Summer Research Fellows in the Center for the Study of Religion, Culture, and Society

Designed to foster advanced research in the interdisciplinary study of religion, CSRCS Summer Research Fellowships are available to students of any year studying in any discipline. Students awarded these grants are supported by a stipend that helps replace the important income from summer employment. CSRCS Summer Research Fellows participate fully in Elon’s Summer Undergraduate Research Experience (SURE) program, which administers these grants through an agreement with the CSRCS. Students submit the normal application to the SURE program. In addition they must send a separate statement to the CSRCS director explaining how their proposed project aligns with the mission of the CSRCS.

Faculty members also receive a stipend as part of the CSRCS Fellows program, and therefore faculty mentors may not receive both the mentor’s stipend and salary for teaching 4999/4998 in the summer. Faculty may, however, consider applying for stipends and/or other research expenses through Elon’s Faculty Research and Development Committee (note: this committee has a November deadline for its application).

Research projects supported by this program should exhibit the potential for scholarly publication or presentation. Students are encouraged to register for research credit during the subsequent academic year to continue their CSRCS Fellow’s research project and/or embark on a different research project. Submission to the Spring Undergraduate Research Forum (SURF) is required for all grantees and, if accepted, students are expected to present their work at SURF.


  • Participation by both students and mentors in certain activities is required. Before submitting a CSRCS Summer Research Fellowship application, please ensure that you will be able to attend ALL SURE activities.
  • CSRCS Summer Research stipends are available to full-time students in all disciplines.
  • CSRCS Summer Research Fellows receive a research grant of at least $3,000 for an 8-week, full-time summer session.
  • To be eligible for a CSRCS Summer Research Fellowship, students must have completed their first year at Elon and should have a cumulative GPA of 3.0 as well as an in-major GPA of 3.0.
  • Because of the expected intensity level, students may not be enrolled in a summer school course while holding a CSRCS Summer Research Fellowship.
  • Also due to the expected intensity level, students are discouraged from pursuing additional employment while holding a CSRCS Summer Research Fellowship.

Note: To receive any support from Elon’s Undergraduate Research Program, including being accepted to SURF, approval from the Institutional Review Board (IRB) must be in place before any data collection from human subjects takes place. View the IRB website for more information about this requirement.

Selection criteria

Proposals will be ranked according to quality on each of the following criteria (not listed in order of importance).

For students:

  • Past academic performance
  • Suitability of the student for the project
  • Alignment with CSRCS mission and objectives

For faculty:

  • Collaborative nature of the project
  • Potential for gaining new knowledge and/or insight within the disciplines
  • The match between project and mentor’s area of expertise
  • Availability of the mentor to the student during the CSRCS fellowship period.

Application Materials

SURE 2024 information

Note for students: A student who wishes to be considered for CSRCS and SURE summer programs must be nominated by a faculty member who will serve as their mentor. Proposals, which are prepared jointly by student and mentor, must be submitted using the SURE system by Friday, December 1, 2023. Students should notify Dr. Brian Pennington ( by separate email of their wish to be considered for the CSRCS Fellowship and include a statement about how their project aligns with the mission of the CSRCS. Awards will be announced by February 1, 2024 for Summer 2024.