Sophomore Research Fellowship

The Sophomore Research Fellowships support undergraduate research done in collaboration with UW-Madison faculty or research/instructional academic staff.

Eligibility Criteria
  • A second-year undergraduate
  • A first-year undergraduate 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

Other Restrictions

  • Faculty/staff members may submit no more than two student projects/year across all divisions (biological sciences, arts and 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 Research Fellowship may not apply again

How to Apply
Applications include a 3 -5 page proposal and a letter of recommendation.

Selection Criteria

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

Award Information
The student researcher receives a $2,500 stipend, and faculty/staff research advisor receives up to $500 for costs associated with the student’s research (e.g., supplies, student travel related to the project). Approximately 30 Sophomore Research Fellowships will be awarded this year.

Conditions of Award
Fellows are required to:

  • Have the research protocol(s) approved by the appropriate Human Subjects and/or Animal Care and Use Committee(s) if using human or animal subjects in consultation with the project advisor (does not have to be approved at time of application but must be approved before start of research)
  • Present research findings at the Undergraduate Symposium (in April of the following year), or at another presentation venue
  • Write a thank you note to the donors
  • Submit a final or progress report of approximately 500 to 1,000 words
  • Not accept other undergraduate research funding for the same research project during the term of the Sophomore Fellowship

Visit program site

For questions please contact the Undergraduate Academic Awards Office:, (608) 265-2428.

Undergraduate Academic Awards
Supplemental Questions
  1. Please indicate which of the following describes your academic level and establishes your eligibility for a Sophomore Research Fellowship:
  2. Have you applied for a Hilldale Research Fellowship/Holstrom Environmental Research Fellowship this year? (You may not apply for both the Sophomore Research Fellowship and the Hilldale Research Fellowship/Holstrom Environmental Scholarship in the same year.)
  3. Academic field of proposed research:
  4. Title of proposed research project:
  5. When do you plan to start the research outlined in this Sophomore Research Fellowship proposal?
  6. Are you applying for, or have you received, other undergraduate scholarships/fellowships to complete the research proposed in this application? If you are awarded and accept a Sophomore Research Fellowship (SRF) you may not accept funding from other sources for the same research project during the same time period. For example, if you plan to apply for summer funding from another source you may want to apply for the SRF for the academic year.
  7. If yes, please describe. (For example, 'Applied for summer research grant from the Biochemistry Department.')
  8. Project Advisor
    Answer all 5 questions below. Please Note: Graduate students are ineligible to serve as the project advisor.
    • a. Project advisor's name:
    • b. Project advisor's UW-Madison email address:
    • c. Project advisor's title (Professor, Research Scientist, etc...):
    • d. Project advisor's department (Sociology, Botany, etc...)
    • e. REQUEST REFERENCE: To request the letter of reference from your project advisor click on "Add a New Reference" below, enter their name and UW-Madison email address and save. The WiSH system will send an email to your project advisor with a link to upload their letter. You are responsible for ensuring your project advisor completes this reference request.

      Please note: If you have already requested a letter of reference for the L&S Honors Apprenticeship (same project and advisor), you can use that letter for your Sophomore Research Fellowship application. It should appear in the drop-down box below.
  9. Project Proposal
    Your proposal should be three to five double-spaced pages (including abstract and references), and should follow disciplinary guidelines. Please use at least 1 inch margins and a font size no smaller than 11pt. 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)

    Please upload your project proposal in pdf format, and name the file like this: Last name_First name (EX: Badger_Bucky).
  10. Please upload your most up-to-date unofficial transcript. For instructions on how to do this, go to

    Request unofficial transcript

  11. Conditions of the Sophomore Research Fellowship
    Fellows must:
    1) Apply for and receive approval from the Human Subjects and/or Animal Care and Use Committee(s) if research uses human or animal subjects.
    2) Comply with UW-Madison's international travel policy if you plan to conduct research abroad.
    3) Present your research findings at the Undergraduate Symposium in April of 2025, or at another presentation venue.
    4) Write a thank you note to the donors.
    5) Submit a research report of approximately 500 to 1,000 words upon completion of research.

    I have read and accept these conditions (Y/N).
  12. Academic Standing: I understand that to apply for and receive the Sophomore Research Fellowship I must be a student in good academic and disciplinary standing. I further understand that to be eligible for these awards, I must disclose to the Undergraduate Academic Awards Office past university disciplinary action for academic or non-academic misconduct. Records may be requested to verify the circumstances of any disciplinary infraction.
  13. If awarded a fellowship, I give consent to the Office of Undergraduate Academic Awards to have a copy of my research proposal (with name removed) retained and made available to future applicants for them to review (but not copy or reproduce) as they prepare their own applications.
  14. Should you receive the fellowship, how would you like your full name listed in the official award letter, certificate, and award program? (EX: you go by Bucky Badger but you want Buckingham Badger listed.)
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