Application Checklist

Step 1: Identify the type of application you would like to submit.
Scholars can apply as either an individual or a group for a SIRF.

Individual: The Scholar proposes a project that he or she will carry out individually.

Group: Up to three students may apply as a group. These students collaborate on the SIRF Application; each member of the group must submit their own letter of intent. The group must appoint a leader. Group leaders ensure that all group members complete their portions of the application and fulfill the expectations of the SIRF award, if granted. All members must be University Scholars.

Step 2: Find an appropriate faculty advisor.
SIRF projects must be carried out under the supervision of a full-time member of the Northeastern University faculty. Applicants are therefore encouraged promptly to identify a suitable and willing advisor and discuss with her initial ideas.  SIRF advisors are expected to:

  • Help you narrow or expand the scope of the project as appropriate
  • Secure IRB/IACUC approval for projects involving human subjects or vertebrate animals. Applicants must receive an IRB exemption letter or IRB/IACUC approvals for research BEFORE conducting the research.
  • Write a letter of recommendation in support of your final SIRF proposal
  • Provide feedback as you make progress toward completion of your project
  • Sign off on your final 2-3 page report on your project

When soliciting faculty support, please share with your potential advisor this document describing the SIRF award.

Step 3: Submit a Letter of Intent and attend an Information Session/Application Writing workshop.
SIRF applicants should submit a Letter of Intent not exceeding 500 words, which will provide the basis for your final proposal.  Letters of intent are due by February 6. The letter should do the following:

  • Formulate the research question or a description of what you intend to create, invent or discover
  • Briefly discuss the potential significance of the project, both for your own personal development and your field of specialization
  • Outline any prior/preliminary work accomplished and/or relevant experience that might be relevant to your proposed project
  • Indicate the name of your faculty advisor and the preliminary work you have done with him or her

Scholars can find examples of Letters of Intent here, here, and here.

Scholars should register to attend one of the Information Sessions and Application Writing Workshops being held in January and February.

Step 4: Draft, revise, and submit your application.
Final application are due on March 2 through our online application. A complete SIRF application will include the following:

  • An application form, including budget
  • The SIRF Project Proposal
  • A current transcript
  • A current resume
  • A confirmation of IRB/IACUC approval
  • A PDF of this letter of support from your faculty advisor should be sent directly to

For more information on each of these application elements, see "The Online Application."