Approved by Biology Department September 2020
THE SCHEIDEMANTEL UNDERGRADUATE RESEARCH FUND GUIDELINES FOR PROPOSALS
1. The Scheidemantel Undergraduate Research Fund
The Scheidemantel Undergraduate Research Fund was established via a generous donation to the
Department of Biology by NMU alumna Marilyn Scheidemantel. This fund may be used to support
expenses directly associated with faculty-led undergraduate research activities in Biology (e.g., purchasing
of reagents or equipment, or costs associated with field transportation or data collection). The fund is not
intended to support activities such as conference travel or student salary.
Undergraduate students who are conducting research under the direction of a member of the Biology faculty
are eligible to apply for Scheidemantel Fund Awards. All student proposals must be submitted jointly with a
faculty member, and each joint proposal must identify the principal investigator and all co-investigators. The
student who will do the research will be considered the principal investigator.
3. Proposal Format
Proposals must include:
1) a description of the goals of the research, including relevant research questions or hypotheses
a. sufficient background information should be provided to explain the significance of the research
b. A statement of the prediction(s) arising from the hypotheses and discussion of possible alternative hypotheses that might explain results that do not confirm the prediction(s)
2) an outline of the research plan, including brief description of methods
a. any approvals or permits required to complete the research should be addressed (e.g., IACUC, IRB, DNR specimen sampling permits, etc.)
b. if available, preliminary data should be presented to demonstrate the feasibility of the proposed methods and the potential for success
3) a description of anticipated products (e.g., specimen collections, presentations at specific research
conferences, manuscripts intended for publication)
4) a budget with justification
5) full references for any literature cited in the proposal
The proposal, excluding the list of references, should not exceed 5 double spaced pages, and must be written
in a clear and legible 11 or 12 point font (e.g., Calibri, Times New Roman).
4. The Award Committee and Judgmental Criteria
Scheidemantel Fund proposals shall be evaluated by the Budget Committee. The Budget Committee will
judge proposals based on the clarity and quality of the research objectives, methods, and budget justification.
High quality proposals will demonstrate a clear set of compelling research objectives that are well-justified
and rooted in existing literature. Methods, including data collection and analyses, will be appropriate to
address the goals of the research, and explained in sufficient detail to provide confidence in the student’s
ability to conduct the research. The best proposals will demonstrate a high degree of creative thought and
experimental feasibility on the part of the undergraduate researcher.
5. Application Deadlines
The proposal application deadlines are September 15, February 15, and May 1 unless those dates fall on a
weekend, in which case the deadline will be the following Monday. Applications should be submitted to
the chair of the departmental Budget Committee. Because this is a rotating position, faculty mentors should
provide undergraduate researchers with contact information for the Budget Committee chair.
6. Limit on Awards
No principal investigator may receive more than $500 during a single academic year (fall semester, winter
semester, and spring and summer sessions). There is no limit on the funding an individual may receive as a
co-investigator. A maximum of three grants will be awarded during any single round of funding.
Principal investigators may be awarded the Scheidemantel Fund and the Biology Development Fund
in the same funding cycle but the combined awards may not exceed $1000 per academic year (fall,
winter, summer semesters).
7. Timeline for Decisions
The Budget Committee will be responsible for reviewing and ranking all Scheidemantel Fund proposals.
The Committee will provide its funding recommendation to the Biology faculty in writing within 21
calendar days after the application deadline.
8. Requirements for Students Who Receive Funding
This funding opportunity is available due to the generosity of Marilyn Scheidemantel, who is very interested
in promoting the education of NMU Biology students. Within one year of receiving funds from the
Scheidemantel Fund, student researchers are required to write a letter of appreciation to Mrs. Scheidemantel.
These letters should discuss the role that the Scheidemantel Fund played in facilitating the student’s
education, and they should provide details about the research that the funding supported. Letters should be
typed and submitted to the Biology Department office for mailing. A copy of the letter will be retained by
the Biology Department as confirmation of the completion of this required task. Students who receive a
Scheidemantel Fund Award will not be eligible for future funding from this program until they prepare the
required letter for the prior round of funding.
9. Funding Distribution
The faculty mentor of the awardee will access these funds through the mechanism established by Northern
Michigan University and the Biology Department. Typically, expenses should be covered using the mentor’s
NMU issued credit card, and receipts must be retained. The mentor will settle debts in the Concur system,
billing the expenses to the General Biology account, and explaining in the settlement report comments that
the expense should be paid out of the Scheidemantel Fund via the NMU Foundation.
Amendment for Fall 2020
1. The Fall 2020 deadline for submitting a proposal for the Scheidemantel Undergraduate Research
Fund will be October 15 at 5pm EST.
2. Because this deadline falls on the same date as the Biology Development Fund, undergraduate
applicants may submit a single complete grant proposal prepared according to the above
guidelines for consideration for both the Scheidemantel Undergraduate Research Fund and the
Biology Development Fund.