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Alfred Research Grants for Undergraduate Students (ARGUS)

ARGUS is an Alfred University Program operated by the Office of the Provost to provide funding for research and creative activities of current Alfred University students. It is operated by a committee of faculty who are appointed by Alfred Deans or directly by the Provost.

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Application procedures and review criteria

Application Procedures
The application procedure for getting ARGUS funding is fairly straightforward. You will submit an application that consists of a cover sheet, a brief proposal, and the names of 2 persons who have agreed to write confidential letters of recommendation (one letter should be from your project advisor). The proposal will be evaluated by the ARGUS Committee (see below) and other faculty members. They’ll use a set of evaluation criteria to determine if your project will succeed and what its impact will be. When all proposals for a given funding cycle (fall, spring, summer) have been evaluated, you will be notified whether the committee elected to fund your proposal.
Complete proposals deadlines during 2014 for ARGUS funding are as follows:

  • Fall Project Start: April 21
  • Spring Project Start: November 30
  • Summer Project Start: March 2

The review process may take a few weeks...remember that our faculty reviewers are volunteers. Proposals should be submitted electronically via email to the ARGUS account with your last name and the desired funding period as the subject (ex. Bowers Summer 2012). Please ask your faculty recommenders to submit their letters of recommendation to the same email with your last name, the word "recommendation", and the funding period (ex. Bowers Recommendation Summer 2012). Be sure you communicate clearly what should be used as a subject line with your recommending faculty.

The ARGUS Committee consists of faculty members representing all units of the University. Faculty members from the unit where the research will be done will be asked to review proposals from their unit (the standard program chair model). Chair of the ARGUS Committee is Dr. Michele Hluchy, professor of Geology and Environmental Studies. Dr. Geoffrey Bowers, assistant professor of Chemistry and adjunct assistant professor of Materials Engineering, oversees proposal submission and review. Questions about proposal submission or review should be directed to Dr. Bowers. The other members of the committee are:
Dr. Robert Reginio, English
Angie To, Art and Design
Dr. Grzegorz Pac, Business
Dr. Steve Pilgrim, Engineering


The various steps involved in submitting and evaluating an ARGUS proposal are outlined below.

Note: If your project involves the use of human subjects, your project must be approved by the Human Subjects Research Committee prior to submitting your proposal to the ARGUS committee. It may take as much as three weeks for that approval, so please plan accordingly. Your project sponsor will be able to tell you how to submit your project idea to this committee.

For Students

  1. Find a topic and choose a sponsor.
  2. Request two letters of recommendation. One should be from your research sponsor. Recommenders should be asked to submit letters electronically via email by the appropriate deadline.
  3. Prepare your proposal according to the criteria found on the proposal guidelines page. Submit your proposal by the appropriate deadline. Submission instruction summary
  4. Upon approval, perform research/creative activity under the guidance of your faculty sponsor.
  5. Present the project at the undergraduate research fair in April.

What happens after a proposal is submitted?

  1. The Chair of the ARGUS Committee will collate proposals and recommendations and notify the student if materials are missing.
  2. ARGUS Committee member(s) in the unit in which the research is to be done will solicit reviewers from among the faculty, based on faculty expertise and the topic of the research. Reviewers will evaluate proposals according to a fixed set of criteria.
  3. Once reviews are complete, the ARGUS Committee will discuss reviews and determine which proposals will be funded.
  4. The student will be notified if the project will be funded. If the project will not be funded, the student will be notified and given an opportunity to review committee/reviewer comments.