The Signature Work Research Grants (SWRG) are provided to help defray research expenses for DKU student signature work (SW) projects. The SW research grant makes funds available to purchase approved supplies and equipment (nondurable goods) for SW-related research projects. It may also be used to pay research participants in IRB-approved studies when appropriate. Grants may not be used to buy personal items, books, pay for training or classes, data storage, or to pay salaries. In general, the grants will only pay for disposable items, not reusable equipment, although exceptions will be considered with suitable justification. Any reusable equipment purchased using SWRG money is the property of Duke Kunshan University.
The supported work may be carried out during the academic year or the summer months. The research may be the student’s independent research idea, or it may be related to a DKU faculty member’s research. For the latter, the grant should explain why additional funds from the SWRG program are needed. DKU will generally not provide research expenses for a student doing experiential learning with a non-DKU faculty.
The grants are awarded on a competitive basis, and funds may not be adequate to fund all proposals. The maximum amount of the SW Research Grant is RMB 3250. A small number of supplemental awards (up to an additional 6750 RMB, for a maximum total award of 10,000 RMB) are available through the Signature Fund (SF) (see SF Call for Proposals below). 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 project to reduce costs. All funds must be used before the final due date of the SW project in the senior year. All expenses must be documented with a fapiao in order to be reimbursed. All fapiao must be submitted for reimbursement according to the six-month accounting cycle described in the dates and deadlines below and outlined in the award letter. Spending above the awarded grant amount will not be reimbursed.
The SWRG program is open to any DKU junior or senior student whose Signature Work Project Proposal (SWPP) has been approved and who have completed the required CITI Responsible Conduct of Research (RCR) Training certification. A student may receive up to a maximum of two SWRGs, but they cannot receive more than one SWRG per academic year, and priority is given to students who have not yet had a SWRG or SF. Any student applying for a second SWRG must provide documentation of how the first SWRG was spent and justify the need for additional funding. Awards that carry over into the summer may be used in conjunction with a Summer Research Scholars (SRS) or Student Experiential Learning Fellowship (SELF) project. Students may not receive more than one SF.
Student must be enrolled in a Research Independent Study course or a SW research capstone course during the academic year or doing approved SW-related research (SRS, SELF, or faculty funded) over the summer in order to be eligible for this grant, and all projects must be directly related to the student’s SW project.
Students doing team-based signature work projects are welcome to apply, but the total amount requested by all team members may not exceed the per person limits or the total amount needed for the project. Students should apply as a team.
The application portal will be opened in early fall and again after the SW Project Proposal deadline in the spring and will close when available funds have been depleted for that semester. It is advised that students apply as early as possible. Because we need to be able to evaluate SF applications simultaneously, there is an earlier deadline for SWRG applicants choosing to also apply for the SF. The Fall 2023 SF deadline is September 18, 11:59 pm China time. All funded students will be required to confirm acceptance of the grant within 1 week of notification.
Applications are submitted by students using the online form, and consist of:
The following considerations should be addressed in the SWPP, other application materials, and/or letter of recommendation:
a. The connection of the research to the student’s signature work project should be clear
b. The student’s qualifications and preparation for the proposed work or activity
c. The role of each student, for team-based projects
d. The student should be able to demonstrate an understanding of her/his role in the proposed activity.
Proposals will be evaluated according to the following criteria:
1. Budget and budget justification
2. Feasibility of the project, including whether it can be carried out with available funding
3. Connection to signature work
4. Mentor recommendation
5. Other funding sources
6. Graduation year
7. Submission date
8. Priority will be given to students who have not had a previous SWRG
Priority is given to students who might not otherwise be able to carry out their signature work project without this funding.
Students must submit a copy of their final SW Project Abstract to DKU Undergraduate Studies email@example.com by the SW submission deadline. Students must also submit a copy of their budget documenting how the funding was spent and explaining any deviations from the original budget. Students awarded the SF will be required to write a thank you note showing their gratitude for the donors’ generous contribution to the SF fund. The Development Office may ask students to participate in other activities, including meeting with donors or making a video.
All publications, conference posters or presentations, or other means of dissemination resulting from work supported by an SWRG and/or SF should acknowledge funding from the Duke Kunshan University Signature Work Research Grant program and/or the Duke Kunshan University Signature Fund program. A copy of the publication or conference paper, poster, or abstract should be submitted to DKU Undergraduate Studies firstname.lastname@example.org.
September 4, 2023: Fall 2023 Application opens at 8 am China time
September 8, 2023: Grant Proposal Writing Workshop
September 18, 2023: Fall 2023 Signature Fund Application Deadline, closes at 11:59 pm China Time. All SWRG and SF applications received by this deadline will receive equal consideration. Applications for SWRG will continue to be accepted after this date on a rolling basis until funding runs out.
October 11, 2023: Target date for sending out SWRG award letters
December 15, 2023: Last day to submit fapiao for reimbursement for expenses between July and December 2023. No fapiao for expenses incurred during this time period will be accepted after this date.
Early February, 2024: Spring 2024 Application opens at 8 am China time
Early March, 2024: Spring 2024 Signature Fund Application Deadline. All SWRG and SF applications received by this deadline will receive equal consideration. Applications for SWRG will continue to be accepted after this date on a rolling basis until funding runs out.
Early April, 2024: SW Conference and Exhibition (Class of 2024). SWRG/SF funds for graduating students cannot be used past this date
April 15, 2024: (Class of 2024) Last day to submit fapiao for reimbursement for expenses between January and April. No fapiao will be accepted after this date.
June 15, 2024: (Non-graduating students) Last day to submit fapiao for reimbursement for expenses incurred between January and June 2024. No fapiao for expenses incurred during this time period will be accepted after this date.
December 15, 2024: Last day to submit fapiao for reimbursement for expenses incurred between July and December 2024. No fapiao for expenses incurred during this time period will be accepted after this date.
April 15, 2025: (Class of 2025) Last day to submit fapiao for reimbursement for expenses between January and April. No fapiao will be accepted after this date.
The SWRG is administered by the Associate Dean of Undergraduate Studies, and applications are reviewed by the Signature Work Committee.