The Student Experiential Learning Fellowship (SELF) program supports students participating in experiential learning projects related to their signature work. In most cases, support is granted for experiential learning activities undertaken over the summer, although academic-year work is not precluded. Aligned with DKU’s mission to “involve students in innovative scholarship and research programs,” and “prepare students for professional, intellectual and societal leadership roles across the globe,” student experiential learning is particularly well suited to the development of the following four animating principles:
The SELF program supports both independent student experiential learning projects and those done under the supervision of someone who is not affiliated with DKU (for example, a university near your home, Duke, Westlake, or Wuhan). In addition, the SELF program also provides DKU housing for students who are doing internships at DKU or within commuting distance from campus.
Projects may be carried out in China or any other location around the world. The grants are awarded on a competitive basis, and funds may not be adequate to fund all proposals. The grants cover travel, visa/work permit, living expenses, and/or other costs associated with the proposed experiential learning activity, as well as housing on the DKU campus where appropriate. SELF does not provide stipends. Student stipends for collaborative research supervised by Duke Kunshan University faculty are supported under the Undergraduate Summer Research Scholars (SRS) program. The SELF program will not fund research participant incentives, equipment, materials or supplies, or other research expenses for Signature Work projects, which may be funded by the Signature Work Research Grant (SWRG) program.
Grant applicants must arrange, describe and justify a worthwhile Experiential Learning activity. The possibilities are broad and the criteria for evaluation of applications will include your academic accomplishments, the quality of the proposed experience, and its fit to your signature work project.
Examples of what might be covered:
Students doing team-based SW projects are welcome to apply, but each student should submit a separate budget for their own expenses. Whenever possible, students should try to minimize duplication of expenses by sharing off-campus accommodation, carpooling, etc.
In most cases, the supported work will be carried out during the summer months. The SELF program is open to any rising DKU junior or senior student, although preference will be given to students in the Class of 2024, GEL program students, and students unable to return to their home country or region due to visa restrictions or quarantine requirements. Any DKU rising sophomores participating in the GEL program should contact UG Studies to discuss their eligibility to apply.
For summer 2023 it is expected that CoViD travel restrictions and quarantine rules will be minimal. However, experiential learning activities will only be supported that can be carried out within coronavirus restrictions in the location where the activity will be carried out and in locations the student can readily travel without restrictions. Quarantine and covid testing costs will not be covered. Students should consult with the proposed experiential learning supervisor and/or their signature work mentor, as well as local public health regulations in planning their activities. For any case in which the student will be working remotely from their experiential learning supervisor or independently, please indicate plans for adequate supervision and compliance with local health and safety regulations, if applicable.
There will be two rounds of applications to allow students time to make arrangements for their experiential learning activities. The deadlines are February 19 and April 2, 2023. No late applications will be accepted.
We hope that housing will be available in DKU accommodations for SELF students over summer 2022, although this has not been confirmed yet. If housing is available, the accommodation will likely be different from the student’s assignment in both the preceding and following school year. The cost of housing in DKU accommodation for this summer from May 27 to August 18, 2023, is tentatively set for 5000 RMB for a double occupancy room and will be covered by the Office of Undergraduate Studies. Students who request a single room may or may not be assigned a single, depending on the supply and demand. If assigned a single, the student will be required to pay the difference (1000 RMB) themselves. For students who will only be staying for a portion of the summer, a nightly rate of 80 RMB for a double occupancy room or 100 RMB for a single occupancy room will be charged. Students are responsible for their own meal costs. If DKU accommodation is not available in Summer 2023, the Office of UG Studies might not be able to directly cover the housing for local SELF projects. More information about requesting DKU summer housing will be provided in the spring semester. The above dates and amounts are tentative, and subject to change.
NOTE: Students requesting DKU housing should indicate this in the appropriate section of the SELF application form but NOT include the costs associated with DKU housing in the budget.
Grants up to a maximum of 12,800 RMB are available, depending on the proposed budget and the reasonably predicted costs associated with visa, travel, living expenses (not including DKU housing), and other necessary expenditures to carry out your EL activity. You will be expected to indicate if your SELF activity is paid, which may reduce the maximum SELF grant available to you.
A small number of supplemental awards (up to an additional 10,000 RMB, for a maximum total award of 22,800 RMB) are available through the Signature Fund (SF) (see SF program description at the end of this document). Because there is a limit to how many students will be awarded an SF, please only apply for the SF if the extra funding is needed to successfully execute your project. Students who require larger amounts are encouraged to seek alternate funding sources. They should also consult with their SW mentor on how they might revise their EL activity to reduce costs. Be aware that students may not receive more than one SF, whether attached to SELF or to SWRG, so plan accordingly.
All funds must be used before the first day of Fall Term classes. All expenses must be documented with a fapiao in order to be reimbursed. All fapiao must be submitted for reimbursement no later than the last day of classes in the first session of the fall semester. Spending above the awarded grant amount will not be reimbursed.
Grants will not normally be given to fund housing in Kunshan (other than DKU housing) or for stipends. (See Housing section above.) Projects carried out locally within commuting distance of campus that only require DKU housing do not require a separate budget as part of the application. In such cases, students should just indicate the need for housing on the application.
Grants may not be used to fund programs of study that involve traditional classroom instruction and/or regular summer school academic credit, even if courses are directly related to the signature work project. Grants may not be used to fund flights or visas for EL projects that are attached or adjacent to academic programs where flights or visas were required for the program; however, in such cases the grant may fund the additional housing requirements. The funding does not cover work begun before the end of Spring Term nor continuing beyond the first day of Fall Term classes. Students may not receive funding while doing military training or taking the summer Chinese Society and Culture courses. Students do not receive academic credit for experiential learning activities conducted over the summer.
If working with Human Subjects as part of the EL, this application requires that students have completed or have submitted an initial application for approval to the Institutional Review Board (IRB). Consult with your mentor.
All expenses must be documented with a fapiao in order to be reimbursed.
International students whose passports and/or residence permit is expired or will expire before the end of Summer 2023: Please renew your passport in your home country before you return to China or at the appropriate consulate and/or renew your student residence permit upon your return to Kunshan.
All International students planning to do SELF in China: If you plan to do an experiential learning activity anywhere in China, you will need an “Annotated Residence Permit” in order to do any internship or experiential learning off-campus, regardless of whether it is paid or unpaid. These have been temporarily halted due to COVID, but we’ve been in communication with Kunshan about resuming this process for you when students are able to return. The cost for the annotation ranges from 400-1000 RMB, which you may include in your SELF budget. (Please see that attached instructions, which apply even if your position is not a formal internship.)
All students planning to do SELF outside of their home country: Please check local regulations with your experiential learning supervisor or host site to determine whether you will need a visa or work permit. The requirements will vary with both the host country and your citizenship. It is your responsibility to determine whether you can legally carry out your proposed SELF activity in the host country. You may include any visa or permit fees in your SELF budget.
Applications are submitted by students using the online form, and consist of:
The following considerations should be addressed in the application:
Proposals will be evaluated according to the following criteria:
Prevalence of Antibiotic Resistance Genes in Eastern Yangcheng Lake
Student Experiential Learning Fellowship Report: Students supported by the SELF program must submit a brief final research report (no more than two pages), due the first day of Fall Term classes (Sunday, August 20, 2023). The student, not their EL supervisor, should write the report. The report will provide an accurate and complete account of all work done for the activity, including approximate number of hours, figures and diagrams if appropriate, and information on publication or presentation plans if relevant. Students must also submit an abstract suitable for sharing with the DKU community, as well as prospective students or donors. The report and abstract should be submitted to DKU Undergraduate Studies email@example.com no later than 5 pm on the day fall term classes begin. The report and abstract must be signed by the organization or EL supervisor. It is the student’s responsibility to confirm with the organization or supervisor that the abstract may be made publicly available.
Poster Session: All Summer EL Fellows will be expected to present their EL experience at a UG Student Summer EL Fellows Poster Session in the Fall, tentatively scheduled for during Family Weekend. More details will be provided during the Fall term.
February 19: First Round Application Deadline
March 3: Announcement of first round funding recipients
April 2: Second Round Application Deadline
April 21: Announcement of funding recipients
April 28: Deadline for students to accept funding
April 28: Deadline to withdraw from DKU housing. A 500 RMB administrative fee will be charged to students cancelling housing after this date.
May 22: Earliest date funded work can begin
August 18: Last date funded work can be carried out
August 20: Final SELF Report and Abstract Due to UG Studies
Fall 2023 (date TBD): UG Student Summer Research Scholars Poster Session
Applications will be reviewed by a committee appointed by the Signature Work Committee and will consist of at least one faculty member each from AH, NS, and SS, designated by the SW Committee or Director of SW, in consultation with the appropriate division chair.
The first half of this SW presentation offers advice on what to consider in preparing a research proposal: Planning for your SW Research Project – Video (Download) – Presentation PPT (Download) – Contact Letter Examples for Critique PDF (Download). The second half offers advice on finding potential off-campus experiential learning supervisors
You are also strongly encouraged to review the folder on Project Proposals in the Grad&Fellowships Sakai site, which contains a lot of useful materials on writing project proposals. Please note that SELF supports the EL activity associated with signature work, not the full SW project, so your application should focus on the EL.
SELF at Wuhan and Westlake Universities:
Special instructions for students interested in research at Wuhan:
Special instructions for students interested in research at Westlake:
Special instructions for students interested in SELF research with Duke Faculty: