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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 Assoc. Director of the SRF Program.


  • A student must achieve a cumulative GPA of at least 3.1 after three semesters at DePauw. A student may be dropped from the program if, after two semesters, it would be mathematically impossible to achieve a GPA of 3.1 by the third semester. These students would be encouraged and supported to concentrate on their other academics.
  • 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  • If, at any time after their 3rd semester a student does not meet this GPA standard, then that student will be withdrawn from the program and not be eligible for the guaranteed summer research experience. This, however, does not prevent a student from seeking a research experience on their own. 
  • Because extenuating circumstances sometimes exist, the SRF Steering Committee can be asked to review, on a case-by-case basis, any student who is being dismissed from the program. Remaining in the program with a GPA below 3.1 will require the approval of the SRF Steering Committee as would reinstatement into the program, should a student GPA improve.



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 and Neuroscience 
  • Interdisciplinary Majors which include any of the sciences are also an option 

Academic Courses  

  Please note that changes to our curriculum were made beginning in Fall, 2014.

  • HONR 193 (0.5 cr); Fall semester Yr. 1   Understanding Science  This course examines the facets of science, including sciences as a body of knowledge, as a process and as a human endeavor.

  • HONR 194 (0.5 cr.); Spring semester Yr. 1 Research Methods An introduction to important techniques in scientific research, including experimental design, statistical reasoning and data analysis, with an emphasis on designing an independent research study 

  • HONR 291(0.5 cr) Fall semester; Year 2  Research Experience I: Group Research Class  Students will work in small groups alongside a science faculty member on a semester long research project. Oral presentations will be done at the end of the semester

  • Research Experience II: Independent Research (Summer following sophomore year)  In early spring semester of Yr. 2, students will review, interview and select from a variety of research projects offered by science faculty.   Most projects are 10 weeks of full time (40 hrs/wk) work and students may not enroll in a May term course. We typically start on the Tuesday following Memorial day. The summer component includes summer housing and a stipend for students. All projects conclude with student participation in the annual science research poster session held early in fall semester. 

  • HON 320CSupervised Research Internship (=2 credits) for an off-campus, academic year or semester long secondary research internship. (typically junior year)

  • HON 390Science Research Readings (=1 credit) may accompany the off-campus Supervised Research 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 the Fall semester of senior year. 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 193, HONR 194,  a 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 sophomore year.  The process for awarding summer project assignments starts in early spring semester of Yr. 2, when projects proposed by the science faculty members are distributed to sophomore 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 program administrators will match students to research projects taking into consideration the student's and the faculty's preferences. 


Secondary 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 early during their junior year. Each student should schedule an appointment with the SRF Director and/or the Assoc. Director to discuss their individual plan for securing an internship. The SRF website, office and DPU Office of Experiential Education (now Hubbard Center) 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 are offered to help prepare for applying to an internship and it is the student's responsibility to take those workshops.

  • 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 Hubbard Center for Experiential Education (located in the Student Union) 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.
  • Honors and Fellows Weekends - All SRF students are expected to host a prospective SRF student during the Honors & Fellows Weekends. Honors & Fellows Weekend is typically scheduled for the first weekend in March each year, when the top applicants to the SRF program are invited to campus for interviews, Honors & Fellows 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 Assoc. Director.