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Dr. Carol Mueller Plasket Summer Research Award

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This undergraduate research award honors Dr. Carol Mueller Plasket (UD ‘71) and is designed to provide a summer research experience for one undergraduate Psychology or Neuroscience major at the University of Delaware each year. We anticipate funding one student per year until at least 2024.

The award offers $5000 to one student each summer, with $4000 of this amount to be used as the student’s stipend and the remaining $1000 to be used for research-related expenses including, but not limited to, laboratory equipment, participant payment, software acquisition, or travel to academic conferences to present the research. The advisor will be expected to administer the $1000 expense account on behalf of the student. If used for conference travel, the $1000 portion of the award may be used for travel occurring up to August 31 of the year following the summer of the primary award. The stipend will cover the student’s work for a period of June 1 to August 15 of the award year.


Preference will be given to rising Juniors and rising Seniors who already have experience working in the proposed faculty advisor’s laboratory. We will consider proposals to work with a full-time faculty member of the Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences.

Higher priority will be assigned to proposals that

  1. Are judged to represent high-quality science that tests an important question

  2. Are feasible to conduct during the summer

  3. Are likely to simultaneously benefit both the student’s development as an independent researcher while also being integrated with the overall research program of the supporting laboratory

  4. Are proposed by students with a strong academic background (evaluated in terms of GPA, number of advanced courses the student has completed, the student’s amount of lab experience)

Application process:

Students must apply by preparing the following materials and submitting them via the application portal. We will advertise the opportunity in mid-December via an email to psychology and neuroscience majors. The application portal will request:

  • A research proposal: What is the primary research question? Who is the faculty advisor? What are one or two background sources relevant to this question? What research and statistical methods will be used? What are the anticipated outcomes of the research? (1000 word limit)

  • A budget: How will the $1000 research-related expenses portion of the award be allocated? (This budget is an estimate and not binding.)

  • A timeline: What portions of the project will happen when? (Note: it is acceptable if some of the elements of the timeline occur during the spring semester preceding the target summer)

  • Outcomes: What do the student and faculty member plan to do with the results? Will they be written up for a journal? Provide the basis for future study? Will they be presented at a conference?

  • Preregistration and open science statement: Do the student and faculty member plan to preregister the work, for example, using the OSF site or the site? Do the student and faculty member plan to make data open eventually? (If so, how?)  

  • Student demographic information, including GPA, year in school, a description of the student’s experience working in the faculty members’ laboratory, a list of the PSYC and NSCI courses the student has completed, and any other relevant information about academic background. The student should also briefly describe their current educational and career goals.

Each applicant should provide the name of the faculty advisor via the application portal. The undergraduate committee will ask the advisor to complete an online reference form. This statement will not be shared with the student and should be submitted to the undergraduate committee. The faculty advisor’s statement should address:

a) how long the student has been active in the advisor’s lab

b) a description of the tasks the student has been responsible for and a statement about the quality of the student’s work in the lab;

c) a statement about how the proposed project will benefit both the student and the faculty advisor;

d) any other relevant comments about the project, its significance or feasibility, or the student’s academic background.  


Proposals must be received by February 20 (midnight). If this date falls on a weekend the due date will be the following Monday.

Decisions will be made by February 27 by discussion followed by majority vote of the undergraduate committee. If this date falls on a weekend the date will be the following Monday.

All decisions made by the committee are final.

Responsibilities of the awardee:

  1. Between June 1 and August 15 of the award year, students must commit at least 10 weeks of full time effort (at least 40 hours per week) to working on their proposed research.

  2. Students must present their work, either in poster or talk form, at the Undergraduate Research and Service Scholar Celebratory Symposium, at the end of the summer of their award period.

  3. When presenting or publishing their work, students must acknowledge that their research was supported in part by the Dr. Carol Mueller Plasket Summer Research Award

  4. Students may not accept both a Plasket Award and a Summer Scholar or Summer Fellow Award.

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