Project Guidelines

This award is not a grant but a reimbursement for expenses incurred by undergraduates embarking upon significant research, creative projects, internships, or conference attendance.

To receive reimbursement, the completed project should be received in the program office by the last day of the semester (i.e. last day of exams) following the semester in which the award was made. Send the report electronically to (exception: summer Session awardees should complete projects by the end of fall semester).

The completed project should consist of:

  1. A copy of the finished research or creative work (papers should include the objective of the research or internship, the activities involved, and the results)
  2. Student's self evaluation
  3. Student's final reimbursement report
  4. Original receipts explained in an "itemized expense list" (for some science projects the funds will flow through the faculty mentors university account so original receipts are not expected but an itemized list of what was purchased for the project should be included)
  5. Mentor's project evaluation letter

Extensions may be granted in exceptional circumstances upon receipt and approval of a formal written request. Contact the program office at 574-520-4181 with any questions about your project.

Frequently Asked Questions

The following questions have been asked; thereby prompting us to compile our "Smart Frequently Asked Questions." If you have another, please don't hesitate to ask!

SMART Stands for "Student/Mentor Academic Research Teams"

The SMART Program encourages undergraduate research at IU South Bend by offering

  • small grants program reimbursing research expenses; the average amount is $200. This includes travel grants to present at conferences.
  • Summer Fellowships program pays several students to work on their research during the summer. They are for $2,000 (full summer) or $1,000 (half-summer).
  • Conferences provide a forum for students to share their research with others.

We fund any type of project that would be considered creative and scholarly activity for the faculty

Some specific examples (not limited to these)

  • Materials: Chemicals, equipment, duplicating and postage for surveys, duplicating of library materials, dance costumes, art materials.
  • Travel related to research: travel to gather data.
  • Presenting at conferences: travel, lodging, food, and registration
  • Your time: ONLY on the summer fellowships
Basic Steps
  • Choose a basic area of interest and approach a faculty member about becoming a mentor.
  • Develop a research proposal. This can be your own idea, or you might work on a part of your mentor's research. You should write the proposal but your mentor can help you edit it.
  • Locate the appropriate grant guidelines (see below) and complete the forms. Your mentor can help you on the budget.
  • Your mentor must submit a letter of support.
  • Meet the deadlines. You should receive a response within two weeks.

Grant Guidelines
  • Small grants program
  • Application available from Erika Zynda in Admin 247 (520-4181) or on the SMART website (on this page)
  • Deadline is the end of each month
  • You must apply before you undertake the project or travel
  • Summer Fellowship program
    1. Instructions are publicized in early spring.
    2. Instructions available from Erika Zynda in Admin 248 (520-4181) or on the website.

Then what happens?
  • Proceed with you project. Keep receipts of all expenses.
  • When you have finished, turn in

  • Final report of the project
  • Expense report with receipts
  • Self-evaluation
  • Final mentor letter

  • Your reimbursement check will be sent to your home address
  • Your final report will be automatically considered for the next year's Merit Award
  • You will be invited to present your project to upcoming conferences
  • Description of proposed project is not clear (remember, the committee is made up of faculty from a variety of disciplines)
  • Budget is not justified.
    1. We need to know why you need to spend the money.
    2. We appreciate the effort to find bargains (share rooms, used equipment, etc.)
    3. Extra information (like the conference form or an advertisement for the equipment) might be helpful.
    4. We don't pay for typing, travel within town, childcare, or other costs not directly associated with the research.
  • Messy, error-ridden application
    1. Please type all information and proof for any errors.
  • Late
    1. Missed the deadline
    2. Turned in after the project is complete
  • Need signatures from you and mentor; as well as the mentor letter.


  • Research is expensive!
  • It looks great on your resume or graduate school application!
  • You will learn how to apply for grants! The SMART process is an accurate reflection of the general grant application process.