ASM's Undergraduate Research Fellowship (URF)

The Program

The ASM Undergraduate Research Fellowship (URF) is aimed at highly competitive students who wish to pursue graduate careers (Ph.D. or MD/Ph.D) in microbiology. Students will have the opportunity to conduct full time research at their home institutions with an ASM member and present research results at the ASM General Meeting the following year.

Students will:

  • Conduct a research project for a minimum of 10 weeks beginning in the summer of 2006
  • Work with faculty mentors who are ASM members and who are employed at the students home institutions, and
  • Submit a research abstract for presentation at the 2007 ASM General Meeting. (Should the opportunity to present research at the General Meeting conflict with graduation, then applicants should contact ASM.)

Applicants who do not meet all eligibility requirements will not be considered.

Eligible student candidates for the fellowship must:

  • Be enrolled as full-time matriculating undergraduate students during the 2006-2007 academic year at an accredited U.S. Institution,
  • Be involved in a research project,
  • Have an ASM member at their home institutions willing to serve as a mentor, and
  • Not receive financial support for research (i.e., Council for Undergraduate Research, Minority Access to Research Careers, Sigma Xi) during the fellowship.

Eligible faculty mentors must:

  • Have an appointment at the same institution as the student applicant
  • Be ASM members, and
  • Have an ongoing research project.

Funding for the ASM Undergraduate Research Fellowship program is provided by the American Society for Microbiology.

The Fellowship provides:

  • Up to $4000 for student stipend
  • One-year ASM student membership, and
  • Up to $1000 in travel support for students to present the results of the research project at the 2007 ASM General Meeting. Travel funds are contingent upon acceptance of an abstract for the General Meeting.  

Criteria for Selection
Student applicants should be able to demonstrate:

  • Academic achievement,
  • Relevant career objectives,
  • Potential contribution to overall project outcome,
  • Personal motivation to participate in the program, and
  • Achievement in previous research experiences.

Faculty mentor applicants should be able to demonstrate:

  • Commitment to undergraduate education and research,
  • Quality, significance, and potential impact of the research project,
  • Appropriateness of the project for undergraduate student research,
  • Availability of appropriate facilities to support the proposed research project, and
  • Endorsement of the project by Department Chair or Dean.

*Note to Faculty Mentors
The number of qualified applicants for the URF Program has increased steadily since the Fellowship was established in 1993. Also, to ensure that URF stipends are competitive with the national stipend level, stipend level has been increased to $4,000. However, the amount of monies available from the ASM Fellowship Fund has decreased recently due to recent market trends. As a result, ASM solicits institutional support (e.g. for student stipend) in order to maintain the current level of funding. Please indicate on your application if your institution will be willing to provide full support for the student stipend. If your application is funded, ASM will provide one-year student membership and funding for the student to attend the ASM General Meeting and present research results the following year.

Preference is given to projects that:

  • Demonstrate the mentor's and the institution's financial commitment to the project, and
  • Have a significant impact on the faculty mentor's ongoing research effort.

Review of Proposals
To provide equal opportunity for students from all types of undergraduate institutions, proposals are grouped for review according to the Carnegie Classification of the applicant's institution. Awards are apportioned to each group based on the number of applicants received.

February 1st

The program requires a joint application from both the student and a faculty mentor. The faculty mentor must be an ASM member and willing to serve as the applicant's mentor for the duration of the research experience. It is student's responsibility to submit a completed application by February 1, 2006.

The online application is currently unavailable.

For more information, contact:

ASM Undergraduate Research Fellowship Program
Education Board
American Society for Microbiology
1752 N Street, NW
Washington, DC 20036