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Levinson Review Process & Selection Criteria

Review Process

  1. Applicant eligibility is confirmed, and applications are screened for completeness. 
  2. A committee of three faculty and staff will review your application. Two of these reviewers will be researchers in areas close to your project discipline but may not be experts in the precise area of focus of the proposed project. The third reviewer will be a “generalist.” This reviewer is generally a faculty or staff member who understands the research enterprise well but may not be an expert in your field. Reviewers provide numerical scores and comments, based on a rubric that encompasses the criteria specified under the Selection Criteria found below. 
  3. All applicants receive notification and all applicants, funded or not funded, are invited to receive feedback on their applications. 

Selection Criteria

Student Background & Motivation 

  • The applicant is academically prepared and has sufficient prior experience to engage in the proposed research.  
  • The applicant demonstrates drive and self-motivation to engage in the proposed research.  
  • The applicant demonstrates genuine interest, curiosity, and passion for the proposed research. 

Project Description 

  • The applicant provides the background information necessary to understand the context and purpose of their project.  
  • The applicant describes clear aims for their project and how they plan to achieve them. 
  • The applicant discusses potential results and implications of their project. 
  • The proposed work can realistically be completed during the award period. 

Independence & Creative Input 

  • The applicant has clearly participated in the intellectual development of the project proposal. 
  • The applicant demonstrates independence in their research. This independence is recognized and supported by the research mentor. 
  • The student or mentor conveys a supportive research environment that will help faciliate this research experience. 

Connection to Student’s Goals & Impact 

  • The applicant describes how this research experience will help them advance toward their long term goals, particularly as these relate to a career in research. 
  • The applicant describes the potential learning outcomes of the research experience. 
  • The applicant conveys the financial impact of this award on their ability to engage in research as an undergraduate student. 

Innovation & New Direction/Applications 

  • The applicant describes how their project will lead to innovation and/or new technology. 

Equity, Inclusion & Justice 

  • The student demonstrates an understanding of equity, inclusion, and justice. 
  • The student demonstrates an understanding of the importance of equity, inclusion, and/or justice in their field of research, or research in general. 

Note: We anticipate a variety of responses to this prompt. The following would be examples of how we would imagine students might respond to this prompt, but responses are not limited to these examples: 

  • The applicant illustrates how their own identities, experiences, access (or lack of access) to opportunities, and/or values inform their research goals or practice. 
  • The student conveys the way their research advances equity, inclusion, and/or justice by having the potential to create a positive impact on underserved populations. 

Feedback on your Application

If you did not receive the WRF or Levinson award this year, you have the option to meet with an Undergraduate Research Program staff member to receive feedback on your application. Please email us at to schedule an appointment.