Research and Creative Scholarship Fund -Experiential Learning Fund

Who Can Apply?

  • Undergraduate and graduate students from all University of Montana disciplines may apply.
  • Individual students may apply.
  • An individual within a group may apply (group applications are not accepted).
  • A student must have a faculty mentor oversee, approve the experience by submitting a letter of endorsement. (faculty will receive an automated email after you include their contact information on the application)
  • Student applicants must be in good academic standing (GPA of 2.0 or higher) and there must be no outstanding holds or debts on the applicant's student account

How to Apply

  • All applications and accompanying materials must be submitted on the RCSF Portal.
  • Follow the rubric for your project/experience type.
  • It is the responsibility of the applicant to ensure their faculty mentor is prepared to upload a reference letter when they receive an email from us asking them to upload that to the applicants application. We strongly recommend you communicate with your faculty mentor well in advance of the deadline so they are prepared to upload your reference prior to the deadline.

Resources

  • Rubric: Please read rubrics for your experience type.
  • Budget Form: Please complete the budget form and include in your application.

Upcoming Deadlines

  • SEPTEMBER (Fall Experience) APPLICATION
    • Applications are accepted between September 7, 2020 - September 28, 2020 at midnight
    • Project/experience date range: September 29 - December 31, 2020
    • Your project/experience start date must be within the date range. If it is not, it will not be considered for funding
  • NOVEMBER (Spring Experience) APPLICATION
    • Applications are accepted between October 5th, 2020 - November 9, 2020 at midnight
    • Project/experience date range: January 1, 2021 - May 7, 2021.
    • Your project/experience start date must be within the date range. If it is not, it will not be considered for funding.

 


 

Application Materials

A one-page maximum (single-spaced, 12 pt., 1-inch margins, Times New Roman font) document containing the following information: 

  • Your proposal for research or creative work, internship, volunteer, study away or participation in professional development will need a description of the proposed work/experience using language accessible to a non-specialist audience.
  • If presenting at a conference/event, the applicant must explain the work that they will be presenting. Applicants must also provide an abstract of their presentation, if applicable. (Note: Abstracts do not count within/toward the one-page limit).
  • The applicant should explain, in detail, their academic, professional, or research interests and how the opportunity/experience is relevant to these interests. All descriptions should address the broader impacts and significance of the work to be done or presented to the student, to the University, and to broader society.
  • Please also include information about how the project/experience or travel will enhance the applicant’s professional development.
  • Please upload this project/experience description on the RCSF-ELF button on the ASUM website.

Budget

  • Do not use per-diem rates or include food costs. Include all items that will be necessary to complete the project (including self + externally funded items), with the understanding the review committee will fund the line-items deemed most appropriate. When applicable, please use the following ASUM rates for calculating mileage: Private Vehicle ($.15/mile), Commercial Pool (varies).
  • Additionally, the committee will exclude projects from funding that go towards a paid position, research fellowship through a department, as well as large-scale capital investments (for example laptops and other hardware) that benefit a department or a specific individual past the length of the individual project. The Committee will similarly refrain from providing any direct funds to a campus department or to direct tuition and fees for UM or any other institution of Higher Education. Awards given will be distributed directly to the student recipient.
  • The budget form may be uploaded as a PDF, DOCX, or CSV.
  • Please upload a completed Budget Form on your application page found on the RCSF Portal.

Faculty Endorsement and Reference Letter

Your faculty mentor is expected to oversee/mentor your project/experience. They will confirm this in their endorsement letter. The faculty member must be from the University of Montana. 

The applicant's faculty mentor will provide a one-page letter of support that addresses the following:

  • Evaluation of the student and the student's ability to complete the project/experience or the necessity/value of traveling or attending an event/conference.
  • Evaluation of the proposed project/experience, especially: (1) potential for student learning and (2) feasibility/likelihood of success, including a willingness to oversee and mentor the student.
  • Faculty mentor role, in serving as a faculty mentor for the duration of the project.
  • Whether the student understands and will be in compliance with IRB, IACUC, or other UM requirements for the Responsible and Ethical Conduct of Research that may be applicable for the proposed project.
  • Faculty mentor preferred email address.
  • The applicant will include the faculty mentor's email in the scholarship application. RCSF will then send the faculty mentor an email requesting they upload the reference letter. It is the student's responsibility to communicate with the faculty prior to applying to give the faculty mentor time to prepare the reference.

Complete All Application Questions

  • Identifying which type of application you wish to be evaluated under (Research/Experience, Travel, OR Creative Work).
  • Project Name
    • Please save and name ALL of your files in the following format: “[Last Name, First Name] [File Type].” For example: “Smith John Budget Request Form”; "Smith John Project Description"; "Smith John Faculty Reference"; . DO NOT INCLUDE ANY NON-LETTER CHARACTERS.
  • Understanding of conditions for acceptance.

Scoring Criteria

Proposals will be read by the Research and Creative Scholarship Fund - Experiential Learning Committee and scored using the RCSF-ELF rubric

1) Research/Experience project

2) Travel/experience funding

3) Creative Scholarship funding

 


Types of Projects/Experiences Funded

Research/Experiential:

  • Research: Related to any field. Some examples include: examining the relationship between water quality and the lifespan of aquatic organisms; conducting a study to examine factors that lead to the development of chronic disorders; or designing a new piece of equipment. Important note for all applicants: If one is traveling to present a project that has already been completed or to attend a seminar to help with background for a project, then the main category for evaluation should be travel. If one is traveling to create a new project or work then it should fall under one of the other two categories, but list the cost of travel in the budget section of the application.
  • Experience: Related to any field. Examples include an unpaid internship, volunteering, National Student Exchange, studying away from UM, study abroad. If one is traveling to participate in an experience, then the main category for evaluation should be travel. but list the cost of travel in the budget section of the application.

Producing an Academic Creative Work:

  • Must be related to an academic department on the UM campus. Some examples include: producing a video (fiction or non-fiction); creating a sculpture or other artistic work; creating a piece of literature. Important note for all applicants: If one is traveling to present a project that has already been completed or to attend a seminar to help with background for a project, then the main category for evaluation should be travel. If one is traveling to create a new project or work then it should fall under one of the other two categories, but list the cost of travel in the budget section of the application.

Travel*

  • Approvable Travel Requests: to present a research/creative project, volunteer/intern, or participate in professional development.
  • Most commonly presentations/hosting a conference or workshop/volunteering/participating in professional development. Important note for all applicants: If one is traveling to present a project that has already been completed or to attend a seminar to help with background for a project, then the main category for evaluation should be travel. If one is traveling to create a new project or work then it should fall under one of the other two categories, but list the cost of travel in the budget section of the application.

*For all travel through the end of the Spring 2021 semester, we will only support travel within Montana.

Contact

Ethan Hanley ASUM Business Manager
asum.businessmgr@mso.umt.edu