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Frances Ferris Hall Fund for Undergraduate Research

The deadline for 2018 applications has passed. Please check back with us next spring for the 2019 deadline.

The Frances Ferris Hall Fund supports research by UNC-Chapel Hill undergraduates on Women in the American South. Frances Ferris Hall Awards are now awarded through UNC’s Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship (SURF) program in the Office for Undergraduate Research. Selected students will receive $2,000 at the start of the summer and the remainder of the award ($1,000) after they have submitted the required final materials and the materials are approved by OUR. Projects connected to thesis work, honors or major course projects, or independent study for credit are preferred. Funds may be used for research-related expenses such as travel, books, supplies and equipment, copying, and research assistance.

All currently enrolled UNC-Chapel Hill undergraduate students in good academic standing who will graduate after November 2018 and who wish to engage in undergraduate research, scholarship or performance for at least 9 weeks between May and August 2018, for at least 20 hours per week, are eligible to apply. Students must be enrolled the semester before (Spring 2018) and the semester after (Fall 2018) completion of the SURF. The projects must be carried out under the supervision of a UNC-Chapel Hill faculty research advisor, and additional collaboration with a postdoctoral fellow or graduate student mentor is encouraged. Each student may submit only ONE SURF application per year. Students who have received a SURF award in previous years are not eligible to apply.

1. (required) The online application, which includes information about the student, faculty advisor, and the project title (100 character maximum). The online application also requests information on scholarships and other awards that you have received at Carolina or have applied to receive for the summer of 2015.

2.(required) The written proposal must be submitted by email to Please submit your proposal in .pdf form and name it “LastNameFirstNameSURF2015Proposal,” where LastName and FirstName reflect your name. The written proposal should be typed in 12-point font and double-spaced. Sections (1) through (9) of the written proposal should be a maximum of 1200 words. We have included suggested word lengths for each section, but these may differ by discipline. With clearly labeled headings, please include the following in the written proposal:

  1. Project Goal(s) or Aim(s): Provide a statement of your research question(s) or a description of what you intend to create, invent or discover. Suggested length: 150 words.
  2. Project Background and Significance: Clearly explain the potential importance of your research project, your performance or creation, or your invention. In addition, explain the theoretical or critical frameworks you will use to guide your research or the development of your performance or creation. Include appropriate citations. Suggested length: 400 words.
  3. Methods: Describe the steps you will take to complete your project and explain why each step is necessary. Methods differ from project to project. They may include conducting laboratory experiments, fielding surveys, interviewing key informants, analyzing critical texts or artifacts, viewing related performances, or traveling to specific field locations or archives. Include a brief timeline for completing your project during the summer. While students may continue their projects after the end of the summer, the research funded by the SURF must be completed by the start of the Fall semester. Suggested length: 400 words.
  4. Preliminary Work and Experience: Briefly summarize any preliminary work accomplished for your project and/or the course work and other experience you have had that demonstrates your capacity to complete your project successfully. Suggested length: 150 words.
  5. Final Products and Dissemination Plan:
    Indicate what the resulting product of your research will be and how this product will be disseminated or shared with others. Examples of final products include a paper submitted for publication, a conference presentation, a software application, a web site, or a performance or other event. Suggested length: 75 words.
  6. IRB statement: Please indicate whether your proposal requires IRB approval. This statement is required for all proposals. Most research involving contact with human subjects (i.e., interviews or surveys) requires IRB approval, as does research involving animal subjects. For more information about IRB requirements, please visit the IRB guide for students and faculty.
  7. Word Count: At the end of section (6), please include a word count of sections (1) through (6). List it as “Total word count: ##”. Sections (1) through (6) must total less than 1200 words.
  8. References: Provide a list of the references you cited in your proposal. References are not included in the 1200 word limit.
  9. Figures and Tables: Figures and tables are not required as part of your written proposal. However, if you choose to include figures or tables, please number them sequentially and refer to them in the text by the appropriate number (e.g., Figure 1, Figure 2, etc). Place these after the references.  Do not embed figures and tables in the body of the proposal (i.e. sections a-g). Do not include more than a combined total of 3 figures and tables.  Figures and tables are not included in the word limit.

3. (required) A copy of your official UNC transcript from the Registrar’s Office. The official transcript must be delivered to Graham Memorial Room 221. Please note that the Registrar’s Office requests a minimum turn-around time of two weeks; order your transcript early.

4. (optional) A letter of support from a sponsoring agency or organization.  Some projects require the support from individuals and/or organizations who will provide you with access to essential resources for your research.  If your research requires support from an individual or organization, please provide a letter of support from that individual or organization.(required) A letter of support from the faculty research advisor who will oversee the research project. The letter of support should include your advisor’s assessment of the potential significance of your project and a review of your qualifications to carry out the project. In addition the letter should address any academic weaknesses. If your research is part of a larger project, the letter should indicate what aspect of the larger project will be set aside for your own independent research. All letters of support must include a statement noting whether or not your project requires or has IRB approval. Finally, the letter of support should be written on departmental letterhead, saved in .pdf format and named “LastNameFirstNameSURF2015Letter,” where LastName and FirstName is your name. Letters should be submitted by email to Note: Faculty advisors are encouraged to review the SURF Rubric used by the selection committee.

All parts of the application must be received by Thursday, February 26, 2015 at 4:00 p.m.

Format Requirements:
  1. Your written statement and faculty letter of support should be double-spaced.
  2. Please put the title of your application on the first page of your written statement, and include your name and PID number on each page. Please do NOT include a cover page, Appendix materials, separate CV, or budget.
  3. You must adhere to the 1200 word limit on parts (a) through (f), and to the limit of 3 figures/tables.
Application Submission:

Please complete the on-line application, submit your proposal via email, and then bring your transcript to:

The Office for Undergraduate Research
c/o SURF Program
Room 221 Graham Memorial
CB # 2800

Faculty should submit letters of support via email to

The deadline for receipt of all materials is Thursday, February 26, 2015 at 4:00 p.m.