Please refer to this list for answers to frequently asked questions.

Program Components

What does being in the BSI Scholars program entail?

BSI Scholars become part of an undergraduate research community at CU Boulder, and make connections beyond their lab with other student researchers. The program also aims to develop students' professional and scientific skills through additional workshops and trainings. 

Scholars are financially supported as they work in research labs around campus, so the majority of the time commitment to the program involves consistent work in labs. 

In addition, students in the program must attend 4-5 required workshops throughout the award term. This includes a program orientation, writing workshops, and a presentation skills workshop. These workshops will be scheduled around classes so that Scholars can attend. Students also are required to submit a research update and a final program evaluation survey.

Optional professional development sessions will also be scheduled throughout the term of the award, and topics vary based on availablity and student interest. 

What sort of time commitment should I expect while participating in the program?

BSI does not set requirements for the number of hours Scholars must spend in their labs. Lab schedules are determined by collaboratively between the student and their lab mentor(s). Generally speaking, most mentors expect a minimum commitment of 8-10 hours per week during the academic year, and 20-40 hours per week in the summer. 

In addition to the time spent working in labs, BSI Scholars will need to commit to attending 4-5 professional development workshops during the term of the award. These sessions will be scheduled around students' class schedules, and students will be informed of the dates with plenty of advance warning. Other optional sessions will also occur during the term of the award. 

Student Eligibility

What are the eligibility requirements of the BSI Scholars program?
  • Undergraduates must be currently enrolled full-time (12+ credits) in a degree-seeking (Bachelor's) program at CU Boulder when applying. Course enrollment is not required during the summer. 
  • Undergraduates cannot graduate before the end of the award term
  • Undergraduates are not expected to have prior research experience (unless applying for an award at the CU Anschutz campus)
  • Undergraduates must be available during the program dates and are expected to participate in professional development seminars and activities throughout the program. Attendance at the orientation is particularly important, and is required. 
  • Undergraduates pursuing a science (STEM) degree receive priority
I am interested in conducting research but am not currently working in a lab. How do I proceed?

While BSI provides funding to support your training and work, we do not match students with labs. We do, however, assist students in the process of finding a research lab. BSI holds information sessions to introduce students to the research process and to field questions, so check out when those are held. If an information session doesn't fit your schedule, we are also happy to assist on an individual basis. Contact the BSI office by email ( or phone (303-492-8230) for more information. 

Is there a minimum GPA requirement?

BSI does not have a GPA requirement, however students should be making adequate academic progress and should have enough time to devote to being in a lab. Please be aware, mentors and labs may have minimum GPA requirements of their own that must be met.

Can I have UROP and BSI Scholars funding at the same time?

Due to the limited availability of research funding for undergraduates on campus, students may not receive a BSI Scholar award in addition to another source of funding, such as a UROP or departmental grant, for their research at the same time. However, BSI does encourage students to apply for multiple opportunites to increase their chances of receiving funding.

Can I participate using my work-study funds?

Yes, a student can be in the program and utilize their work-study funds. 

Do I have to be a U.S. citizen to participate in the BSI Scholars program?

No, U.S. citizenship is not a requirement. However, you should contact the International Student & Scholar Services office (in Suite S355, Center for Community) prior to applying for BSI Scholars to ensure you have a visa that will allow you to work while studying at CU Boulder. 

Can I earn credit for doing research?

Effective fall 2018, students can earn independent study credit for their research while also participating in the BSI Scholars program. Previously, students were not allowed to enroll in independent study during the term of the award to work on the same research project. 

Are awards considered scholarships or other financial aid?

BSI Scholars is not part of financial aid, but should be treated as earned income.  

Can I apply while working on an Honors thesis?

Yes. Conducting research is an integral component of completing an Honors thesis. Students can participate in the BSI Scholars program and work on their thesis research simultaneously. 

Application Questions

Is my application secure?

BSI Scholars uses DocuSign to collect student applications. DocuSign is an online, secure e-signature platform that can also collect text submissions and attachments. It has been evaluated by CU Boulder to host highly confidental data. 

Can I begin my application and return later to finish it?

Yes! If you do not complete your application in one sitting, you can save your progress and return later to finish and sign your application. To save once you have entered the DocuSign application, click "Other Actions" at the top right of the page, and select "Finish Later" in the drop down menu. You can use the button "Resume Signing" in the access code email you received (when you first started your application) to return to your application.

Can I see the application questions before beginning the application online?

Yes, a sample application is available on the Application Instructions page. You should look over the questions and prepare your essay response questions before beginning the online application. 

Do my essay questions need to be uploaded in a specific file format?

When you upload the essay response questions into the online application, the system will convert your file to a PDF and attach that to your application. The system can convert Word documents, but does not support conversion from the Pages file format at this time. If you write your essays in Pages, save the document as a PDF before uploading the responses. 

Will my mentor see my portion of the application?

Yes, your mentor will be able to see your responses to Section A (Student Information) and Section B (Student Questions), including attachments, when they enter the online application to complete their portion. 

How do I send my application to my mentor?

Your application will automatically forward to your mentor as soon as you have completed all your sections and signed the application. When you have completed your portions of the application, sign and click "Finish." This will then automatically send your application to the mentor you identified in Step 2. Your mentor will receive an email from DocuSign, and they can follow instructions in that email to access your application. 

My mentor told me they haven't received an email with my application. What can I do?

Once you have completed and signed your portion of the application, your application is automatically sent to the mentor you identified in Step 2. Your mentor will receive an email from DocuSign, and they can follow instructions in that email to access your application. This email may go to a junk or spam folder, so they should check there first if they do not see an email from DocuSign. If the message isn't there or has been deleted, you can contact our office at and we can resend that email.

You will receive an email from DocuSign when your mentor has completed their portion of the application. The application is then considered complete. 

I started an application but listed an ineligible mentor. How do I fix that?

Mentors must be faculty or postdoctoral scholars (research associates). If you have listed an ineligible mentor to receive your application from DocuSign, they can re-assign the application to an eligible mentor. Have them open the application (once you have signed it and it has forwarded to that original listed person), then in the upper right corner click "Other Actions." One option is to change signers, and they can type in the email and name of the faculty or postdoc who should instead complete your application. 

Mentor Questions

Who is eligible to be a mentor?

Tenure-track professors, research professors and post-doctoral researchers from the CU Boulder or CU Denver Anschutz campuses are eligible to be mentors. While graduate students, PRAs, etc. cannot be mentors, they may serve in a day-to-day supervisory role. 

There is a section on the application for the eligible mentor to indicate the day-to-day supervisors also responsible for students' work in labs. 

Does my mentor have to be from my major?

Your mentor does not have to be a member of your major or college. However, mentors are limited to the CU Boulder and CU Anschutz campuses.

When will my mentor have access to their portion of the application?

Your mentor cannot upload their application documents until you have signed your student portion of the application, which automatically sends an email to your mentor. However, your mentor can work on their response questions well before they receive this email! 

Mentor questions can be downloaded from the Application Instructions page