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Guidelines

Submission Deadlines: 

Applications are accepted through 12:00 AM (midnight) on the dates listed below.  All materials, including the letter of recommendation, must be submitted by the stated deadline.  Do not wait to begin an application close to the deadline.

March 15 Deadline

Application form available online December 15
Funding decisions announced by e-mail in mid May

October 1 Deadline

Application form available online August 1
Funding decisions announced by e-mail in mid December

Applicant Eligibility 

  1. US Citizenship and residence not required. International applications are welcome.
  2. Only undergraduate and graduate students currently enrolled in degree seeking programs may apply. 
  3. Undergraduates who are graduating seniors must plan to complete their research prior to graduation. 
  4. While membership in Sigma Xi is not a requirement for application, 75% of funds are designated for use by individuals who are members or whose primary advisors are Sigma Xi members.
  5. Applicants seeking a second Grant-in-Aid of Research must submit a Follow-up Report Form  prior to the application deadline for a new grant.
  6. Applicants are eligible to receive a total of two Grants-in-Aid of Research
  7. Separate applications are accepted from co-workers on the same project. Each applicant must demonstrate how the applicant's work is a unique contribution to the larger project. Where possible, each co-worker's application should request funding for expenses related to that applicant's work only.

Funding Restrictions 
Research grants may be used to support scientific investigation in any field. Below is a description of the types of expenses funded by the Grants-in-Aid of Research Program.

Fundable Expenses:

  • Purchase of specific equipment necessary to undertake the proposed research project.
  • Travel to and from a research site.
  • Supplies specific to the proposed project not generally available in an institutional research laboratory.
  • Reimbursement for human subjects (psychology studies).

Expenses Not Fundable:

  • Travel to a scientific meetings or symposia
  • Educational programs, tuition, general room and board, textbooks, curriculum development.
  • Purchase of supplies and equipment considered standard and normally available in an institutional research laboratory (i.e. common laboratory chemicals, petri dishes, agar, data storage devices, pipettes, glassware, etc).
  • Salaries or stipends for applicants or assistants.
  • Manuscript preparation and publication costs.
  • Indirect costs or institutional administrative fees.
  • Requests for a third Grant-in-Aid of Research.

Funding Exceptions
The following expenses are not generally funded. However, an applicant who demonstrates a particular need may receive funding if a detailed justification is provided in the budget section of the application. Demonstration of support from the applicant's institution or department for other aspects of the project may strengthen such requests.

  • Computer Equpiment, software, digital phones, GPS and cameras. Note these items, if funded, remain the property of the instutitional lab at the conclusion of the grant.
  • Institutional or departmental equipment use fees. Except in the fields of astronomy, mathematics and computer science, fees for using institutional or departmental equipment and facilities are not generally funded. Equipment use fees for astronomy, mathematics and computer science are generally fundable.
  • Transcription or analytical services. Except in the fields of astronomy, mathematics and computer science where transcription and analytical services are generally funded without additional justification.

Defining Standard Equipment and Supplies

As noted, Sigma Xi does not fund standard equipment or supplies.
However, what is standard in one laboratory or in one field of research may not be standard in another.

The basic question to answer is, "does your lab routinely stock this item or is it specific to your research?" If the material or equipment is specific to your research and would not be ordered unless you were conducting your research, then it is an appropriate request from Sigma Xi.

If a budget item is open to interpretation, additional justification in the budget section should be provided by the applicant. Reviewers are professional career researchers matched to proposals by general field of research and are aware of laboratory standards in terms of equipment and materials.

Funding Amounts:

  • Grants amounts range from $400 to $1,000 (with an average award of $600) except as noted below:
  • Astronomy: grants in this field are awarded up to a maximum of $5,000.
  • Vision Research: grants in this field are awarded up to a maximum of $2,500. The research must have implication for human vision in order to qualify.

Important Tax Notice for Individuals who pay U.S. Federal Income Tax

It is the standard practice of Sigma Xi to disburse Grants-in-Aid of Research to the academic institution of the grant recipient for management of the project. However, at the request of the student grant recipient, Sigma Xi will disburse the grant directly to the student. If the grant recipient requests disbursement in his or her name, recipient acknowledges the following:

You are hereby advised that amounts granted after August 16, 1986 for expenses incurred on or after January 1, 1987, are taxable income, if the aggregate scholarship or fellowship amounts received by the recipient exceed tuition and fees (not including room and board) required for enrollment or attendance at the educational institution and fees, books, supplies, and equipment required for courses of instruction.

Internal Revenue Service Notice 87-31, 1987-1 CB 475, IRC Sec(s). 117

For questions or additional information you may send e-mail to giar@sigmaxi.org.