DaVinci Summer Grant Program

Img 3632

Support for Multidisciplinary Undergraduate Projects


ISLA-Sponsored Undergraduate Research Travel, Summer 2021

ISLA will consider applications for summer projects in which the student will be housed on-campus or in the local community (St. Joseph County). Faculty-led domestic research (e.g. field studies) and creative projects will be considered on a case-by-case basis. International travel will be considered only if it is faculty led and abides by CDC, State Department, and Notre Dame International guidelines and takes into consideration the conditions/regulations at the research site. ISLA expects all students to comply with local health and safety protocols when traveling. Projects, either domestic or international, with multiple destinations are considered higher risk than those with a single destination. All submitted projects that include travel must have a plan for how the applicant will follow CDC, University, and pertinent state and/or municipal COVID guidelines. All approved travel must be recorded in the Notre Dame Travel Registry and all airfare (both domestic and foreign) must be booked through Anthony Travel.  ISLA funds may not be used for any required quarantine periods when undertaking travel-based research projects.  These policies are subject to change. 3/8/21

Deadline: April 9, 2021

ISLA welcomes proposals from undergraduates in the Colleges of Arts and Letters and Science who wish to carry out summer interdisciplinary research or creative projects. Students may independently design projects or propose projects related to an aspect of their faculty mentors' research. Maximum award per student is $4,500, which may be used for travel, living expenses and purchase of research materials. 

Eligible projects might include application of statistical analysis or computer modeling to history, economics, or anthropology; creation of a documentary featuring some aspect of science or engineering; or the integration of biological and psychological perspectives on cognitive science. We are interested in projects involving areas such as science writing; design and mechanical or electrical engineering; theoretical physics and philosophy; cancer biology and psychology; sociology and bioinformatics; economics and sustainable energy; environmental science and political science; and science and literature in the popular media.

Students working with faculty outside the College of their major are also encouraged to apply and should articulate how the research will enhance the interdisciplinary nature of their undergraduate research experience. For example, design students should explain why working with engineering faculty widens their array of potential projects; engineering students should explain how working with faculty studying cancer biology makes accessible to them different areas of research.  

Students may work alone or in teams. Teams should have a designated faculty sponsor who can act as a project consultant. Letters of recommendation for individual team members should confirm the applicant's ability to carry out their designated tasks (e.g. the team member tasked with translating should request a letter of recommendation from a language professor; a team member tasked with writing code should request a letter from a professor in computer science.)  

Max Award: $4,500


  • Applicants should explain in the abstract and introduction the ways in which their project is interdisciplinary. 
  • Please provide an additional letter of support from a sponsoring lab if the project requires the use of non-ND lab space. 
  • Students traveling to countries in which a State Department travel warning has been issued must be accompanied by a Notre Dame faculty member.  

For more information email Karla Cruise, Assistant Director for Student Programs for ISLA, or Xuemin (Sheryl) Lu, Undergraduate Research Coordinator, College of Science.

How to Apply for Funding    Submit an Application