University of Wisconsin–Madison



February 12, 2018


Funded by grants from the Brittingham Fund and the Kemper K. Knapp Bequest, the Sophomore Research Fellowships support undergraduate research done in collaboration with UW–Madison faculty or research/instructional academic staff. Approximately 15 awards are available.


The student researcher receives $2,500, and faculty/staff research advisor receives $500 to help offset research costs (e.g., supplies, faculty or student travel related to the project).


  • A sophomore (two years of undergraduate study after application year)
  • A freshman who will have more than 24 credits after May of the current academic year
  • A transfer student in their first year of attendance at UW-Madison
  • Cumulative GPA of 2.3 or above
  • Must be in good academic and disciplinary standing to apply


  • Faculty/staff members may submit no more than two student projects/year across all divisions (biological sciences, humanities, physical sciences, social sciences and interdisciplinary).
  • Students may not apply for the Hilldale/Holstrom and the Sophomore Research Fellowship in the same year.
  • Previous student recipients of a Sophomore award may not apply for a second award of the same type.
  • A research project is not eligible if supported by any other undergraduate grant.


A selection committee will review all proposals.

  • Quality of research proposal
  • Degree of meaningful collaboration with a faculty research mentor
  • Extent to which research objective is achievable within the proposed timeline


Award recipients must:

  • Register for three credits of supervised research or directed study during the summer or academic year following the receipt of the award in May. This must be done prior to May 2018.
  • Have proposals approved by the Human Subjects and/or Animal Care and Use Committee(s) if they propose to use human or animal subjects. Does not have to be approved at time of application; must be approved before start of research.
  • Present findings at the Undergraduate Symposium in April of the following academic year.
  • Submit a research report of approximately 500-1,000 words upon completion of research, or by May of the following academic year.


Apply online through Scholarships@UW–Madison. (Application available in December.)

  1. Log on to MyUW at
  2. Select the Student Services tab at the top of the page
  3. Find Scholarships@UW–Madison and click on the “Enter Scholarships@UW–Madison” link. This is a new resource developed to help students find department, school/college and campus-wide scholarship opportunities. After logging-in and answering a few yes/no questions, you will be presented with links to applications for scholarships for which you are eligible, with open application cycles. You may want to check the site frequently to see what new opportunities are available. If you do not see the Sophomore Research Fellowship application in your list, and you believe you meet the eligibility requirements, please contact the UAA Office (, 265-2428).


  • Project proposal of three to five double-spaced pages with at least 1 inch margins, and no smaller than 11pt font. The abstract and references are included in the 5-page limit, and the proposal should follow disciplinary guidelines and use headers appropriate to the field. If you are uncertain about how to format your proposal, talk to your project advisor. All proposals should contain the following:
      • An abstract of the proposed research (200 words or less, may be single-spaced)
      • Introduction and literature review, detailing the originality and significance of the proposed project
      • Methods section, describing plans for data collection and analysis
      • Timeline for completion of project
      • Conclusion/future directions
      • References (may be single-spaced)
  • A UW–Madison transcript (automatically attached to your online application; you do not need to order a transcript)
  • A recommendation letter from the project advisor, which includes a brief budget statement explaining how the $500 awarded to the advisor will be spent in support of the student’s research. It’s helpful when the letter also addresses how long and in what capacity the project advisor has known the student, and plans for regular interaction with the student for the duration of the project. The recommendation is submitted online as part of the online application.

Previous Sophomore Fellows