Skip to content

Student Advice & Resources

Eloranta Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowships

The Peter J. Eloranta Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowships are awarded each spring to MIT undergraduates who have submitted proposals to conduct novel research or further develop innovative ideas, devices, prototypes, etc.

The Fellowship Committee makes awards based on review & evaluation of submitted proposals – looking for proposals with WOW quality (Well-writtenOriginal, and Workable).

Each individual fellowship is $7,000 and may be used to cover project materials & services costs, travel, and/or living expenses.

Details on this exciting opportunity follow. If you have questions or want advice about applying, please contact eloranta-www@mit.edu.

Spring 2022 Deadline: Friday, April 1, 2022.

Submit your application to eloranta-www@mit.edu

Application Guidelines

Proposal Overview

Proposals should capture your research idea as well as the review committee’s attention – help us understand your goals & passion for your project.  Your written proposal will be used to determine the viability of your project. Creativity, details, and persuasiveness are essential.

The planned research project or study may be in any field and there is no requirement that it be in your major/minor. Refer to the list of prior Fellowship recipients for examples of Eloranta Fellowship projects.

Your proposed research project must be student-originated and/or student-directed. Your proposal should present evidence that the project is feasible and has a chance of success, detailing your own research plan, not a faculty member’s/lab’s ongoing research. Research may have been inspired by, or grown out of previous work (e.g. a UROP project), but the proposed project must be yours and pursued in an independent, original, or novel way.

MIT faculty need not supervise Fellowship research. However, in some situations, faculty supervision or consultation may be advisable, or even necessary, to a project’s successful outcome.

Your proposal should make clear that the necessary facilities, people, and materials would be available to you, and that any requisite permissions have been obtained (especially if outside the U.S.). If a language other than English is required to complete your project, please provide some evidence of language competence and/or other arrangements.

Remember the WOW quotient when preparing your submission – submit a Well-written, Original, and Workable project that wows the Fellowship Committee.

If awarded the Fellowship, your proposed research project is expected to be a full-time summer commitment.  It should be possible to either complete the work during the summer, or a majority of the project.

Following the summer’s work, award recipients may be asked to give a public presentation of their projects.

Proposal Format and Submission Requirements

All submitted proposals must follow the format and submission requirements set forth below.  Applications that fail to meet award criteria will not be considered.  

You are strongly encouraged to avail yourself of Institute writing resources, such as the Writing and Communication Center and School of Engineering Communication Lab.

We also encourage you to consult UROP staff about your project ideas and potential proposals prior to formal submission. Contact us at eloranta-www@mit.edu or stop by 7-104, if you would like to discuss your project or have questions about applying.

Proposal Format and Contents
  • The cover page should give the applicant’s name, MIT address, class year, major, and a project title. All pages should be numbered in the upper right hand corner of every page that follows the cover.  
  • Each submission should include a brief abstract (limited to 150 words) that presents a clear and persuasive project overview/concise project description, and an explanation of project goals/impact.
  • Proposals (ideally no more than 2000 words in length) must be clearly, concisely, and persuasively written.  This means that your submission should be carefully constructed and free of typos, spelling, grammatical, or other editing errors.  
  • Proposals must include strong thesis statements and present unambiguous, compelling supporting evidence that the research plan is original, feasible, and has a chance of success.
  • Project aims or goals should be clearly stated and background provided (about the author and/or about the idea) so that the plan can be understood in the appropriate context.
  • A realistic estimate of project expenses, including materials, lab fees, services, travel costs, etc. should be appended in the form of a budget. 
  • Additional appendices are acceptable, provided relevant and helpful in further understanding your project (e.g. charts, graphs, survey questions, writing, art or music samples, etc.). 
  • Supporting evidence beyond the one required faculty recommendation, such as letters of permission, qualifications, budgets, or other materials that bolster your submission are welcome.

Submission Requirements

Required submission items include
  • Your compelling & original research proposal, as described above.
  • At least one letter of recommendation from an MIT faculty member, who has reviewed your proposal, discussed it with you, and is familiar enough with your project to comment specifically on your proposed work is required.  A thoughtful recommendation that speaks knowledgeably about the specific proposal and student researcher can be a determining factor in whether a proposal is funded or not. Additional recommendations are also welcome.
  • Recommendations are due by the proposal deadline and you must provide any faculty member issuing a recommendation on your behalf with the recommendation checklist provided in the Application Checklists section of this site. 
  • An MIT faculty member need not supervise fellowship work. However, in some situations, faculty supervision or consultation may be advisable or even necessary to a project’s successful outcome. If such faculty supervision or consultation is critical to your project, evidence that you have secured such support should be included in your submission (e.g. an email from the faculty member in question sent to eloranta-www@mit.edu and referencing your project)
  • If your project is to take place at a distant site (possibly outside the U.S.), your proposal, appendices, or letters of recommendation, should make clear that the necessary facilities, people, and/or materials will be available to you and that any requisite permissions have been obtained. If a language other than English is required, please give some evidence of your competence.

Application Checklists

The checklists provided here are designed to help you, and those writing recommendations on your behalf, understand what the selection Committee is seeking and ensure that you have addressed all requirements in your submission.

Please be sure to follow all application guidelines and requirements. Submissions that fail to meet the criteria will not be considered for the Fellowship.
  • Fellowship Applicant Checklist: Use the list below to ensure that you have followed application guidelines and addressed all submission content and format requirements.
  • Recommendation Writer Checklist: Provide this checklist to your recommenders. A thoughtful letter of recommendation that speaks knowledgeably about a your proposal and abilities/qualifications can be a determining factor in whether or not a Fellowship is awarded. 

Fellowship Committee & Prior Recipients

Many Fellowship applicants want to know about who serves on the review committee and about prior recipients and the types of projects they have conducted.

View details on the fellowship committee and prior recipients