SMART Program Information

InformaciĆ³n sobre Programa "SMART"

The SMART program is intended for undergraduate students who are interested in preparing for graduate degrees in science, math and engineering. SMART offers students the opportunity to conduct research under the guidance of a faculty mentor, and participate in workshops designed to strengthen scientific writing and oral presentation skills.

SMART interns earn upper-division undergraduate credit in independent study, and receive a stipend, room and board, and travel expenses.

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SMART Academic Areas

Interns may conduct research in 18 academic areas. These areas include:

You may use the links to learn more about the departments, faculty, and research areas.

*Students with an interest in the Neuroscience program at CU-Boulder are advised to choose "Life Sciences" as their primary research field when submitting an application through the Leadership Alliance SR-EIP website. CU-Boulder is not an option when applying to any of the Psychology disciplines on the SR-EIP website. We do read applications carefully, however, and we will be sure to match yours specifically to your desired field when it is under review.

Program Plan and Calendar

The SMART program focuses on the development of research skills and the faculty mentor/student relationship. During the first week, interns write a research project proposal. In the next eight weeks they carry out the proposed project. In the final week they present their research results in oral and written form. Depending on the academic area, the conduct of research may include laboratory experimentation, outdoor field work, and data analysis. Students work either as part of a research team or independently.

Other activities in the SMART program prepare SMART interns for graduate studies. These include:

  • Workshops devoted to technical writing and oral presentation skills
  • Workshops on selecting graduate programs and the application process for graduate school
  • GRE preparation

2018 Program Calendar

Week 1

  • Program orientation
  • Introduction to faculty mentors and research environment
  • Beginning of research project

Weeks 2 to 9

  • Continuing work on research projects with faculty mentors
  • Workshops on technical writing, oral presentation skills, and the selection/application process for graduate school
  • Cultural and outdoor activities

Week 10

  • Final preparation for oral and written presentations of projects
  • SMART Research Symposium
  • SMART Poster Session

Faculty Mentors

The CU-Boulder faculty members serve as mentors for the SMART interns' research projects. Mentors, who volunteer their time, are chosen for their excellence in research and scholarly work and their commitment to undergraduate research. The mentors themselves review applications and select SMART interns.

Most interns take part in the on-going research programs of their mentors. SMART students receive information about their mentor and his or her research when they are accepted into the program.

Eligibility Requirements

Students Must:

  • Be 18 years or older
  • Be U.S. citizens or permanent residents
  • Be members of racial/ethnic groups severely underrepresented in science, math, and engineering (African American, Hispanic/Latino, American Indian/Alaska Native/ Native Pacific Islander), or be first-generation college students who are economically disadvantaged
  • Have completed their second year of undergraduate study (the equivalent of 60 semester credit hours) by June of the year during which they apply
  • Not earn a BA/BS before December of the year they participate

Selection Process

SMART program staff and faculty mentors review applications and make final selection. Selection criteria include:

Academic qualifications of the applicant:

  • Evidence of academic ability/improvement at undergraduate institution
  • Evidence of sufficient courses in the involved subject areas
  • Indication of ability to succeed in a graduate intern program

Statement of interest:

  • Level of interest indicated in statement. Students should submit a statement describing the area in which they are interested in conducting research. Faculty from several disciplines may review the applications for consideration. The proposal may be as broad or as specific as the applicant wishes.
  • Written communication skills
  • Letters of reference:

    • Applicant's ability to succeed in the program, academically and socially
    • Applicant's potential for graduate level studies and research
    • Applicant's maturity, motivation and ability to work independently

    Financial Support

    The SMART Program pays program costs. Interns receive:

    • Tuition for upper-division undergraduate credit in independent study at the University of Colorado at Boulder
    • Room and board for the 10-week program
    • Transportation to and from Boulder, Colorado
    • A stipend of $4,800 to be paid monthly

    Living arrangements: Interns live together in University of Colorado housing arranged by program staff. Meals are provided each day.

    Application Deadline and Submission Information

    For the 2018 SMART Program, applicants must apply through the Leadership Alliance Summer Research Early Identification Program (SR-EIP). You may apply using the SR-EIP online application beginning in November 2017. SMART students will be selected by CU faculty from the pool of accepted applicants to the Leadership Alliance SR-EIP. Please go to the Leadership Alliance SR-EIP website for more information on how to register and apply.

    How to Apply

    For more information, please contact the SMART office at the University of Colorado at Boulder:

    303-735-2944 (fax)