Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the University has imposed Severe Research Restrictions, which has caused most laboratories on campus to close. We do not know when those restrictions will be lifted so this could affect ASPIRE research planned for this summer. For these reasons, the following policy is adopted for Summer 2020 ASPIRE applications, awards, and projects:
- All awards will be made contingent as follows. If your project work can be done remotely and does not require you to be on campus, and your mentor certifies this in an email to ASPIRE, an awarded ASPIRE project can proceed normally, with a June 1 project start and an August 21 final report due date. If your project work will require the use of a campus laboratory, an ASPIRE payment cannot be made unless Severe Research Restrictions have been lifted AND the required campus laboratory is fully operational by June 15. Final reports will be due August 21.
- All applications must be submitted electronically by email to Joseph Naft, firstname.lastname@example.org. For best consideration, applications must be received by 4 p.m. on April 17, 2020. Awards will be announced on April 27.
The A. James Clark School of Engineering of the University of Maryland strives to prepare its students for outstanding careers in engineering. Toward that goal, the Maryland Technology Enterprise Institute (Mtech) has created the ASPIRE program, which seeks to broaden the educational experience of undergraduate engineering students through direct involvement in real-world engineering projects. ASPIRE offers students a unique opportunity to venture beyond the classroom through collaboration with engineering faculty and staff on mutually interesting projects with industry relevance. In addition to its intrinsic educational value, ASPIRE gives students a competitive edge when applying for jobs or graduate study.
ASPIRE introduces undergraduates to the discipline and rewards of industrially-oriented engineering projects. Students perform research during the Fall and/or Spring semesters under the guidance of an engineering faculty or staff mentor. ASPIRE awardees receive a scholarship of $1,000 for each semester project. For Summer projects, students receive a scholarship of $3,000 for the summer. All funds are credited to the awardee's university student account. All continuing projects must submit a new application for each semester or summer.
Awardees are required to produce and submit a project report, approved by the mentor, at the end of each semester or summer project. In addition, ASPIRE scholars are encouraged to present a poster presentation on their project at the campus Undergraduate Research Day event held each April, unless they have graduated prior to that time.
The ASPIRE Award is processed through the campus financial aid office. Please be advised that for students receiving needs-based financial aid, the ASPIRE award may impact that aid. Please contact the Office of Student Financial Aid for further information. Also note that summer awardees are not permitted simultaneously to have a major time commitment to another program, such as REU.