Mary Gates Endowment For Students

Research Review Process & Selection Criteria

Review Process

  1. Applications are screened for completeness.
  2. A committee of 3-4 faculty and student services specialists will review your application, examining your essay for evidence of the nature, extent, and quality of your research activities and the role you play in this research. Two of these reviewers will be researchers in areas close to your project discipline but may not be experts in the precise area of focus of the proposed project (e.g., a student working in marine biology might have reviewers from biology, fisheries, or marine biology). The third reviewer will be a “generalist.” This reviewer is generally a faculty or staff member who understands the research enterprise well. Reviewers provide numerical scores and comments, based on a rubric that encompasses the criteria specified under the Selection Criteria found below.
  3. All applicants receive notification and all applicants, funded or not funded, are invited to receive feedback on their applications.

The review process takes up to 8 weeks.

Selection Criteria

The committee evaluating your application with use the criteria list below. Each bullet point does not need to be satisfied; they are factors that reviewers will take into account in their evaluation.

Motivation of Applicant

  • Adequate academic preparation for proposed work and the student’s potential for success
  • Motivation: sincere curiosity and interest in topic or research experience
  • Mentor’s overall assessment of student’s abilities and potential for learning and contributing to the research

Understanding of Research 

  • Clarity and depth of the project description
  • Student’s ability to place their research in a broader context
  • Student’s demonstrated facility with the concepts, methodologies, and questions in the field of study; project description clearly written in student’s own voice
  • Student’s articulation of their responsibilities and how they relate to the overall research project
  • Previous Award Recipients: Deeper than average understanding of research; more sophistication

Quality and Intensity of Experience 

  • Student’s investment in the research
  • Level of participation and challenge for the student’s point of development
  • Quality of mentoring support and the research environment
  • Previous Award Recipients: More independence and responsibility and/or working towards publication or presentation in a professional setting

Educational and Long-Term Impact 

  • Achieved and potential learning benefits of research experience
  • Longer-term education and/or career goals and describes how research experience moves them toward goals
  • Impact of financial support on student’s engagement with research and impact of being named a Mary Gates Scholar
  • Previous Award Recipients: Statement of new learning opportunities or expected new achievements for this award period; statement of previous accomplishment and growth from prior award; strong connection between research and longer-term goals

Feedback on your Application

If you did not receive a Research Scholarship the first time you applied and are planning to reapply, you have the option to get feedback on your application. Even if you are not reapplying, you may still find it valuable to hear what aspects of your proposal could be improved if you are planning to apply for other scholarships, graduate school, grants or even a job.

To receive feedback on your application or interview, contact