Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Q: When will faculty and students be notified about participation on a project?
A: We start matching teams as applications arrive. Some teams are formed by the end of the Spring semester. All teams need to be finalized by the beginning of the Fall semester (September).

Q: Can a faculty application be granted without identifying specific students?
A: Yes, we can match faculty to projects if they provide a short description of the expected student participants.

Q: Who evaluates the proposed teams?
A: A team at SERC consults with each sponsor to determine the best fit for each project.

Q: Do any of these projects have citizenship restrictions for either students or faculty?
A: Unless otherwise noted in the project description, there are no citizenship restrictions for students or faculty.

Q: Are any of the projects subject to International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR) or other government restrictions?
A: Unless otherwise noted in the project description, there are no ITAR or other restrictions.

Q: What are the Intellectual Property (IP) rules for these projects?
A: Each sponsor and student team needs to agree on IP rights before the project starts. We expect that most sponsors are more interested in proofs of concept than in specific inventions of student teams.

Q: Would successful execution of any of the currently listed projects result in classification of the work product created by a student team?
A: Unless otherwise noted in the project description, this is not anticipated.

Q: What level of student involvement have the sponsoring entities committed to support?
A: Sponsors are expected to provide information or feedback at 4 major meetings/reviews for a two-semester capstone project: beginning of Fall term, end of Fall term, mid-semester Spring term, end of Spring term. They expect that there will be a single point of contact on the student team for more frequent interaction. We recommend that student teams provide weekly progress reports to sponsors to keep them up-to-date.

Q: What is the expected project budget?
A: Unless otherwise noted, each sponsor has committed to provide up to $10,000 for each student team. These funds may be used for student travel, components and materials, or other student expenses as negotiated with the sponsor. Note that university overhead is included in the sponsor’s commitment, so actual student funds will be reduced by that amount.

Q: How are funds disbursed?
A: The SERC has a contract in place to receive funds from Department of Defense sponsors. They will create a sub-contract for each university team. Each school is expected to submit invoices in a timely manner as expenses are incurred. Other sponsors need to set up their own arrangement with participating schools. That may be a contract, a gift, or some other mechanism for reimbursing student teams.

Q: Are project scope and objectives negotiable?
A: Yes. The project descriptions shown are desired outcomes but may not reflect the abilities of undergraduate student teams. Students will help determine the final scope of each project through their requirements specification and analysis work.

Q: Do the projects have to follow a Fall-Spring schedule?
A: Yes, currently all projects need to follow a Fall-Spring semester schedule (or Fall-WInter-Spring quarter schedule for schools on the quarter system).  We plan to support other schedules in the future.

Q: What are the expected deliverables for projects?
A: Each project team will negotiate this with their sponsor at the beginning of the project.