FIEA Summer Research Experience

FIEA Summer Research Experience

The FIEA Undergraduate Summer Research Experience fosters collaboration between intellectually motivated Stetson students and the University of Central Florida’s Florida Interactive Entertainment Academy (FIEA) graduate game-development program.

If you are interested in studying and immersing yourself in any aspect of game-development, interactive entertainment or simulation, you should consider this experience for Summer 2017. It is designed to provide Stetson students with access to the facilities, curriculum, faculty and students found at FIEA’s downtown Orlando campus. These facilities include FIEA’s motion capture studio, recording studio, sound stage, concept rooms, VR/AR labs and game room.

The selected student will be exposed to the latest game-development processes for producers, artists and programmers and will be expected to pursue a self-designed research project (similar in format and scope to Stetson’s SURE program). Some of the potential areas that this research project could explore include real-time modeling and animation, audio and sound engineering, virtual reality, storytelling, mobile programming, production management, and general game design. The student will have a faculty mentor to oversee and assist in any observational studies.

Student applicants must select a faculty member to serve as a research mentor. The role of the research mentor is to supervise the proposed research project. Summer research grant recipients will be selected on a competitive basis. Although it is being co-sponsored by the Creative Arts Department, this program is open to Stetson undergraduate students from any major. Students in the College of Arts and Sciences, the School of Business Administration, and the School of Music are invited to apply. Eligible students must have at least sophomore standing as of the spring 2017 semester and attend Stetson at least through fall 2017.

This program will provide a stipend of $2,500.  Students must be able to provide their own transportation between Stetson and FIEA’s downtown Orlando campus (500 W Livingston St, Orlando, FL 32801).

Please note that this grant is considered a student cash award and as such, may be considered taxable income by the U.S. Internal Revenue Service (IRS). The University must report cash awards paid to students. For students receiving $600 or more from the University, a tax form 1099-MISC will be issued at the end of the applicable tax year. Therefore SURE grant recipients should expect to receive the 1099-MISC. Students who accept the award will need to complete paperwork for this processing. International students may have additional required paperwork.

Additionally, student grant recipients have the opportunity to apply for a scholarship for summer campus housing during the summer term, May 17 through July 19, 2017. The housing application for summer 2017 will be available via the homepage of Housing Central. Please note the priority deadline for summer housing is Friday, April 14, 2017.


  1. Each student will work with a faculty mentor at Stetson and FIEA to develop an idea for a project to complete at FIEA.
  2. Each student will work full-time on the project for the period of May 17 to July 19.  The student award recipient will be unable to enroll in summer courses at Stetson University during the summer session.
  3. This program does not carry any academic credit, and as such cannot solely be used to fulfill the senior research requirement in the College of Arts and Sciences.  However, it is permissible to begin a project during this experience that is then extended or expanded as part of a senior research project.
  4. Each student is required to prepare either a poster or oral presentation summarizing their research for their home department.
  5. Each student is expected to deliver the results of their work in a 30-minute lecture presentation or creative performance. This presentation must be delivered to an appropriate venue on Stetson’s DeLand campus (such as a class in the student’s major discipline, a senior research course, or department colloquium) and a second time at FIEA’s campus. Alternatively, representatives from FIEA may elect to attend the presentation on the DeLand campus instead of hosting a second presentation.
  6. Each student will present their work at Stetson Showcase the spring following this experience.  See the Stetson Showcase web site for application procedures (
  7. Each student is required to write and submit an essay to evaluate their own personal experience, including suggestions on program improvement.  Students receiving this award will receive guidelines for this essay.
  8. The award of a $2,500 grant is considered a student cash award. Therefore, anything purchased by the awardee’s personal funds is his/hers to keep. Student cash awards may be considered taxable income by the U.S. Internal Revenue Service (IRS). The University must report cash awards paid to students. For students receiving $600 or more from the University, a tax form 1099-MISC will be issued at the end of the applicable tax year. This award will also be reported to the Office of Student Financial Planning.
  9. If the student awardee does not undertake his/her research project to the satisfaction of the mentor, the $2,500 must be returned to the University before the student will be allowed to graduate.


A completed application consists of:

  1. An electronic application submitted to [email protected], including a narrative description (not to exceed 1500 words) of the goals and methodology of the summer project, including appropriate references, and written in accordance with the canons of the student’s academic discipline.  The narrative must minimally address the following questions:
    1. What is the purpose of your proposed project?
    2. What methods and procedures will you use to achieve your objectives?
    3. What do you hope to learn as a result of participation in the UCF FIEA experience?
    4. In what ways will your project leverage access to FIEA’s faculty and facilities?
    5. What skills and competencies do you think you will develop or expand as a result of participating in this research experience?
    6. How do you plan to disseminate the project results?
    7. How will participation in this program advance your personal, academic, and professional goals?
  2. An abstract of the project (100-200 words) including the title, the student’s name, and the student’s faculty advisor’s name.  The abstract should summarize the project’s essential content, and it should be understandable to a non-specialist in your field.
  3. An official copy of the student’s academic transcript (available from the Office of the Registrar).
  4. A letter of recommendation from the student’s proposed faculty mentor, sent by the faculty mentor to [email protected].
  5. One additional letter of recommendation from someone familiar with the student’s academic achievements and/or the project experience and potential, sent by the reference to [email protected].

The complete application package must be received by Friday, February 3, 2017. Applications will be reviewed by a panel of Stetson University and FIEA faculty members. Successful applicants will be notified no later than Friday, March 10, 2017.

NOTE: Although we are ready to accept applications, this program is still pending final approval.

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