Keck Undergraduate Summer Research Fellowship 

With the generous support of the W. M. Keck Foundation, Whittier College has established the Keck Undergraduate Summer Research Fellowship.

This fellowship is for current first-year students and sophomores with an interest in the Natural Sciences and a desire to engage in a substantial summer undergraduate research project with a faculty mentor. Applicants must design their project proposal with a faculty mentor. 

Eligibility Criteria

  • First-year or Sophomore standing
  • Biology, Chemistry, Math, Physics, Computer Science, Psychology, or Kinesiology majors
  • A minimum 2.7 GPA

Selection Criteria

  • Project will enhance the student's academic experience.
  • Proposal is well written.
  • Project is feasible.
  • Proposed project has a Natural Science focus.

Program Benefits

  • A stipend of $5,000 for research activities
  • A research supplies budget of $400
  • A conference budget of $100
  • The project faculty mentor will receive a $500 stipend.

Applying to the Program

The application will be due the second Friday of March. A complete application will include:

  • Unofficial academic transcripts
  • Current semester Academic Progress Report.
  • Student Contract with project mentor sign-off.
  • Signed Mentor Agreement 
  • A written recommendation letter from the faculty mentor for the project.
  • A reference contact from someone outside of the applicants major and project’s area of focus. This can be a Faculty member or when applicable to the project a personal reference (e.g., employer, internship supervisor, volunteer coordinator).
  • A 500-word essay explaining how you became interested in the project, why you want this fellowship opportunity, how you will benefit from the fellowship both personally and professionally, and what personal qualities (skills, attributes, and/or abilities) you possess that will ensure a successful fellowship experience. 
  • A 1000-word essay indicating the primary objective of your project, discuss why is it important, explain the methodology(ies)/ approach(es) that will be used to accomplish your objective, present a time line for the project during the fellowship period, and identify the end result(s) of your project (e.g., a public presentation at URSCA or other conference, a paper, art work, play, etc.). 
  • Selected semi-finalists may be interviewed. 

Keck Fellowship Advisors

Professor Erica Fradinger,

Professor Hector Valenzuela,

Past Fellows

Andrea Acosta (Biology)
Gianluca Bencomo (Biology)
Juan Paul Gomez-Reed (Physics)
Cassady Smith 
Taylor Telles (Biology)
Agnieszka Witanis (Biology)
Brandon Choi (Biology)
Stephanie Jackson (Chemistry)
Su Min Kim (Physics Major)
Faith Moraga (Psychology Major)
Taylor Watanabe (Biology Major)
Robert Willrich (Biology Major)