Application Closed for Summer 2023
The application for the Summer Student Project Fund has closed for Summer 2023.
Return to this page in Spring 2024 for details regarding the Summer 2024 SSPF program.
The Summer Student Project Fund at Sears think[box] is open to undergraduate and graduate students from Case Western Reserve University. The Student Project Fund supports the following:
- Individual and team-based extracurricular and personal projects.
- Projects related to a competition.
- Entrepreneurial projects that require prototypes.
Please note the fund does NOT support course-related or research projects.
Eligibility for the Student Project Fund
To be considered for funding from the Student Project Fund, the applicant must plan to be a full-time CWRU undergraduate student (taking at least 12 credit hours) or a full-time CWRU graduate student (taking at least 9 credit hours or one credit hour of thesis) in the fall.
The application will close either at 9:00 a.m. on May 15, 2023 or when the fund runs out, whichever happens first. Applications are reviewed and approved on a rolling basis. We are unable to provide notice of the fund's depletion, so we recommend submitting applications promptly.
How Funds are Awarded and Used
To receive an award, the scope of the proposed project must be technically feasible with realistic deliverables achievable before the reporting deadlines detailed on this page.
The maximum amount of funding available per project is $1,000 to cover costs such as resources for materials, equipment, manufacturing costs and other related expenses. Funds may be used to pay for external prototyping or machining services only when the work cannot be performed at Sears think[box].
Please note funding will NOT be awarded to support any of the following:
- Food, drinks or entertainment
- Stipends for project team members or others
- Fees for contractors or consultants
- Marketing materials, prizes or giveaways
- Travel or travel-related expenses
- Expenses that do not appear on an approved budget
Applications to the Student Project Fund are reviewed and approved by a committee of staff members from Sears think[box], as are final reports for approved projects. The committee also determines the amounts awarded. Members of the review committee are:
- Jason Bradshaw, Director of Design and Manufacturing
- Ian Charnas, Director of Innovation and Technology
- Raymond Krajci, Operations Engineer
- Rachel Smith, Prototyping Manager
The review committee for the Student Project Fund considers all proposals and notifies applicants by email as to the status of their application(s). Proposals are considered based on the following criteria:
- Technical Feasibility: Can you or your team realistically reach the goals you set out given your existing skill set(s)?
- Monetary Feasibility: Is the requested funding appropriate for your project goals?
- Innovation/Functionality/Creativity: Does the project involve a creative aspect, a technically challenging or educational aspect, or a new idea or process? We’re looking for projects that will help you develop your professional and technical skill sets.
Receiving a financial award from the Student Project Fund at Sears think[box] provides a valuable learning and life-skills opportunity to develop and experience a number of critical professional practices. These include project planning and management, budget ownership and management, fiscal responsibility and professional reporting.
If you are awarded funds, you are fully responsible for their use and management. You are expected to keep accurate financial records and a summary of transactions, and must scan receipts to include in your project’s final report. Please be aware that monetary awards of $600 or more are taxable and, if you receive an award higher than this amount, you will be issued a Form 1099 at the end of the calendar year. Please consult a tax professional for options on how to offset this income or list it as non-taxable income on your income tax forms.
If you’ve received financial support from the fund, you must submit final report by the dates enumerated in the Summer Student Project Fund Agreement.
- You must submit a final report by August 14. The final report must include:
All fund recipients are required to sign an agreement indicating acceptance of the terms outlined for the Summer Student Project Fund before you receive the award. At that point, you will receive payment of 100% of the total award value.
After your final report is submitted, we will contact you to arrange the return of unspent or undocumented funds to Sears think[box].