Funding and Research

Resources for funding for undergraduate research. 

Funding

Bancroft Research Scholars

The Bancroft Research Scholars Program aims to provide GS students with the opportunity and funding to participate in undergraduate research during the regular school year. This program enhances your academic experience, fosters intellectual curiosity and critical thinking, and prepares you for graduate studies or a career in research.

The Bancroft Research Scholars Program will select a limited number of GS students who collaborate with a Columbia faculty member on a research project during the academic year (Fall and Spring only). Each selected scholar will receive $2,200 in funding for one term to support work on a research project and to cover research-related expenses, such as supplies, materials, and travel costs.

Eligibility:

  • The Bancroft Research Scholars Program is open to currently matriculated General Studies students, including Postbac Premed students. 
  • Students can receive funding for one term only (Fall or Spring). 
  • All research projects must be supervised by full-time Columbia faculty members. Projects without a Columbia faculty mentor are not eligible for funding. Projects with faculty outside of Columbia are not eligible for funding. 
  • Priority will be given to applicants who are starting their research journey and are not receiving academic credit or other funding for their proposed research project.
  • First and second-year international dual BA students are not eligible to apply for the program.

Selected Scholars Will be Required to:

  • Devote a minimum of 8-10 hours per week for 10 weeks to the designated research project (for a total of 80-100 hours per term). Scholars are required to collaborate with their supervising faculty to establish a suitable schedule.
  • Present their research findings at the Undergraduate Research Symposium and GS End-of-Year Research Showcase.

Scholars will also be expected to serve as GS research peer advisors and research ambassadors.

Application Deadline:

It is important to note that the Bancroft Research Scholars Program has limited funds available. Typically about five students are awarded funding every term. It is highly recommended to submit your application at the earliest possible opportunity to ensure consideration for the program.

  • For research to be conducted in the fall term, please submit your application by August 1st.
  • For research  to be conducted in the spring term, please submit your application by November 15th.

The School of General Studies offers a small stipend ($250) to defray associated expenses for GS seniors working on a senior thesis or honors project.

Eligible students should submit the application form by the appropriate deadline:

  • December 1 for fall-term or academic-year thesis projects*
  • March 1 for spring-term thesis projects
  • May 15 for calendar-year or EALAC senior thesis projects for the next academic year

*The deadline for fall term thesis applications has been extended to December 12 for the fall 2022 semester only.

Deadlines that fall on a Saturday, Sunday, or University holiday will be moved to the next business day.

The GS Office of Academic Affairs may provide a one-time stipend of up to $250 to students partaking in academic endeavors that are often not covered by traditional financial aid. These opportunities may include academic conferences, unique research opportunities, and visits to museums and other cultural institutions of interest and relevance.

In order to apply for funding, students are requested to submit the following documentation:

  1. Completed Funding for Individual Academic Research Application.

  2. Supplementary statement: Students must provide a supplementary statement explaining the nature of the event or initiative, and how their participation or attendance will enhance their undergraduate experience. Statements should not exceed one page in length.

  3. Event/initiative-related documentation: Invoices, receipts, flyers, proof of payment, and brochures that provide the cost of participation and logistical details (date and location of the event, etc.).

Completed applications and supplementary documentation may be submitted electronically to [email protected]; alternatively, hard copies may be submitted to 612 Lewisohn Hall. Students will receive a confirmation email from the Office of Academic Affairs upon approval of their applications. Questions regarding eligibility or the funding process may be directed to [email protected].

Research

Any research that involves people can be considered human subjects research in a broad sense. Students who are interested in conducting independent research that will involve participants answering questions, completing surveys, filling out forms, following instructions, and/or being observed, or that involves receiving data about identifiable individuals, may need special approval.

All universities have an Institutional Review Board (IRB), which reviews research proposals involving humans and assesses whether or not the research can be approved. The approval is dependent upon the risk of harm to the research subjects.

This risk of harm can be physical, psychological, legal, or social and it is the job of the Columbia IRB to protect those who have voluntarily donated their time (even if they are compensated) in order to take part in any research that is conducted by a member of Columbia University.

Taking seriously the well-being of research participants is part of what makes a good researcher and a good research project.

Requesting IRB Approval

Students submitting proposed research for approval by the Institutional Review Board must:

Contact

Questions should be addressed to the faculty advisor overseeing specific research and/or [email protected].