Undergraduate Research and Creative Collaborations

Jerome A. Schiff Undergraduate Fellowship FAQs

What is the time commitment?

To be eligible for support through a Schiff Undergraduate Research Fellowship, the research or creative project must span the entire academic year (both Fall and Spring Semesters). Depending on the nature of your project, your time commitment may fluctuate or remain consistent throughout the year. Some Fellows begin their projects in the summer and use a portion of their stipend to finance their ability to spend time on research during the summer or travel to a research site.

How often do undergraduate fellows and faculty mentors meet?

Most Schiff Fellows and their mentors meet at least once every week for an hour.

What is an appropriate use of the stipend?

Fellows have used their stipend for different purposes, including to purchase access to computer hardware, software or books; research project-related travel, lodging and related expenses when attending an out-of-town professional academic conference related to the research; lab supplies; and payment for human research participants. Brandeis Faculty mentors are awarded a reimbursement of $500 for general research or teaching expenses, which need not be related to the undergraduate's project. Stipends are taxable according to IRS regulations.

With whom will I share my findings?

All Schiff Fellows are asked to present their research and/or project at the Spring Undergraduate Research and Creative Collaborations Symposium. Fellows are also encouraged to talk with their mentors about their option to co-publish or present their work in academic journals, for the public, and/or at professional researchconferences.

What kinds of activities do Fellows and Mentors do during the fellowship award period?

A sampling of the kinds of activities Fellows have experienced with their Mentors in years includes:

  • Design a course together
  • Evaluate the effectiveness of teaching or curricular innovations
  • Create lab experiments for science courses
  • Teach classes and/or lead course sections
  • Revise course materials and writing curricular proposals
  • Write papers for publication
  • Present at professional conferences

What have past Fellows said about the program?

Here are some reflections former Fellows have offered about their experiences in the Schiff Undergraduate Fellows Program:

  • “The friendship that develops is one of the most rewarding aspects of the program. Without the support and confidence of my mentor, I would not have been able to take on all of the responsibilities of my project or to take the reins of my project and really run with it.”
  • “The relationship with [my mentor] is proving to be one of the most meaningful in my academic career to date.”
  • “This experience is going to be as intense and important as [you] make it. This is an amazing opportunity to get to know the professors better, to advance in your field, to make connections and use resources that are not available otherwise. Make the most of it, don’t be lazy, dig into it.”
  • “I learned about the many aspects of teaching that transcend the course material itself. I learned about teacher-student relations, student-student relations, and also I learned about myself, as both a student and scholar-in-training!”