The Marcus Undergraduate Research Fellowship

The Marcus Undergraduate Research Fellowship award supports research and creative activity conducted by undergraduate students in partnership with a faculty mentor. Recipients of the Marcus Fellowship will be part of a cohort of fellows engaged in programming that supports research throughout the course of the fellowship. This fellowship opportunity is aimed at undergraduates interested in working closely with a faculty member to develop, complete and present a research project.

Requirements and Expectations

Student Eligibility

  • Students must be declared undergraduate majors in the College of Liberal & Creative Arts. LCA minors can apply if their project is housed in the LCA and their mentor is an LCA faculty. Priority will be given to LCA majors.
  • Student must be enrolled during both the fall and spring semesters of the awarded academic year.
  • Students must not be studying abroad in 2024-25.

Faculty Eligibility

  • The faculty mentor should be a tenured or tenure-track full-time faculty member in the College of Liberal & Creative Arts.
  • The faculty mentor must commit to mentorship of the student fellow across a range of research or creative activities relevant to their discipline including project development and presentation of results.
  • The faculty mentor must commit to meeting weekly or biweekly with the student.

Project Requirements and Expectations

Receiving Units

  • Projects may be in conjunction with or independent of existing, scheduled coursework
  • If independent, then the project may lead to course credits (e.g., 699 units)
  • If in conjunction with a course then the project must involve significant activity beyond the course requirements

All recipients of the Marcus Fellowship are expected to participate in the following activities

  • An orientation event and periodic meetings among the Marcus Fellows, faculty mentors, and program coordinator.
  • An opening reception at the beginning of the Fall 24 semester.
  • An outreach event to connect with potential future applicants.
  • A recognition event near the end of the 2024-2025 academic year.


      • Student recipients are expected to attend at least one conference to present their work; this may be a student research conference such as the LCA Undergraduate Research Showcase, or the student section of a professional conference. 
      • At the end of the spring semester, the fellows are expected to submit a report (1000 words) summarizing their year-long project, and all other materials that pertain to their work, i.e. a paper, portfolio, etc.

      Preparing a Proposal

      1. Interested students should approach a faculty member with a project in mind and ask whether the faculty member is willing to serve a mentor for the project. Students should provide the faculty member with this document at the first meeting.
      2. The student, under the guidance and supervision of the faculty mentor, will prepare the proposal for submission. Keep in mind that proposals may take several weeks to develop and complete.

      Components of the Proposal

      The PDF document containing the research proposal will be written in Times 12 font, single-spaced, and with one-inch margins. The document should contain the following parts labeled according to the print in bold:

      1. Title of the Project: The title of the project should describe the project succinctly.
      2. Research Question or Project Goal: (1 sentence)
      3. Abstract: (100-150 words)
      4. Personal Statement: This section includes the student’s academic interests and goals, the way in which receiving the grant would help advance those goals, and any personal information the student and faculty mentor think would be useful to convey to the review committee. Students should make sure to articulate how the Fellowship is necessary for the execution of the project (maximum 500 words).
      5. Project Proposal Narrative: In this section, the student introduces the project, states the research question, describes the methods that will be used, and explains the value of the project (maximum 1,000 words).
      6. Timeline: This section provides a proposed timeline for the project from beginning to end, including mentor meetings, tasks associated with the project, and completion dates for the various activities. (maximum 1 page)
      7. Bibliography (optional): Provide a list of sources referenced in the proposal in the format and style expected in your discipline.
      8. Unofficial Transcript: For SFSU coursework only.
      9. Course Status: Is the project independent or part of a course? (If yes, then in one paragraph identify all of the activities that are beyond the course requirements)
      10. Faculty Statement: This section is prepared by the faculty mentor and explains the merits of the project, the likelihood the project can be completed in the timeline provided, describes the mentoring plan (e.g., frequency of meetings), and other information the faculty member thinks reviewers might find helpful (maximum 500 words)

      Criteria for Proposal Evaluation

      1. overall quality and clarity of the proposal
      2. realistic scope of the project and likelihood of completion
      3. potential impact on student, the value of personal outcomes
        • Motivation and alignment with student's personal goals and development
      4. clear evidence of a student-initiated project
      5. level of faculty collaboration, as described in the timeline and faculty statement
      6. student preparation, evidence of the training necessary to conduct the activity
        • Shows familiarity with the relevant literature or discipline-specific practices
        • Attention to/awareness of contribution of proposal to their field
      7. Does the project fit the award: “supports research and creative activity conducted by undergraduate students in partnership with a faculty mentor.” 
      8. Demonstration of need for the Fellowship
        • How is this project outside regular academic pursuits

      Marcus Research Fellowship Grant: Current and Past Winners

      Queer Innovation: Use of English Loanwords Among Young LGBT+ Dutch Speakers
      Ava Austin
      Department of English Language and Literature
      Mentor: Teresa Pratt

      Le triomphe des opprimés (The Triumph of the Oppressed): Analysis and Translation of American-Creole Narrative Identity in L’Union and La Tribune de la Nouvelle-Orléans, Louisiana’s Oldest Civil-War Era Afro-Creole Newspapers (in French)
      Laine Barriga
      Department of Humanities and Comparative World Literature
      Mentor: Persis Karim

      The Christian Conservative Supreme Court: An Analysis of the Roberts Court’s Religious Liberty
      Eleanor Boone
      Department of Political Science
      Mentor: Amanda Roberti

      Labor Unions: Political Determinants of Unionization Trends in Journalism
      Gabriela Calvillo Alvarez
      Department of Political Science
      Mentor: Whitney Taylor

      What Can Comics Be? An investigation into the potential forms and affordances of comics
      Ashley Nortman
      School of Liberal Studies
      Mentor: Nick Sousanis

      Carrying the Pandemic: An Experimental Poem About Essential Workers and Hyperobjects
      Andrew Pimentel
      Department of Creative Writing
      Mentor: Andrew Joron

      Vietnamese Rock & Soul
      Tam Vu
      Department of Journalism
      Mentor: Josh Davis

      Developing Postmodern Feminism via Transliteration of Kawakami Mieko’s "Breast and Eggs": The Transculturation of Anglophone and Japanese Feminist Rhetoric
      Breanna Barton-Shaw
      Department of Comparative & World Literatures
      Mentor: Chris Weinberger

      Blackbook Stories: Visual Scripts and Community Narratives within San Francisco Graffiti Subcultures
      José Hernandez
      School of Design
      Mentor: Ellen Christensen

      Learning to Read Petrarch: A Diary Study on Language Learning in Diverse Learning Environments
      Gabriella Melton
      Department of English Language and Literature
      Mentor: Maricel Santos

      Democratic Queer Theory: Extending LGBTQ+ Civil & Social Rights Globally
      Ki Singh
      Department of Political Science
      Mentor: Amanda Roberti

      Examining Direct-To-Consumer Advertising and Health Culture Through the Lens of Presidio Archaeology
      RJ Stevens
      Department of Anthropology
      Mentor: Meredith Reifschneider

      Remixing Philosophy: A series of videos applying ancient ideas to modern times
      Alexander Vahied
      School of Cinema, Department of Philosophy
      Mentor: Kimbrough Moore

      Gerrymandering and Voter Disenfranchisement - How District Lines are Used to Suppress the Vote and How We Might Fix It
      Gillian Welcher
      Department of Political Science
      Mentor: Rebecca Eissler

      The Latin American Landscape: Identity and Ancestry in the works of Regina José Galindo, Ana Mendieta, Delilah Montoya and Aline Motta
      Quitéria Conte
      School of Art
      Mentor: Professor Santhi Kavuri-Bauer

      Brimful World: An Avaricious Humanity is Destroying a Helpless Planet
      Alexis Doukakis
      School of Cinema
      Mentor: Assistant Professor Rosa Park

      Through the Wire: Negotiating Identity through History, Cinema, and the Japanese American Incarceration Experience
      Kevin Kodama
      School of Cinema
      Mentor: Assistant Professor Mayuran Tiruchelvam

      The Metamorphosis of The Gender Non-Conforming
      Carlos Osoria
      Department of Comparative & World Literature
      Mentor: Assistant Professor Leslie Quintanilla

      Latinx Waves in K-pop
      Giselle Peralta
      Department of Anthropology
      Mentor: Associate Professor Dawn-Elissa Fischer

      Inside-Out: Literature’s Bearing on the Political Identity of Taiwan And How We Are to Understand It
      Samantha Reinard
      Department of Comparative & World Literature
      Mentor: Associate Professor Chris Weinberger

      A Price on Pride: Understanding the Commoditization of the Queer Identity in San Francisco
      Maximilian DeNembo
      School of Design
      Mentor: Hsiao-Yun Chu

      Defining Rurality: An Exploration of the Rural-Urban Connection in Different Parts of the United States
      Fiona DeWitt
      Political Science Department
      Mentor: Rebecca Eissler

      Explorations of Gesticulation-Based Upper Limb Appliances
      Levi Gilbert
      School of Design
      Mentor: Silvan Linn

      Everyday HEROs: Public Health Research during COVID-19 Shelter-in-Place
      Gurjot Gill
      Anthropology Department
      Mentor: Peter Biella

      Objectivity and Epistemic Commitment: Polanyi’s Critique of Reductionism
      Aydin Jang
      Philosophy Department
      Mentor: Arezoo Islami

      Korean American Cinema (1990s – Present): Confronting History and Myths in the Diaspora
      B. Kim
      School of Cinema
      Mentor: Scott Boswell

      Attainability of Official CSU Intended Outcomes: A Student Experience-Based Study
      Ysenia Martinez
      School of Design
      Mentor: Tara Lockhart

      Decline of the Latino Media in the San Francisco Bay Area
      Adriana Morga Oregel
      Journalism Department
      Mentor: Laura Moorhead

      The Semiotics of Power: Linguistic Structures of Neoliberal Hegemony
      Mikey Pagan
      School of Humanities and Liberal Studies
      Mentor: Teresa Pratt

      Battles, Bridges and Books: The Pursuit of Higher Education After Military Service
      Janelle Scarritt
      Mentor: Martha Lincoln

      Development of a Hybrid Motorcycle Conversion Kit to Reduce Pollution in Low-Income Urban Areas
      Anucha (Poh) Maga
      Mentor: Silvan Linn

      Does State of Residence Influence Concerns about Economic Inequity
      Hannah Galindo
      Mentor: Ronald Hayduk

      Embodiment in XR: Using Research through Design Techniques in VR to Explore New Approaches to Attention, Interaction Rituals and Spatial Metaphors
      Crystal Candalla
      Mentor: Joshua McVeigh-Schultz

      Gender’s Corporeality: Deconstructing Trans-Boundaries in Cinema
      Lindhan Le
      Mentor: Elizabeth Ramirez-Soto

      Ireland and the Rise of Left-Wing Nationalism
      Mikayla Cordero
      Faculty member: Amy Skonieczny

      Potential Wilderness
      Duriel Meisner
      Mentor: Sean McFarland

      Social Media Usage and Political Behavior: Understanding How Situational Context Impacts Participation
      Jorge Urroz
      Mentor: Francis Neely

      The Construct of Love and Sexuality in 17th-Century Japan
      Kayla Ratliff
      Mentor: Laura Lisy-Wagner

      The Value of Life
      Jamila Hayes
      Mentor: Celine Parreñas Shimizu

      George and Judy Marcus for Excellence in Liberal Arts