Independent Research Fellowships enable qualified students to carry out independent research activities in any field taught at the College, or to undertake projects in the creative or performing arts. Among the activities for which these fellowships might be sought are laboratory, library, museum or archival research; fieldwork; and creating or learning to perform a work of art. These fellowships are meant to expand the opportunities available to students to pursue intellectual and creative interests.


Awards are given annually of up to $5,000.


  • For Juniors to use during the summer prior to their senior year, or winter break of their senior year.
  • Students studying any discipline are eligible.
  • All applicants must be in good academic standing.

Selection Criteria

Independent Research Fellowships are intended to provide students an opportunity to undertake projects of their own design off campus. Such projects may be carried out independently or as a part of a research group. In the latter case, the project must be able to stand alone as an independent component of the larger group effort.

Award selection criteria include project feasibility as well as connectedness of the project to current work and future goals at Carleton (how well the project fits a student and what the student is trying to accomplish at Carleton) and beyond.

View examples of projects funded.  Students may view successful proposals in the Office of Student Fellowships, Laird 131.

Application Process

Deadline:  5 PM on Tuesday, February 11, 2020.

A complete application packet includes:

  • Online Application, with attached single PDF containing your transcript, resume, etc.
  • Two recommendations, which will be requested from those you name in the application and submitted using the appropriate form below.
    • BE SURE TO ASK recommenders before listing them on the application.
    • NOTE: Using Carleton faculty or staff as recommenders is usually the best choice.  Non-Carleton recommenders may disadvantage you as they may not know Carleton, and the selection committee does not know them.  Use your judgment in this, as in all other areas.

Recommendations Process

  • The Office of Student Fellowships will forward finalized proposals to your recommenders following the due date.
  • Recommenders should submit the appropriate Online Recommendation Form, and are welcome to also attach a letter of support, if they choose.
  • The deadline for recommendations is 5 PM on Tuesday, February 18, 2020.

Recommendation Form – Carleton Faculty and Staff

Recommendation Form – Non-Carleton Faculty


For research involving human subjects, Institutional Review Board (IRB) applications must be submitted electronically *before the research begins*.  Visit the IRB website to learn more about the process.


Please contact Marynel Ryan Van Zee, Director of Student Fellowships, Laird 131, x4300.