Summer Undergraduate Research & Steen Fellowship Applications

Summer Undergraduate Research 

Traditional projects have taken the form of ten-week experiences where existing on-campus resources are utilized in unique ways.  Some recent projects have taken alternative forms to accommodate aspects unique to the discipline.  These projects, that may require field work or visits to resources that cannot be found on-campus, have had a shorter duration to offset the cost of student travel.  In either case the projects have led to strong contributions to scholarship beyond St. Olaf.

All Faculties (FA, HUM, IGS, NSM, SS) are participating in the summer research program.

Explore 2018 CURI projects.  Apply by February 16, 2018 through our online application form.

Annual Timeline

  • Monday, January 8 – Summer Research Project descriptions (both college-funded and grant-funded) posted to CURI website; student online application opens
    • All application materials will be submitted electronically by clicking here.
  • Friday, February 16 – Student applications due
  • Wednesday, February 28 – Faculty send CURI their selections of student researchers for their projects
  • Friday, March 2 – CURI notifies all student applicants
  • Students have until the Friday, March 16 before spring break to accept or decline the offered position
  • Last Tuesday in May – Orientation and start of 10-week Summer Research Program

Steen Fellowship 

The Lynn and Mary Steen Fellowship aims to support student-initiated projects that demonstrate independent scholarship, investigation, and creativity.


Steen Fellowships for student-initiated projects expand opportunities for undergraduate research and investigation by enabling qualified students to undertake independent scholarship, investigation or creative activities in any field related to their college studies. Fellowships are intended to encourage applicants to explore intellectual and creative interests beyond the classroom. Projects should be designed and carried out by the applicant and should culminate in some sort of public report, presentation, performance or display.

A selection committee of faculty will approve funding for feasible, interesting and well-designed projects that fit the applicant’s background and goals. For example, Fellowships might support research in libraries, laboratories, museums or archives; projects could involve fieldwork, travel or creating works of art. Proposals should be developed with the guidance of faculty but do not require faculty supervision. Fellowship awards are based on the quality and originality of the proposal and the qualifications of the applicant to successfully complete the project.

Normally, projects will be carried out in the summer and will not be eligible for academic credit. Fellowships are not to be used for support of internships or for formal study at other academic institutions. Eligibility is limited to rising juniors and seniors; awards are based on the proposal’s merit and budget and will not depend on an applicant’s financial aid status.

The program will award 3-5 Fellowships each year of up to $5,000 each for an 8-10 week summer project.


All application materials should be submitted electronically through this online form.   Applications must be received by February 28, 2018.  Only complete applications will be considered.  Decisions will be announced no later than the March 30, 2018.

2.  Project budget.  This completed worksheet will be uploaded as part of the application

3. Self-written statement of professional conduct, ethics and safety as appropriate for the scope and nature of the project. Resources for professionalism can be found here.

4. Plans for dissemination of the work completed during the project

5. Letter of recommendation regarding your suitability for completing an independent, unsupervised project from an on-campus (St. Olaf) mentor, preferably a member of the faculty.  Reference should submit letter directly to on or before the deadline.

6. Letter from host institution or project site (if applicable)

7. Unofficial transcripts

8.  For projects involving human subjects an IRB Review Request and Ethics Plan may have to be completed

9.  For projects involving digital scholarship this form needs to be completed in consultation with IT and or DISCO staff members.

Successful candidates will be asked to complete a waiver and a student stipend request form before initiating work on their project.

2017 Steen Fellows

  • Jack Goldstein, Biology, 2018, Kinetics of the Blood-Brain Barrier
  • Anne Gaspers and Olive Dwan, Political Science/Norwegian, Sociology-Anthropology/Studio Art, 2018, Bridging Divided Communities: The Potential for Social Integration in Creating Peaceful Societies
  • Maximilian McKune, Theater/Psychology, 2018, Personal Growth and Community Uplift Through Performance on Chicago’s West Side

2016 Steen Fellows

  • Hannah Kruse, Sociology/Anthropology, 2018, No Strings Attached: An Anthropologic Study of the Relationship Between Puppet and Puppeteer
  • Emma Muter, Nursing, 2018 The Nurse’s Role in Geriatric Communities
  • Jack Langdon, BM: Composition/Theory, 2017, Creating an Electronic Opera: composing “The End of Saro” for The St. Olaf Lyric Theater
  • Peder Tune, Political Science, 2017, Living the Dream?: Exploring Normative Understandings of American Success in the All American City