Call for Proposals and Research Proposal Guidelines 2017


Undergraduate research provides students a unique opportunity to learn necessary and important skills to research and innovate towards taking a leadership role in the society. As a student-centered research institution, NJIT is committed to providing opportunities for research participation beginning at the undergraduate level.

The call for proposals for the NJIT Summer Undergraduate Research Award invites undergraduates from across the campus to explore a research topic of interest under the guidance of a faculty mentor. A limited number of summer research awards will be available for NJIT undergraduate students mentored by an NJIT faculty member. The Application, Research Proposal, and Faculty Letter of Support must be submitted to by 5:00 p.m. EST on April 4, 2017

ELIGIBILITY:  Any current NJIT student who will be enrolled as an undergraduate in the fall semester 2017 may apply.

AWARDS:  The student award amount is $3000.  Please be aware that this award is intended to involve fulltime participation by the student for a period of ten weeks during summer 2017 and students should not be engaged in outside employment or coursework during this period. All students are expected to fully participate in all aspects of the program and fill-out the time-sheet for hours of work with their respective advisors. The program runs from May 22 to July 28, 2017. Finally, all award winners are required to participate in the NJIT International Summer Undergraduate Research Symposium on July 27, 2017. 

Specific funding is available for projects in general, bio and renewable energy area. 

NOTES FOR FACULTY:  Prospective faculty mentors are expected to write a letter of support. Letters of support must include your opinion of the student and must place the proposed research project in the context of any ongoing research.  The following questions should be addressed:

Is this a new project or part of an ongoing investigation?  Will this project spawn additional work that extends beyond the summer?  What primary benefits will this project have for both for the student and for you?

Faculty mentors who are writing support letters for more than one student applicant must rank the proposals, indicating which projects they would most like to see funded.  This process will not preclude lower ranked students from being accepted, but the mentor’s insight about each student/project is useful information for the review committee to take into consideration.

RESEARCH PROPOSAL GUIDELINES:  Please adhere to the following organizational guidelines when writing your research proposal.  Keep in mind that the members of the review committee are not necessarily experts in your field. Research proposals are expected to be written by the student with input from the faculty mentor.

In particular, any successful proposal will demonstrate:

  • Clear Statement of Research Problem
  • Significance and Originality
  • Logical Project Design and Clear Methodology
  • Expected Outcomes and Deliverables

The recommended proposal length is 3 pages with single-space, 12-point font and 1 inch margin all sides format. (The abstract and bibliographic references are not included in the 3-page limit.)

Cover Sheet (Application form)

Abstract (200 words or less): 

Concisely state the specific aim of your project.  What are the specific questions you seek to answer? What are your specific goals and objectives for the summer? It is not included in the 3-page proposal length limit.


Reviewers will not be experts in this discipline.  Clearly and logically lay out the problem or question that you will attempt to answer. Provide sufficient background to help the general reader understand your project.  You must describe your project in language accessible to the general audience. What is known and not known in this area of inquiry?  What outcome do you hope to achieve?  Provide citations from the relevant literature.  Keep in mind that your readers will very likely know little about your subject. 


Explicitly and clearly explain why this problem is important. Who will find this work interesting?  How important is it to find a solution to this problem?  What makes this project novel?

Project Design:

As specifically as possible, describe how you will attack your problem, using language accessible to the general audience and not going into highly technical detail. While it is true that research often goes in unforeseen directions, success in a 10-week summer project requires a very high level of focus.  The clearer your goals, the more likely you are to have a productive experience.

It is important that you indicate the ways in which you as a student will make an independent or creative contribution.  While professorial oversight and support are essential in most cases, the Summer Research Awards are not given to students who will be merely faculty research assistants.  If your work requires compliance with published university research policies e.g., work with human subjects, animals, hazardous material, etc., please explain what steps you will take to obtain the required approval.

Expected Outcomes and Deliverable:

Please explain the expected outcomes from the proposed research project. How would you demonstrate that the specific goals and objectives of the summer research are met? Provide a clear description of the deliverables.


Provide any relevant references and bibliography that is used in the proposal. The bibliography should be on a separate page that is not included in the 3-page proposal length limit.

Mentoring and Engaging a High School Student:

Faculty advisors and undergraduate students are highly encouraged to involve and mentor a high-school student on the project during the summer project period, if an interested student is available. This will help us build stronger relationships for potential recruitment of high quality students at NJIT.