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SRF Student Handbook

The Science Research Fellows Handbook contains the policies of the SRF program. Policy decisions are made by a Steering Committee composed of faculty members from each of the Science and Math Departments, as well as the Director and Assistant Director of the SRF Program.


  • A student must achieve a cumulative GPA of at least 3.1 after three semesters at DePauw.
  • After that, a student must maintain a cumulative GPA of at least 3.1 through their final semester in order to graduate as a SRF.
  • If, at any time after their 3rd semester a student does not meet this GPA standard, then that student will be placed on a one-semester probation in the program and be required to meet with the program director about their plan for improving their GPA. A student who fails to attain a cumulative GPA of 3.1 after the probationary period will be withdrawn from the program.
  • Because extenuating circumstances sometimes exist, the SRF Steering Committee will review, on a case-by-case basis, any student who is at risk of being dismissed from the program. Remaining in the program with a GPA below 3.1 after the probationary period will require the approval of the SRF Steering Committee.


SRFs must declare at least one major that is Science or Math by April of their sophomore year. The options for majors are:

  • Biology
  • Biochemistry
  • Chemistry
  • Computer Science
  • Earth Science
  • Environmental Geoscience
  • Geology
  • Kinesiology
  • Mathematics
  • Physics and Astronomy
  • Psychology
  • Interdisciplinary Majors which include any of the sciences are also an option 

Academic Courses

  • HONR 191(fall semester) and HONR 192 (spring semester) , SRF Research Experience I / II (=0.5 credits each) are taken during the student's first year in the SRF Program. Please note that the SRF-HONR 191 class is not the first year seminar class that all DePauw entering students will take. HONR 191/192 are taken in addition to the students' other (typcially 4) classes. SRF students usually have 4.5 credits each of fall and spring semester of her/his first year at DePauw.
  • HON 320CSupervised Research Internship (=2 credits) for an off-campus, academic year, semester long research internship. (typically junior year)
  • HON 390Science Research Readings (=1 credit) may accompany the off-campus Supervised Internship course. (typically junior year)
  • A student who chooses to do an academic semester internship must be enrolled in a minimum of 3 credits to be considered full time status; therefore, both of the above classes are taken simultaneously.
  • Students completing research internships during the summer cannot receive academic credit; however, many of those internships receive stipends.
  • HON 491SRF Senior Capstone Seminar (=0.5 credit) is taken during either the Fall or Spring semester of senior year (the semester it is offered is determined by current Director of Program). The class is only offered one semester and all senior SRF students must take the class together. Students in the program must have completed HONR 191, HONR 192, 10-week Summer Research Experience (on campus) and the Additional Research Internship to be eligible to take HONR 491.

Summer Research Experience

SRFs are awarded a stipend for a collaborative research project with a faculty member for one summer. Students are expected to work full-time for ten weeks (400 hrs.) between late May and early August on the project which culminates in the development of a research poster. Students are then required to present their poster in an open forum for summer science research projects in the fall semester following their summer experience.

Most SRFs will stay on campus for this experience during the summer after their first year in the program (Lateral Entry students will do so in summer following sophomore year/ poster session in fall of junior year.) By taking this significant research experience as soon as possible, SRF students find it is helpful in obtaining internships and future research experience. As a result, some students in the program have been able to participate in research every summer while a student at DePauw.

The process for awarding summer project assignments starts in mid-November when projects proposed by the science faculty membersare distributed to first-year SRF students. The students are expected to meet and interview with the faculty members for the projects in which they have interest and then submit their top five preferences for projects to the SRF Office. The SRF assistant and director will match students to research projects taking into consideration the student's and the faculty's preferences. Announcements of project pairings will be made in late fall semester. Research begins with the spring semester HON 192 class and continues into a 10 week summer (full-time) project (with a short break inbetween spring semester/summer).

Research Internship

SRFs are required to complete a research internship tailored to their interests. It is recommended that students start planning for their internship experience during their sophomore year. Each student should schedule an appointment with the SRF Director and/or the Assistant Director to discuss their individual plan for securing an internship. The SRF website and office and Career Services can provide resources for the student but it is up to the individual student to investigate, apply to and followup with internship sites. Resume and Cover Letter workshops will also be offered to help prepare for applying to an internship.

  • Internship Research Contract
    An Internship Research Contract must be completed BEFORE an internship is approved. The contract requires the student to provide a description of the research project, identify the project goals, how the student's performance will be evaluated, and how the internship fits in with the student's educational plans. It must be signed by the student, the internship supervisor, and the SRF Director.


  • Research Poster and Internship Summary 
    SRF students create a research poster to present at the poster session on campus following their internship. In addition, a written summary of the internship experience must be submitted to the SRF Director upon the completion of the internship.

Students who have completed their internships will be expected to share their internship experience with other SRFs by providing an overview of their experience to other students. As required by the director, these may include first year SRF students, other SRF students and your SRF HONR 491 colleagues.

Speaker Series

During the academic year, the SRF program invites guest speakers representing the various disciplines of science to speak on campus. These guest speakers are brought to DePauw for the benefit of all students, but particularly for science students. SRF students will be made aware of the dates for guest speakers and are strongly encouraged to attend these presentations. Efforts are made to give SRF students the opportunity to meet the speakers and possibly join the speaker for a meal along with other students and faculty. If you are very interested in joining a particular speaker for dinner, you may contact the SRF Office and express your interest.

Program Events

(all dates are included on SRF Calendar)

  • Resume/Cover Letter Workshops - As part of the internship and post-graduate planning process, students must attend a workshop that helps them to prepare a resume and provides advice on applying for REU (Research Experience for Undergraduates) or other research positions. The workshops will be held in the summer and during the academic year. The workshop is most appropriate for SRF sophomores and juniors who have not yet completed their internship. Students should also spend time in the Career Services offices (now located in the Student Union '10!) where they will find additional resources to help them successfully secure an internship.
  • Ethics Summer Workshops: During the first research summer on campus, all SRF students will be required to participate in 5 weekly scientific ethics training workshops facilitated by various science faculty. As scientists-in-training it is important to understand ethical dilemmas in research and to be able to make informed decisions about how to conduct research responsibly.
  • Other summer Workshops include: How to Apply for External Research Internships, Graduate School--when, why, how, and How to Make a Science Research Poster.
  • Internship Presentations - After completing an internship, SRF students provide a brief presentation of their internship experience to SRF students. These presentations will help other SRF students with the internship planning process by providing insight and recommendations regarding the internship experience. Internship Presentations will be held in the fall semester for students who completed internships during the previous Spring or Summer . An Internship Presentation will be held in the spring for internships completed during the previous fall.
  • Programs of Distinction Weekend - All SRF students are needed to host a prospective SRF student during the Programs of Distinction (POD) Weekend. POD Weekend is typically scheduled for the first or second weekend in March each year, when the top applicants to the SRF program are invited to campus for interviews, POD programs, overnights, and class visits. As a host, SRF students allow a prospective student to be a guest in their room overnight and are expected to act as an ambassador for the program.

Students should plan their schedules carefully so they can attend the SRF Program Events. Conflicts should be negotiated promptly and in advance with the SRF Asst. Director.