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Bailey College of Science and Mathematics

Enhancing lives through learning, discovery and innovation

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Frost Research Scholarship FAQ

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How much is awarded?

Scholarships are $10,000 per year with a guaranteed opportunity to participate in the Frost Summer Undergraduate Research Program, which comes with a $4,500 award.

How do I know if I’m eligible?

Continuing students with a demonstrated interest in and commitment to research are eligible to apply for a Frost Research Scholarship. Typically awarded for two years, starting with a student’s third year at Cal Poly, with some exceptions for outstanding first or third year students. Transfer students are also eligible.

How do I apply?

Each January, department chairs send out a call for applications and details to students and faculty. Applications, completed jointly with a faculty mentor, are due during winter quarter finals week.

What if I don’t have a faculty mentor?

For those of you who may have an interest but don’t know where to start, we encourage you to reach out to a faculty member in the department and ask questions. It is appropriate to ask a faculty member to nominate you. Let them know what you are interested in, and talk to them about whether they might have a research idea that you could work on together. If they don't have a project, they might be able to point to you someone who does.

What are the scholarship selection criteria?

  • Demonstrated interest and ability in, and commitment to, undergraduate research.
  • Has joined or is in the process of being accepted into a research group.
  • Strong academic record, particularly in the major; generally, 3.0 or higher.
  • Anticipated research projects are well defined and have the potential for professional presentations, peer reviewed publications and other external validation.
  • Intention to pursue opportunities for graduate schools, professional schools or employment after graduation.

When will I find out whether I was selected?

All applicants will be notified of the outcome of their application by mid-April.

Do I still need to apply for the Frost Summer Undergraduate Research Program through my department if I am applying for a Frost Research Scholarship?

Any Frost Research Scholarship applicants who wish to participate in the Frost Summer Undergraduate Research Program regardless of whether they are selected for a scholarship must apply through their faculty mentor’s department. Please contact the department or your faculty mentor for details on how to apply.

What if I use financial aid grants?

The Frost Research Scholarship is required to be coordinated with any other grant aid. The Cal Poly Financial Aid Office will apply the scholarship in the way that maximizes your grant aid eligibility based on your financial need as defined by EFC (Expected Family Contribution) and Cal Poly Cost of Attendance.

What if I want to change my major?

A change of major within Bailey College degree programs is acceptable, subject to approval by the receiving department. Change of majors to other programs are considered as long as the program has a strong science and mathematics foundation. Please consult with the Frost Fund Director if you are contemplating a change of major.

What if I want to participate in international programs and study abroad?

These programs are supported by the Frost Research Scholarship as long as they are associated with the University and result in academic units on your Cal Poly transcript. Consult with Frost Fund Director if you are interested participating in an international program that is not associated with Cal Poly.

What if I need to take a leave of absence?

We understand that occasionally students will need medical leaves or have personal opportunities that require a leave. Generally, we approve these leaves for up to a year. Please consult with the Frost Fund Director if you are considering a leave of absence.

Are there any other expectations of me?

Frost Research Scholars are encouraged to graduate in four years and to plan for graduate or professional school or employment so these can be entered immediately upon graduation. Additionally, Frost Research Scholars are highly encouraged to participate in summer research or internship opportunities, and to present their research at the annual Bailey College Student Research Conference.

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