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Fralin Undergraduate Research Fellowship


The Fralin Undergraduate Research Fellowship (FURF) program is a competitive award program that is open to all Virginia Tech undergraduates with a goal of increasing diversity in research. It is supported by the Office of Undergraduate Research and the Fralin Life Sciences Institute at Virginia Tech. Fifteen (15) fellowships of $1,000 will be awarded annually to individual students demonstrating academic capability and a strong interest in undergraduate research, to enable them to conduct research with a Virginia Tech faculty mentor over the course of one academic year.  Applications are accepted April through August (specific dates vary by year). Those funded will begin their research projects the following fall. The first round of 2021-2022 academic year awards will be announced August 15, 2021. Fellows will be notified via email. See below for program expectations, eligibility requirements, and application questions.

Program Eligibility

  • Students from any academic discipline are eligible for this award.
  • Preference will be given to sophomores and juniors.
  • Students are not required to have previous research experience.
  • Students must have the commitment of a faculty mentor before they apply for an award. The faculty member must provide a written statement of their willingness to guide the student’s research project.
  • Research projects are not restricted to the student’s primary area of study (major). Interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary projects are welcomed.
  • Students from underrepresented groups (including, but not limited to, ethnic minorities, first generation college students, students from low income areas, students with disabilities, LGBTQ, etc.) are strongly encouraged to apply.

Program Expectations

  • Students are required to conduct 12 hours of research per week with a Virginia Tech faculty member during the fall and spring semesters of one academic year.
  • Students will receive a fellowship of $500 at the end of each semester of research, for the duration of one academic year. 
  • Students are required to meet with Dr. Dennis Dean, Director of the Fralin Life Science Institute, at least once during the research year, likely at a small group luncheon.
  • Students are required to prepare a brief synopsis of research progress at the end of each semester. This must be submitted to the Office of Undergraduate Research (via email to by the last day of classes each semester.
  • Students are expected to present their research results at the end of the research year.
  • Students will conduct research with a faculty member who has already agreed to mentor them, working on an ongoing or new project of mutual agreement between student and mentor. The student does not need to design a unique project.
  • Student awarded a fellowship may not register for undergraduate research credit for the same research project during the award term (one academic year).

Apply Now


For more information and access to the online application form, please visit this link. The application deadline is August 2, 2021 at 11:59pm.


Questions about the program or application procedures should be directed to Keri Swaby (

Learn more about the 2016-17 Fellows

Read about the 2016-2017 inaugral group of fellows  and their research projects.  Learn more about them here.