Engaged Learning Fellowship

An ELF begins project sophomore or junior year and ends the semester of graduation. SMU funds Engaged Learning Fellowships up to $2000 per project. SMU records ELFs on student transcripts and commencement booklets.

View Current Projects

The Engaged Learning Fellowship is:

  • student-driven
  • capstone-level
  • guided by a mentor


  • project outcomes
  • personal learning goals

impacting a:

  • target population OR
  • community of practice

anywhere in the world.

The Engaged Learning Fellowship lasts until semester of graduation. It has four phases:

  • proposal
  • project
  • presentation
  • final product

SMU Journal of Undergraduate Research is live! ELFs, don't miss this opportunity to be published!

Research Compliance

SMU Research Compliance reviews approved ELF proposals to determine which projects require ethical standards oversight. Projects involving human participants or live animals will be tagged and must be submitted for approval.

Projects involving human participants (interviewing, surveying or other human subject research) requires IRB approval. Animal research requires IACUC approval. The approval process could take two months or more.

The student/mentor team must submit an IRB or IACUC application immediately. The mentor acts as Principal Investigator (PI) on the project. Approval is required before the research can begin and funds released.

IRB Q&A for Engaged Learning Fellowship Students 

Application Cycles

Early Decision: NOV 15-DEC 15 
Regular Decision:  NOV 15-FEB 15 
Senior Projects:  AUG 15-SEP 15 

Application Dates and Deadlines
AUG 15  Senior application cycle opens 
SEP 15  Senior project proposal deadline   
OCT Senior projects announced      
OCT 12 & 16  New ELF orientation (Seniors)     
NOV 15  Regular Application cycle opens    
DEC 15 Early decision proposal deadline
JAN 17  Early decision projects announced 
JAN 24 New ELF orientation (Early Decision)
FEB 15 Regular decision proposal deadline
MAR   Regular decision projects announced 
MAR 6 & 7 New ELF orientation (Regular Decision)

Midpoint Update Meetings


for MAY graduates
for DEC graduates

FEB for MAY graduates 


for DEC graduates  

Final Product
APR 1 for MAY graduates
NOV 15  for DEC graduates