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.

Applications will open in Spring 2024


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 2023-24.

Faculty Eligibility

  • The faculty mentor must 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 23 semester.
  • An outreach event to connect with potential future applicants.
  • A recognition event near the end of the 2023-2024 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 and any personal information the student and faculty mentor think would be useful to convey to the review committee. (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
  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

Marcus Research Fellowship Grant: Current and Past Winners

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
Faculty Mentor: Chris Weinberger

Blackbook Stories: Visual Scripts and Community Narratives within San Francisco Graffiti Subcultures
José Hernandez
School of Design
Faculty 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
Faculty Mentor: Maricel Santos

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

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

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

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

“Brimful World: An Avaricious Humanity is Destroying a Helpless Planet.” Student: Alexis Doukakis (School of Cinema). Mentor: Assistant Professor Rosa Park

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

“The Metamorphosis of The Gender Non-Conforming.” Student: Carlos Osoria (Department of Comparative & World Literature). Mentor: Assistant Professor Leslie Quintanilla.

“Latinx Waves in K-pop.” Student: 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.” Student: 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”
Student: 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”
Student: Fiona DeWitt (Political Science Department)
Mentor: Rebecca Eissler

“Explorations of Gesticulation-Based Upper Limb Appliances”
Student: Levi Gilbert (School of Design)
Mentor: Silvan Linn

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

“Objectivity and Epistemic Commitment: Polanyi’s Critique of Reductionism”
Student: Aydin Jang (Philosophy Department)
Mentor: Arezoo Islami

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

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

“Decline of the Latino Media in the San Francisco Bay Area”
Student: Adriana Morga Oregel (Journalism Department)
Mentor: Laura Moorhead

“The Semiotics of Power: Linguistic Structures of Neoliberal Hegemony”
Student: Mikey Pagan (School of Humanities and Liberal Studies)
Mentor: Teresa Pratt

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

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

“Does State of Residence Influence Concerns about Economic Inequity”
Student: 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”
Student: Crystal Candalla
Mentor: Joshua McVeigh-Schultz

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

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

“Potential Wilderness”
Student: Duriel Meisner
Mentor: Sean McFarland

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

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

“The Value of Life”
Student: Jamila Hayes
Mentor: Celine Parreñas Shimizu

George and Judy Marcus for Excellence in Liberal Arts