Potential Scholar FAQ

If you’re thinking about becoming a DSP scholar, and want to know more, please check out the FAQ below.

If your question does not appear, please contact one of the DSP Team members.


Q: What is the duration of the DSP scholars?

A: The duration of your time in DSP depends on your graduation date, which should be kept in mind when designing the scope of your project with your mentor. Most scholars finish their DSP projects within 2-3 semesters, but if the project is completed in more or less time, that is not problematic.

Q: What kind of time commitment should I expect?

A: With your faculty mentor, you will work out a time commitment that fits within your course, work, and familial obligations. Time commitments really depend on the nature of the project, which you and your mentor have full control over.

Q: Is there funding available for my project?  

A: The DSP sometimes has grants available to support scholars’ research and professional development, but we cannot guarantee funding availability from semester to semester.

Q: What should the scope of my project be?

A: That should be decided in a conversation between you and your mentor.  The project should be a new intellectual/artistic contribution that can be completed within the time you have available (in your schedule and prior to graduation).

Q: If my project fails, will I still be able to complete the program?

A: Completing the project, regardless of the outcome, is never a “fail!” So long as you complete your project and achieve your benchmarks, you will remain a DSP scholar.

Q: What kind of swag will I receive?

A: Just for joining DSP, you and your mentor will receive DSP t-shirts. As scholars progress through benchmarks, they receive messenger bags and hoodies. Upon completion of the program, scholars receive stoles to wear for graduation.

Q: Is there a cost for joining DSP?

A: There is zero cost for joining.

Q: How do I document my benchmarks?

A: As you complete your benchmarks, you fill out a form on the DSP website letting us know.

Q: Do I need to document completion of my project too?

A: No, but you should discuss your project progress with your mentor on a regular basis.

Q: I’ve decided to add/modify my benchmarks.  How do I go about doing that?

A: If you need to add or modify benchmarks, just email one of the DSP Team (be sure to copy your mentor, so we know that they’re on board with the change). We don’t need a justification to accompany the change. We trust that you and your mentor are making the best choice for your specific situation.

Q: Can I be enrolled in the DSP at the same time as other programs on campus (e.g., HHMI, BRaIN)?

A: Absolutely! DSP aims to recognize and celebrate all undergraduate scholarly activity, even if that activity is associated with another program. The only restriction is that you cannot use regular coursework as DSP scholarly activity.