Approved by Biology Department September 2020


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.

2. Eligibility
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 October 1, 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

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.