FAO SUPER-Curricular Seed Grant

Strong candidates for highly competitive national fellowships are intellectually engaged; they value a broad-based education and they have explored their individual interests through wider reading and research outside structured classroom and extracurricular activities. The Fellowship Advising Office SUPER-Curricular Seed Grants are intended to encourage and enable promising undergraduate students to build on their undergraduate studies by participating in EXTRAORDINARY summer experiences that will enhance their competitiveness for prestigious national and international scholarships and fellowships and for admission to highly competitive graduate programs. The best thing about Super-Curricular activities is that there are no exams, no deadlines, and no grades to worry about. You are FREE to follow your own lines of inquiry into areas that interest you the most within your academic curriculum. This is a once in a lifetime opportunity to propose a creative, intellectually engaging project that many students can only dream about! Undergraduate students from all backgrounds and majors are encouraged to apply. We particularly invite creative and original proposals.

One or more awards of up to $5000 will be available for Summer 2016. Examples of past projects may be found here.


  • Full-time undergraduate student at the time of application.
  • Open to freshmen and sophomore undergraduate students with 3.7 or higher GPA
  • Open to junior undergraduate students with a 3.8 or higher GPA if and only if their summer project is for an Honors Thesis (University Honors Program or Department Honors Program).

Guidelines for the Proposed Project

The Project MUST

  • Be self-designed
  • Have a direct tie to your major or minor or to your thesis
  • Occur during the summer, for 8 weeks or longer, and be your primary summer activity

The Project MAY

  • Enhance or expand your independent research already in progress, if the summer research is undertaken outside of NC State
  • Supplement a traditional summer study abroad program with an independent research project outside of structured activities
  • Be a highly competitive unpaid internship (e.g., National Endowment for the Humanities, State Department, U.S. Embassy abroad)
  • Occur within or outside the United States


  • Any experiences taken for academic credit
  • Group projects
  • Participation in experiences organized by someone else (e.g., REU, missions, service organization)
  • Tuition for a program of study

Application Procedure

Please e-mail your application to Dr. Tiffany Kershner, (tiffany_kershner@ncsu.edu) by Monday, February 1st, 5pm in the following order.

  1. Application Cover Page (pg. 2)
  2. Resume that includes the name and contact information for one faculty member who will serve as your mentor for the project. For Juniors, this mentor will be asked to submit a letter of reference. Please share with him/her your intention to apply. At least one should be affiliated with NC State.
  3. Essay that describes in detail your proposed summer project. You should also explain how this project will support your future academic AND professional career goals. Please limit your essay to 1000 words.
  4. A detailed budget and timeline for proposed project (e.g., airfare, living expenses, etc.). Juniors must include in their timeline a schedule for writing and defending (if required) their Thesis for the next academic year.
  5. Current unofficial transcript (PDF copy)
  6. Signed copy agreeing to the program expectations, terms, and conditions (pg. 3).


Finalists will be interviewed by the NC State Fellowship Selection Committee.