Research Expectations

  • SIRFs are intended to support independent, student-initiated undergraduate research and creative endeavor.
  • These awards cannot be used to substitute for a grant-funded position and are not designed to pay for the work of a research assistant.
  • Scholars must demonstrate autonomy in the design and implementation of the research project.
  • In the case of the sciences and engineering, the projects can be carried out in close collaboration with a faculty sponsor. However, there should be a distinction between the faculty member's funded research and that of the SIRF applicant. Priority will be given to projects where students are making their own clearly defined intellectual contributions.
  • If awarded a SIRF, in addition to what is produced through their study (research paper, film, prototype, etc.), Scholars are expected to write and submit a mid-project report and a final report, which must be signed off on by the project's faculty mentor; to present their work for other Scholars and members of the Northeastern community in the fall; and to locate an appropriate venue for external review of their work.
  • Students may not participate in a SIRF while on a Dialogue of Civilizations or during Summer session classes without the expressed, written consent of the faculty project mentor and the faculty member teaching their Dialogue.
  • Students are expected to dedicate at least 9 weeks of full-time effort (40 hours per week) to the completion of their project. Accordingly, students must maintain a regular presence at their research site (whether the Northeastern University campus or an off-campus research site) for the duration of the project.
  • Students are expected to establish and maintain a schedule of regular contact with their faculty mentor.
  • Durable equipment (e.g., cameras, voice recorders) purchased with SIRF funds remain the property of the University Scholars Program and must be returned at the conclusion of the research. Approved projects will be expected to make use of equipment already available from the University Scholars Program before requesting the purchase of additional equipment.
  • Students who receive SIRF funding for travel outside the United States will be required to attend a briefing with the Global Experience Office before departure.
  • Research conducted through the University must be carried out in keeping with ethical norms and federal regulations. Therefore, all projects involving human subjects research (if your project will likely involve data obtained from intervention or interaction with an individual, identifiable private information, or bodily materials) or vertebrate animals must be approved by Northeastern’s Institutional Review Board (IRB) or IACUC. Faculty advisors are considered the principal investigator for all student (undergraduate and graduate) projects with human subjects or vertebrates.  Advisors are therefore responsible that the research is conducted in accordance with federal regulations and university guidelines, including obtaining approvals. Applicants must receive an IRB exemption note or IRB/IACUC approvals for research BEFORE conducting the research. Proof of IRB/IACUC approvals should be included with the application. If you are not sure whether or not your research needs these institutional approvals, please ask.