Fellowship Advising Office SUPER-Curricular Seed Grants

Strong candidates for highly competitive national fellowships are intellectually engaged; they value a broad-based education and they have explored their individual interests through wider reading and research outside structured classroom and extracurricular activities. The Fellowship Advising Office SUPER-Curricular Seed Grants (“Seed Grants”) are intended to encourage and enable promising undergraduate students to build on their undergraduate studies by participating in an EXTRAORDINARY summer experience. Seed Grant experiences may also enhance recipients’ competitiveness for prestigious national and international scholarships and fellowships and admission to highly competitive graduate programs.

The best thing about Seed Grants is that there are no exams, no deadlines, and no grades. You are FREE to follow your own lines of inquiry into areas that interest you the most within your academic curriculum. This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to propose a creative, intellectually engaging project that many students can only dream about! Undergraduate students from all backgrounds and majors are encouraged to apply. We particularly invite creative and original proposals.

Award amount: up to $5,000

Number of awards available: varies


  • Full-time undergraduate student at the time of application (no citizenship requirements),
  • Open to freshmen and sophomore undergraduate students with 3.5 or higher GPA, and
  • Open to junior undergraduate students with a 3.7 or higher GPA if and only if their summer project is for an Honors Thesis (either the University Honors Program or a Departmental Honors program).

Guidelines for the Proposed Project
A. The Project MUST

  • Either be self-designed or a highly competitive unpaid internship (e.g., National Endowment for the Humanities, State Department, U.S. Embassy abroad),
  • Have a direct tie to your major or minor (freshmen and sophomores) or to your thesis (juniors), and
  • Occur during the summer (within or outside the United States), for 8 weeks or longer, and be your primary summer activity

B. The Project MAY

  • Enhance or expand your independent research already in progress, if the summer research is undertaken outside of NC State; and/or
  • Supplement a traditional summer study abroad program with an independent research project outside of structured activities.


  • Any experiences taken for academic credit,
  • Group projects,
  • Participation in experiences organized by others (e.g., REU, missions, service organization), or
  • Tuition for a program of study

Proposals for the upcoming summer are due to the Fellowship Advising Office (FAO) by 5PM ET on a date typically in early February.

Advice and Timeline for a Competitive Seed Grant Proposal and Application

September-December: Begin your research: think about what interests you the most within your major and/or minor disciplines. Do some reading on this area of interest. Discuss your project ideas with classmates, faculty and advisors. For internships, make note of deadlines for applications and submit your internship applications. Contact FAO for questions, assistance, and feedback on draft proposals.

November-January: Identify a faculty mentor. Begin writing your proposal. Share your proposal with your mentor and peers. Start making arrangements at your research location (make contacts, assess resources, and request permission to conduct research at that location, if necessary).

January: Draft a timeline and budget for your proposal. Revise, revise and revise some more!

Early February: Proposal Application Deadline: 5PM ET

Mid-March: Decisions are announced

May-June: General start date for Seed Grants

Click here for a flyer with additional details and examples of projects.

Contact fellowship-advising@ncsu.edu to discuss your proposal and receive feedback.

*The Fellowship Advising Office Super-Curricular Seed Grants have been made possible by a private gift to the Fellowship Advising Office.