Research Proposal

The Engineering Research Symposium (ERS) Planning Committee is excited to announce the introduction of a Research Proposal competition for the Fall 2021 Symposium, to be held on Friday, November 19th, 2021, open to all University of Michigan College of Engineering students

The Research Proposal competition was developed with the twofold purposes of offering students who had access to research positions limited by the COVID-19 pandemic the opportunity to be recognized for outstanding scientific thought and planning as well as giving students intending to pursue a research career the chance to practice writing a proposal and getting feedback on their projects and writing from qualified scientific professionals.

The requested proposal itself is modelled on the Graduate Research Plan Statement required for the National Science Foundation’s Graduate Research Fellowship Program, a prestigious fellowship supporting studies offered to U.S. citizen, national, or permanent residents either intending to enter or having completed less than a year in a research-focused graduate program. However, limitations on student year and area of research will not be enforced. All are welcome to apply and should expect to be judged relative to their academic background. Read more at these links: 

It is recommended that proposals

  • Offer a comprehensive introduction to the areas of study
  • Include an objective, methodology, and expected results
  • Include details promoting the feasibility of the project, including a timeline and materials
  • Discuss the intellectual merits and broader impact of the study
  • Include references

Following this model, the proposals should meet the following requirements:

  • 2 pages maximum
  • Standard 8.5″ x 11″ page size
  • 11 point or higher font, except text that is part of an image
  • Times New Roman font for all text, Cambria Math font for equations, Symbol font for non-alphabetic characters (it is recommended that equations and symbols be inserted as an image)
  • 1″ margins on all sides, no text inside 1″ margins (no header, footer, name, or page number)

Proposals will not be published or distributed beyond the contest organizers and judges.

Abstracts should follow the given template, but in brief should be between 100 and 250 words, summarize the proposal while keeping the most important points, and may include one image. All abstracts will be published in an abstract book on the day of the event, so vagueness in elements that participants would not like viewed by the public is suggested.

If your proposal is novel or reviewed favorably by judges, you may be asked to give a short presentation on the day of the Engineering Research Symposium. Participation will not be mandatory for awards but is highly encouraged. Winners will be announced on the day of the event.

Abstracts and proposals may be submitted together by October 28th, 2021.

View the abstract template here.

Submit an abstract here.