and Creative Scholarship

Aperture Transfer Student Research Fellowship

Cal Lutheran is very fortunate to be able to offer this program with the support from Project Acabado in collaboration with Oxnard College. Students who receive this fellowship must have transferred to Cal Lutheran with and be in the Natural Science Division. Students who receive the fellowship will be paired with a first or second-year student from Oxnard College. The younger student will work with the advanced student on their research project together. The faculty mentor will assist both students in conducting the research.

 The goals of this fellowship are twofold. First, we hope to better support transfer students in engaging in research that is full-time, faculty-mentored, novel, and presentable outside the university.  Second, we hope to create better relationships and STEM pathways between students at Oxnard College and Cal Lutheran

The quality of the mentoring from the faculty member is vital as the goal of these fellowships is to advance the students in their professional and personal development.  Projects that are more independent may be better suited for independent study projects. Projects must be in the Natural Sciences division and meet the criteria of being research. We will award up four fellowships for the summer program.

Application Portal




  • Nominated students may apply for approximately $4,000 that requires that the student participates in approximately eight weeks of full-time (40 hours per week) mentored summer research with a Cal Lutheran faculty member.

  • Funds needed for approved “consumables” and supplies can be applied for separately by contacting Jennifer Lugo ( Consumables include printing costs, travel to special libraries, office supplies, chemicals, etc.  Consumables do not include dining costs, books or films, payment for subjects or non-essential travel costs. All expenditures must be approved before purchase by the OURCS.

  • Faculty compensation is $3,000 per research pairing.

  • On-campus housing is available for registered Cal Lutheran students. Students can move in as early as May 14th. The OURCS will provide some housing assistance (approximately $50/week), but students will have to pay the bulk of the approximately $180/week cost.


  • This program is open to students who have transferred to Cal Lutheran with 30 credits, and who are in the Natural Sciences who are proposing projects in Biology, Chemistry, Biochemistry, Bioengineering and Applied Physics, Exercise Science, Geology, Environmental Science, Mathematics and Computer Science.
  • Students must be nominated by a faculty member who can commit to acting as the project mentor.  It is expected that the faculty mentor will meet with the student on a regular basis. Faculty and students who are not going to be on campus for the majority of the summer should not apply.
  • Students who are awarded this fellowship must agree to attend the peer mentorship training hosted by ALLIES in STEM. They must also agree to mentor their research partner during the research session.
  • Research typically begins around May 21st and concludes in mid-late July, but may begin as early as May 14th and may continue through the summer. It must conclude before the start of fall classes.
  • Students should not have another job during this time and can take, at most, one summer class.  It is best if the student does not have any other obligations during this time as the intent of this program is to provide a means to allow a student to be fully immersed in the research process.
  • Students must be returning to the university in the fall semester. Graduating seniors are not eligible.


  • It is expected that the advanced student has full ownership of the project and that they are not acting as a research assistant for the faculty member. This must be clear in the submitted application and the final product. The novice student can act as a research assistant to the advanced student, provided the advanced student offer ample mentoring and support to the novice student.

  • It is important that both students become part of the scholarly community on campus during the summer. Both the advanced student and novice student are expected to participate in OURCS-sponsored events which will include social events as well as research-related events. These will occur roughly every other week between May 21st and July 20th. Mentors are strongly encouraged to accompany their students to these events.

  • Before beginning the project, the faculty mentor and student will develop a research plan/timeline which will be shared in writing with the Director of the OURCS.  Students may be asked to meet with the Director to discuss how the project is progressing and for the Director to learn more about each project.  Faculty will also be consulted about the project's progress. Failure to progress appropriately may jeopardize project funding.

  • If projects involve Human Subjects, the IRB Application should be submitted in March. Assistance in the IRB process can be provided from the OURCS. Failure to have an approved IRB application may jeopardize the funding of the project.

  • Each pair must present the results of their summer research work at the CLU Student Research Symposium which is held in the fall.  Additionally, students are expected to present at the Festival of Scholars in the spring.

  • Students should plan on presenting at the Southern California Conference on Undergraduate Research (SCCUR) which is always held in the Los Angeles area in the fall OR at a discipline-specific professional conference. Students may apply for an Undergraduate Professional Presentation Travel (UPPT) Grant through the OURCS for the costs associated with these off-campus presentations.

  • If possible, faculty and students should work toward publishing their results in a journal within their discipline.

How to Apply


 Talk with a faculty member in your area of study about possibly working with them over the summer.

With your faculty mentor, decide on a topic and write a 1-2 page proposal for the research project that you intend to conduct during the summer with your faculty mentor. It should contain the following sections (each section will need to be entered into the application separately).

  1. Research Question. Problem of Interest or Goals
  2. Background Information or Brief Literature Review
  3. Hypotheses or Predictions
  4. Method, Steps, Tasks or Procedures
  5. Anticipated Results or End Products
  6. Importance of Product

Email OURCS. If you are planning to apply, please email let us know via email as early as possible. This is not binding, but rather to give us a rough idea of how many applications we can anticipate.

Letter of Recommendation -In addition to the application information outlined below, each application must include a confidential letter of recommendation from another faculty member (not the faculty mentor).  The letter should comment on the student's academic abilities as well as their work ethic, responsibility, and initiative.  As of Spring 2018, this will be submitted online as part of the dynamic forms application.


With your faculty mentor, draft an application with the following information (below). A template for the application is available on the main page.  When ready, you can submit a completed application online. Try to avoid using figures or special characters. If you must, you can put all figures in a "figure file" attachment, and upload those separately.

The deadline for the student portion of the applications is 5:00 pm on March 1. If March 1 falls on a Saturday or Sunday, the application deadline will move to the following Monday at 5:00 pm. The full, finished application (Incl. letter of Rec and Mentor Portion of the Application) is due March 9th. Applications received after the deadline will be considered only if funds remain after all other projects are evaluated. The application document must include (online form will ask for the same information as noted below):

Online Application Submission Form

The application form will request the following information from the student:

Student portion: 

  1. Student (Full Name, Student ID, Major, Email, and Graduation Date)
  2. Faculty Research Mentor (Name and Email)
  3. Letter Writer (Name and Email)
  4. Student's grade point average (overall and in the discipline of study)
  5. Title of the proposed project.
  6. Proposal:
    1. Please enter your 1-2 page description of the research project that you intend to conduct during the summer with your faculty mentor. It should contain the following sections (which will be entered into the application separately). Students- work through several drafts with your faculty mentor before you submit this portion!
  7. Research Question, Problem of Interest, or Goals
  8. Background Info or Brief Literature Review
  9. Hypotheses or Predictions
  10. Method, Steps, Tasks or Procedures
  11. Anticipated Results or End Products
  12. Importance of Project
  13. Student's previous research experience – What experiences (and or skills) do you have that have prepared you to be successful in this project? Please be specific.
  14. Please write out a timeline of your project. Note what you hope to accomplish week by week. Be specific. The summer research session is eight weeks.
  15. Budget Plan. Estimated consumable cost and explanation of these costs – there is funding for an average of about $500 per project. Specific details (items, costs, and justification) must be given. If you do not need money, note "none needed."
  16. Where will the results be presented or published? The Council of Undergraduate Research has published extensively on the importance for the student's identity and professional development that the project leads to a product (e.g. paper, poster, performance) that is shared by the student with others beyond the university. Identify the venue at which you anticipate the results of this project could be presented, not including the mandatory on-campus presentations. Please use complete sentences.
  17. SRS Availability. Presenting at the Fall 2018 Student Research Symposium is mandatory for all 2018 Research Fellows. This year, it will be Saturday, October 20th, 2018 in the morning during Homecoming. Can you commit to attending this important event?
  18. Weekly Event Availability. During June and July, we meet as a group every Wednesday from 3:00-5:00 to develop professional skills and to provide peer support. Will you be able to attend these meetings?

Faculty Mentor Portion

  1. SRS Availability. Presenting at the Fall 2018 Student Research Symposium is mandatory for all 2018 Research Fellows, and it is very important for the faculty mentor to attend to support their student. This year, it will be Saturday, October 20th, 2018 in the morning during Homecoming. Can you commit to attending this important event?
  2. Weekly Event Availability. During June and July, we meet as a group every Wednesday from 3:00-5:00 to develop professional skills and to provide peer support. We have structured it to involve faculty mentors at almost every-other Wednesday. This year, the faculty mentor involvement is scheduled for June 13th, June 27th, July 18th and July 25th. Will you be able to attend these meetings?
  3. Mentoring Plan (Faculty). The OURCS wants to ensure that a student is likely to be successful in this process. (a) Students differ in the degree and type of guidance they need, and faculty differ in their mentoring style and expectations. Please address this issue, indicating the mentoring plan (daily meetings? weekly meetings with daily skype availability? ) and how this plan is likely to fit the student's needs so that the project will be successful. (b) Establishing a robust and supportive research community is also essential for student success – indicate how you plan to help the student engage with a scientific community (attend the workshops, attend conferences, weekly lab meetings as a group, etc.).
  4. Previous Mentorship (Faculty). List previous Cal Lutheran summer research fellowship students that you have mentored or co-mentored. Next to each, indicate the outcomes of the project- specifically, whether or not it was presented off campus (a requirement of the fellowship), and if so, where, when, etc. If the results were written up and submitted to a journal, note those details as well.
  5. Other Funding. Fellowship resources are limited, and it is important that as many qualified students as possible have the opportunity to engage in mentored research. Indicate whether there are other funding sources available to the mentor for research. If so, identify both external and internal sources such as grants and departmental funds for research students.
  6. An indication of Faculty Mentor Support. This portion of the application serves as your indication of support for the student, and willingness to work with the student over the summer and the following year (SRS, FOS, off-campus presentation). No additional email or letter from the faculty mentor is necessary. If you wish to add additional information, please do so below.

Letter of Recommendation- Students will need to ask another faculty member (who is not the faculty mentor for the project) to provide a brief letter of recommendation on their behalf. This letter will be sent online through the application portal.

Decision Process

All applications for the Swenson Fellowship will be reviewed by a committee composed of Natural Science Division Department Chairs and led by the Natural Science representative to the OURCS Executive Committee.

The committee will review and rate applications based on the following four criteria:

  • Sound professional merit/methodology. The application addresses both the specifics of the proposed project and the broad context of the proposed work. An hypothesis-driven research endeavor is expected in science.
  • Doable and likely that the main goals will be accomplished by the student in an 8-week program.
  • Will result in a product that will be presentable off campus at a peer-reviewed venue.
  • The student's talents and background are appropriate for the proposed work, given the guidance likely to be given by the mentor.

The Director of the OURCS and the Dean will be consulted as part of the decision-making process.

Faculty with other funding sources (e.g., grants or department funds) will be given lower priority than those without funding sources.

Previous project outcomes will be considered in the overall selection process with priority given to those previous projects that resulted in discipline-specific conference presentations or publications.

No more than four student awards per faculty mentor will be given across summer research programs.  The quality of the writing will be taken into consideration – a well-written proposal will be given preference over a poorly written proposal.