Application Process

  1. Develop your project idea.
  2. Identify your SMU faculty or staff mentor and give him or her the Mentor Letter of Recommendation
  3. Review application materials together.
  4. Discuss whether your project will need oversight by SMU Research Compliance's Institutional Review Board (IRB).
  5. Review Engaged Learning Final Product Guidelines
  6. Develop your proposal and write it up using the Engaged Learning Fellowship Template.
  7. Will you be working with a host organization? Give the supervisor the Host Agency Letter of Recommendation.
  8. Do you need funding? Complete the Funding Request form
  9. Respect application deadlines.
  10. Ready? Click Apply Now! and submit your proposal and funding request online. Letter(s) of recommendation need to be emailed to
  11. Check your email for approval, conditional approval or not ready yet confirmation.
  12. Upon project approval:
    a) attend a New ELF orientation to confirm your participation
    b) if your project needs IRB approval, attend IRB workshop and CITI training 

*NOTE: If a project involves human participants, it requires IRB oversight. IRB approval is required prior to starting your project. No funding from Engaged Learning is released until IRB is approved.

SMU Journal of Undergraduate Research is accepting submissions! EL graduating seniors will be notified via email regarding submissions. Submit at our website JoUR or email



Application Materials

Engaged Learning Fellowship Template

A successful ELF proposal is a well-articulated project description that includes eight items of information: title, statement, purpose, description with goals, methodology, timeline, bibliography, and mentor approval. A successful ELF proposal is developed with mentor input.

Funding Request

A funding request lets Engaged Learning know what supplies are needed for the project. 

Engaged Learning disperses up to $2000 in reimbursements for approved expenses. 

How to get Funding 

Approved projects are eligible to receive up to $2000 for project expenses, such as supplies, fees, travel and other related expenses.

Funds may NOT be used for: 
-   Tuition, textbooks or other academic course materials
-   Meals, alcohol, entertainment
-   Personal computers, phones, other electronics
-   Personal housing unrelated to project
-   Salaries, per diem
-   Cash gifts, hand-outs, microloans, etc.
-   Car rental, personal car mileage

If a project requires IRB review, the official IRB approval letter must be submitted to the Office of Engaged Learning prior to dispersal of funds.

Mentor Letter of Recommendation 

The Mentor Letter of Recommendation is a letter from the Office of Engaged Learning that you give to your mentor. The letter describes the commitment of the mentor to the project and the information needed in the recommendation.

Host Agency Letter of Support

If the project is hosted by a community partner, the Host Agency Letter of Support is from the Office of Engaged Learning that you give to your project supervisor. The letter describes the information needed.

Reflection Exercises

Reflection exercises connect what you are doing, the impact you are having and what you are learning. Throughout your project, you will complete three Reflection Exercises.

Final Product

To complete an Engaged Learning Fellowship, students summarize their experience in a final, summative document or physical artifact that describes the project and its findings. The product can take different forms: research paper, community project or internship report, or other creative artifact. The form should reflect the nature of the experience.
Upload Final Product

Final Power Point

Engaged Learning Fellows are also required to present the project findings in a public forum. At Engaged Learning’s Symposium, students present their work to the campus community.
Upload Final Power Point


Engaged Learning Fellowship Final Product Guidelines

Funding Protocol

Institutional Review Board (IRB) Process

Library Research Resources

Scoring Template for Reviewers 

Student Learning Outcomes