List of benchmarks

Students become Discovery Scholars when they and a faculty or staff mentor choose to embark on a project of scholarly work.  As the project develops, scholars accomplish certain benchmarks on the list below.  When scholars complete 7 benchmarks, they are graduates of the Discovery Scholars Program.

Note regarding scholarship projects started before application to DSP: Students may have a scholarship/research project in progress before applying to DSP. That is no problem — DSP can accept the project retroactively. Complete the application form as if the project is new — list the milestones for the entire project, even if some of them were completed prior to the DSP application.


  1. Project description, timeline, and milestones developed with mentor; on file with DSP
  2. Complete half of project milestones
  3. Complete project
  4. Present scholarly work at URCAS
  5. Attend a professional conference (without presenting)
  6. Present scholarly work at conference, exhibition, recital, film festival, reading, etc.
  7. Take the GRE
  8. Author or co-author a manuscript submitted for publication
  9. Promote #DiscoveryScholars ten times on social media
  10. Attend workshop on applying for the National Science Foundation (NSF) Graduate Research Fellowship (GRF) program
  11. Apply for the NSF GRF program
  12. Apply for graduate or professional school
  13. Apply for an artist residency
  14. Apply for solo exhibition or performance


DSP will celebrate progress towards the seven benchmarks.  When a student joins the program, both student and mentor will receive a DSP t-shirt.  At the completion of 3 benchmarks, the student and mentor receive a DSP messenger bag, and at the completion of 7 benchmarks, the student and mentor receive a DSP hoodie.  The student also receives a DSP stole to wear at graduation.