAR for confirmation of your submission unless you do not receive the automated email.

Waiver Information

  • It is expected that the assistantship will be conducted during term(s) in which the student is enrolled in classes and both the student and their faculty mentor are on campus. In some cases, this policy may be waived if there is a compelling reason to do so (e.g. student and faculty mentor are both on the same off-campus program).
  • Students who want to pursue this option must submit a petition BEFORE the start of the research term. Both the faculty mentor and UGAR must approve the waiver.
  • It is frequently the case that students do not complete assistantships conducted during off terms and end up discontinuing the program. Those that are successful have a clear plan established before the start of the term and maintain regular contact with their faculty mentors.                                                  

Click here to access the petition form.