Detailed Guidelines for Applicants

FYS Proposal Requirements

All FYS fellowships must include these following:

1. Project specific proposal

2. Detailed and itemized budget justification
Please include an itemized budget that shows all your calculations for figuring per diem, miscellaneous costs, etc. It is the student’s responsibility to develop a budget that is complete and accurate. Any changes to a budget after the project is awarded, such as transfers between line items, must be pre-approved.

3. Strong faculty endorsement
It is the student’s responsibility to assure that their faculty mentor uploads their recommendation letter. Completed proposals are due by midnight on the deadline. It is expected that students request their faculty letters at least three weeks in advance of the application deadline, even though faculty will not be able to submit their letter until after the proposal has been submitted. We allow a 7-day grace period beyond the deadline to receive letters of recommendation. Grant proposals for which we do not receive a faculty recommendation seven days beyond the original deadline will not be considered for funding. Faculty members will receive a message asking for submission of your letter after you’ve submitted your application.

4. Travel waiver
Should students be approved for research or conference travel in the United States, they must submit a Domestic Travel Waiver, supplied by the First Year of Studies. Students planning to travel internationally must apply to the Office of International Studies for the appropriate forms and waivers. Copies of approvals should be submitted to the First Year of Studies at

International travel waivers need to be submitted at least six weeks prior to the travel date. Here’s the link for beginning the travel process:

5. Human subjects / IRB approval, if applicable
Students engaging in research involving human subjects must complete research ethics training and submit a protocol to the Institutional Review Board (IRB) for approval. Students who require IRB approval to conduct research must submit a copy of the approval from the Notre Dame Research. For more info on IRB and the training and submission process, go to this link: If you are unsure if your research fits the definition of Human Subjects, please refer to the following definition from the Notre Dame Research website:

Definition of Human Subject and Research

Federal regulations (45 CFR 46.102(d)) define research as “a systematic investigation, including research development, testing, and evaluation, designed to develop or contribute to generalizable knowledge.”
For the purposes of this policy, a systematic investigation is an activity that involves a prospective research plan, which incorporates data collection, either quantitative or qualitative, and data analysis to answer a research question. Investigations designed to develop or contribute to generalizable knowledge are those designed to draw general conclusions (i.e., knowledge gained from a study may be applied to populations outside of the specific study sample), inform policy, or generalize findings.

Federal regulations (45 CFR 46.102(f)) define human subject as “a living individual about whom an investigator (whether professional or student) conducting research obtains (1) data through intervention or interaction with the individual or (2) identifiable private information.” Private information includes information that an individual can reasonably expect will not be made public, and information about behavior that an individual can reasonably expect will not be observed or recorded. Identifiable means that the identity of the individual is or may readily be ascertained by the investigator or associated with the information.

Research Involving Human Subjects will not be funded unless a protocol has been approved by the IRB and received by the First Year of Studies.

6. Funds acceptance and awards procedures:

In order to accept First Year of Studies funds, grant recipients must return the following documents to our office within 7 days of receiving their award letter:

• The First Year of Studies funding contract
• The Domestic Travel Waiver (if applicable)

If these items are not received within 7 days of the award letter, We will assume the grant has been declined and will redistribute the funds to alternate applicants.
Before any funds can be issued, proposals for travel and research must be in compliance with University guidelines governing research, risk management/safety, and international travel. Thus, before any award is processed, the recipient must demonstrate that the following conditions are met (if applicable):

• International travel has been approved by the Office of International Studies (OIS)
• Institutional Review Board (IRB) protocol approval and research ethics training completion

Once the project is shown to be in compliance, we will award funds. It is the student’s responsibility to submit IRB protocols and apply for International travel approvals well in advance to allow time for processing. The IRB only meets once per month so it is important to submit early.

First Year of Studies funds are awarded based via pre-payment. 100% of its funds are awarded via check or direct deposit. Students should be aware that there may be tax implications related to the award funding for which the student is responsible.

Students are responsible for keeping track of all expenses, retaining receipts, and turning in the required materials at the end of the project period.

If the First Year of Studies does not receive the required materials (receipts, expense report, and final report) within 30 days of the student’s return/project’s end, the student will be responsible for paying back funds issued in advance.

As the purpose of this fellowship is focused on supporting undergraduates, it is our policy to issue funds directly to students. Student grants cannot be ‘signed over’ or directly issued to any faculty member, department, or campus entity.

Students applying for funding through other funding entities should be aware those deadlines may be different than those of the First Year of Studies’***

FYS guidelines have been adapted from guidelines created by the Flatley Center for Undergraduate Scholarly Engagement.