Sherman Fairchild Summer Research Stipend

**Given the ongoing response to preventing the spread of COVID-19, we have suspended the application process for the Sherman Fairchild Summer Research Stipends. We will not be awarding any stipends for the summer of 2020. This page will be updated during the winter with details for the summer of 2021.**

If you have any specific questions, you may contact Kristen Eldred at

General Information

Awardees will receive a $4000 stipend plus $1500 for housing, supplies for research, or conference travel.

The application deadline is Friday, April 10 (week 2 of Spring term), and faculty letters of recommendation are due Friday, April 17 (week 3 of Spring term).

First years, sophomores, and juniors majoring in or planning to major in Biology, Chemistry, or Physics are eligible to apply.

Apply by completing the Sherman Fairchild summer research application.

Awards will be announced mid to late spring term.

Program Description

Kalamazoo College received a grant from the Sherman Fairchild Foundation that will fund at least 15 summer research stipends in the areas of biology, chemistry, or physics each year for three years. Approximately half of the research stipends will go support SIP research and the other half will support research experiences for younger students.

At least 12 summer stipends will be awarded for summer research with a Kalamazoo College professor. Up to 3 summer stipends will be awarded for research with a mentor off campus. Students that are on campus for their summer research are expected to participate in the Dow mini-poster session at the end of August.

Materials needed for the application

The following are due Friday, April 10, 2020 (Week 2 of Spring term):

  • A 1-2 page research proposal developed in collaboration with your research mentor (written by student, not faculty)
  • A 1-page letter of support from your research mentor (emailed to – due Friday, April 17)
  • One letter of recommendation (limited to 1 page) from a Kalamazoo College professor (not your research mentor – emailed to – due Friday, April 17)
  • Transcript (does not need to be official)
  • Resume (no more than 2 pages)
  • Personal statement (1 page) addressing the following: Any prior research experience, Your educational and career goals, How the summer research relates to your educational and career goals
  • A brief statement about how you wish to allocate the $1,500 for housing, research supplies, and/or conference travel to present research results. You should discuss this allocation with your research mentor. This money cannot be used for food or utilities.
  • Link to application.
Important details for awardees

The $4000 stipend will be paid in 3 installments: $1300 at the end of June, $1300 at the end of July, and $1400 at the end of August. If you are not already signed up for direct deposit, please do so at the business office website.

The $1500 that can be used for expenses REQUIRE documentation, typically in the form of receipts. Because of IRS regulations, you will need to submit receipts to Kristen Eldred very quickly after purchase. Her office is located in 203 Olds/Upton. Her email address is If you miss an IRS deadline, the college CANNOT reimburse your costs. If you use these funds for housing, you need to submit a receipt each time you pay rent. Additionally, some or all of the money can be saved for use at a conference during the academic year following your research summer.

International students will be charged a 14% tax on all reimbursements and stipends, in accordance with IRS regulations.

Because this stipend is awarded primarily for the purpose of supporting your ability to participate in a summer research opportunity, the stipend is generally taxable. However, the College is not required to report this stipend to the IRS on Form W-2 or 1099-MISC and no taxes will be withheld.  You should keep a copy of your award letter with your tax records.  If you have further questions about the tax implications of this award, we recommend you consult with your personal tax advisor.

At the end of the summer, awardees are required to submit a reflection covering

  • brief description of your research project
  • what was surprising about the experience
  • what you learned about the nature of research
  • how your personal ideas about researched changed over the course of the research experience
  • how the experienced influenced your educational path or career aspirations
  • whether or not you will pursue doing more research in the future
  • where you expect to present your research/what conferences you expect to attend

Students that are on campus for their summer research are expected to participate in the Dow mini-poster session at the end of August.


For questions about the program, please contact Dr. Arthur Cole of the Physics department.

For questions about the application submission process, please contact Kristen Eldred in 203 Olds/Upton.

Information Sessions

Please plan to attend one of the following:
**Monday, March 2 @ 11:00 – 11:45am in 207 OU (Week 9 of Winter term)
**RESCHEDULED TO Tuesday, March 10 @ 4:00 – 4:45pm in 226 Dow (Week 10 of Winter term)
**Wednesday, April 1 @ 11:00 – 11:45am in 307 OU (Week 1 of Spring term)

Link to application.