FAQ's for Faculty

Frequently Asked Questions


How does CUFR support faculty?

As a member of the Coalition for Teaching Support, CUFR provide resources and support to faculty. Please visit our Faculty Resources available online.

We welcome and strongly encourage members of the GW community to refer promising students to our office since it is often the best way to make certain students learn about and pursue the many opportunities available to them. Our site also makes it possible for faculty to post undergraduate research opportunities, and we are happy to refer students who possess the needed background and skills.

CUFR is committed to publicizing and promoting all of the university's undergraduate research opportunities. If a program or department would like the Center to list its undergraduate research program, please contact the CUFR staff.

How can an undergraduate student support my research?

Undergraduates have supported faculty research in a variety of ways; read more about examples of undergraduate research assistantships.

Your colleagues may also have experience utilizing undergraduate research assistants. Patricia Hernandex, Margaret Gonglewski, and Paul Hoyt-O’Connor would be most happy to meet with you and your departmental colleagues to discuss opportunities for engaging undergraduates in research and ways the university supports such efforts.

I have an opportunity to a student to assist with research, how do I advertise this position to students?

Faculty may post research assistantship positions on GW Student Research Commons.  Toward the bottom of the homepage for that site, there is a tile, 'Submit a Research Position.'  Simply fill out the required fields, depending upon whether the position is paid or unpaid.  After your information is submitted, the research assistantship position will be posted on Research Commons, where students can learn about and apply for your position.

One of my students is talented, and I think that they would be great for funded-research or a fellowship program, how can I help them?

Contact our office! We can help both you and the student determine which fellowship or research grant would best fit their interests and needs.

Also, a number of research fellowship applications require statements of support from faculty members who will be advising students on their projects. We encourage faculty mentors to discuss the details of students’ proposed projects so that their applications are that much stronger as a result.

What is my role in supporting students’ research?

You serve as a mentor and resource to students, offering insight, feedback and recommendations. Keep in mind that involving undergraduate students in original research, scholarship, and creative activity can be very rewarding to both you and students.

For more information and resources to faculty mentors, please visit Mentoring Undergraduate Research.

Other forms faculty support may take:

  • Provide feedback and advice of project proposals;
  • Encourage students to present their research at GW’s Research Day;
  • Encourage students to present their research at regional, national, or international academic conferences;
  • Facilitate the process of students receiving academic credit or official recognition for their research; and
  • Write strong letters of support and recommendation.

What are other ways to support undergraduate research?

Faculty support of GW’s Research Day is vital, since this event showcases undergraduate scientific, scholarly and artistic endeavors. That support may take:

  • Incorporate Research and Creativity Day into course syllabi by requiring students to visit presentations related to course material;
  • Excuse students from your classes in order to present their research at that event; and
  • Serve as a judge for Research and Creativity Day. Contact us if you are interested!

What options exist for students who wish to receive academic credit for their research?

As you know, many departments offer courses entitled, “Undergraduate Research.” In other departments, students may enroll in an “Independent Study,” using it as a means to obtain academic credit for research. At times, a department’s “Internship” course may be still another way for recognizing the academic value of that research experience, especially if students are pursuing off-campus research opportunities.

Students will soon be able to register for UNIV 3000: Undergraduate Research Experience (0 credit). If students prefer not to register for an additional credit-bearing course, students’ research may be officially noted on their transcripts through this course.

Where can I find information about the undergraduate research fellowship programs?

Our website hosts information and details related to numerous research awards for undergraduate students. For more information and application materials for GW-funded grants, visit the GW Undergraduate Research Award, the Luther Rice Undergraduate Research Fellowship and the Sigelman Undergraduate Research Enhancement (SURE) Award.

How do I strategically write a letter of recommendation for a student?

GW undergraduates and recent grads regularly excel in national fellowship competitions, winning highly selective Truman, Goldwater, Pickering and Fulbright awards. These successes are due in no small part to the generous support of GW faculty and other mentors like you. We thank you in advance for your willingness to devote time and care to writing letters of recommendation for our candidates.

Competition for prestigious national fellowships is keen, and letters of recommendation play a crucial role in separating the winners from the "merely" exceptional applicants. To assist you in preparing effective letters of recommendation, we have some information about the criteria for these competitive awards and best practices and resources for writing strong letters of recommendation.

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