The Marcus Undergraduate Research Fellowship

Tuesday, February 09, 2021
At a 2019 campus event, Lindhan Le (right) discusses their Marcus fellowship research as faculty mentor Elizabeth Ramírez-Soto watches.

The Marcus Undergraduate Student Research Fellowship is for undergraduates interested in working closely with a faculty member to develop, complete and present a research, scholarly or creative project. It awards $3,000 to each student fellow and $1,000 to their faculty mentor to engage in student-initiated research, scholarly and creative activity in 2021 – 2022. In addition to funding, recipients will participate in programming that supports their projects throughout the course of the fellowship.

Research projects are broadly construed and students from all majors in the College of Liberal & Creative Arts and a broad range of backgrounds and experiences are encouraged to apply. These fellowships aim to enrich student learning rather than to reward past performance.

Applications must be submitted by the student by March 29, 2021.

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  • Must be declared undergraduate majors in the College of Liberal & Creative Arts.
  • Must be enrolled in a minimum of 12 units in both the fall and spring semesters of academic year 2021 – 2022.
  • Must not be studying abroad in 2021 – 2022.


  • Must be a tenured or tenure-track full-time faculty member in the College of Liberal & Creative Arts.
  • Must commit to mentorship of the student fellow across a range of research or creative activities relevant to their discipline including project development and presentation of results.
  • Must commit to meet with the student weekly or biweekly.

Preparing a Proposal

  1. Interested students should approach a faculty member with a project in mind and ask whether the faculty member is willing to serve a mentor for the project.
  2. The student, under the guidance and supervision of the faculty mentor, will prepare the proposal for submission. Keep in mind that proposals may take several weeks to develop and complete.

Proposal Components

  • General Information: Student name and contact information.
  • Proposed Project: Project title, research question or project goal, abstract, personal statement, project narrative, and proposed timeline. Inclusion of a bibliography/reference list is optional.
  • Applicant Academic Information: Student’s unofficial SFSU transcript and the course status as it relates to the proposed project.
  • Faculty Mentor Information: Faculty mentor’s name and contact information.
  • Faculty Mentor Statement: This section is prepared by the faculty mentor and uploaded by the applicant. The faculty member should explain the merits of the project, the likelihood the project can be completed in the timeline provided, describes the mentoring plan (noting a weekly or biweekly meeting schedule) and other information the faculty member thinks reviewers might find helpful (maximum 500 words).

Proposal Evaluation Criteria

  • Overall quality and clarity of the proposal
  • Realistic scope of the project and likelihood of completion
  • Potential impact on student, the value of personal outcomes
  • Clear evidence of a student-initiated project
  • Level of faculty collaboration, as described in the timeline and faculty statement
  • Student preparation, evidence of the training necessary to conduct the activity

2020 – 2021 Marcus Research Fellowship Grant Winners

  • “A Price on Pride: Understanding the Commoditization of the Queer Identity in San Francisco.” Student: Maximilian DeNembo (School of Design). Mentor: Hsiao-Yun Chu.
  • “Defining Rurality: An Exploration of the Rural-Urban Connection in Different Parts of the United States.” Student: Fiona DeWitt (Political Science Department). Mentor: Rebecca Eissler.
  • “Explorations of Gesticulation-Based Upper Limb Appliances.” Student: Levi Gilbert (School of Design). Mentor: Silvan Linn.
  • “Everyday HEROs: Public Health Research during COVID-19 Shelter-in-Place.” Student: Gurjot Gill (Anthropology Department). Mentor: Peter Biella.
  • “Objectivity and Epistemic Commitment: Polanyi’s Critique of Reductionism.” Student: Aydin Jang (Philosophy Department). Mentor: Arizoo Islami.
  • “Korean American Cinema (1990s – Present): Confronting History and Myths in the Diaspora.” Student: B. Kim (School of Cinema). Mentor: Scott Boswell.
  • “Attainability of Official CSU Intended Outcomes: A Student Experience-Based Study.” Student: Ysenia Martinez (School of Design). Mentor: Tara Lockhart.
  • “Decline of the Latino Media in the San Francisco Bay Area.” Student: Adriana Morga Oregel (Journalism Department). Mentor: Laura Moorhead.
  • “The Semiotics of Power: Linguistic Structures of Neoliberal Hegemony.” Student: Mikey Pagan (School of Humanities and Liberal Studies). Mentor: Teresa Pratt.

View previous Marcus Research Fellowship Grant Winners

Logo: The George and Judy Marcus Fund for Excellence in the Liberal Arts