Sherman Fairchild Summer Research Stipend

Thank you for your interest. We have awarded all of the Sherman Fairchild Summer Research Stipends for 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 16 (week 3), and the deadline for the letter of support from the research mentor is Friday, April 23 (week 4).

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 up to 20 summer research stipends in the areas of biology, chemistry, or physics for the summer of 2021. Approximately half of the research stipends will support SIP research and the other half will support research experiences for younger students.

Most of the summer stipends will be awarded for summer research with a Kalamazoo College professor. Up to 3 summer stipends (possibly more during the summer of 2021) 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 April 16 (Friday of week 3): There have been a few changes to the application process for the summer of 2021. These changes have been noted with strike through and italics.

  • A 1-2 page research proposal developed in collaboration with your research mentor (written by student, not faculty)
  • A 1-page brief letter of support from your research mentor confirming that you will be working with them and the viability of the project with respect to the pandemic (emailed to – due date April 23 (Friday of week 4))
  • One letter of recommendation (limited to 1 page) from a Kalamazoo College professor (not your research mentor – emailed to – due date TBD) No longer needed.
  • 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. No longer needed.
  • 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.

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 She can also be reached on Teams. 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 research changed over the course of the research experience
  • how the experience 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

All meetings will take place in the Sherman Fairchild Summer Research Stipends Team on MS Teams:
Monday, March 8 (week 10 of Winter term): 11 a.m. ET (this session will be recorded)
Thursday, March 11 (week 10 of Winter term): 4 p.m. ET
Wednesday, March 31 (week 1 of Spring term): 11 a.m. ET