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AU Summer Scholars & Artists Program

Advanced undergraduates (rising juniors and seniors) are invited to apply to be an American University Summer Scholar or Artist for summer 2020. Funded by the Office of Undergraduate Education, Scholars will receive a $4,000 payment to conduct full-time research that demonstrates the potential to lead to significant scholarly or creative work. Students should apply through the academic unit that houses their major by clicking on the appropriate link for an application form. Links are found on the right side of this webpage. Students proposing research abroad must submit a Research Abroad Questionnaire.

Scholars will work closely with faculty mentors in ways that enhance faculty research or creativity. Faculty mentors will receive a $1,000 stipend to guide students through their research apprenticeship. Projects may be jointly conducted or authored with professors or with other students, but the project must show evidence of significant original work by the fellow.

Scholars receive a $4,000 payment to support their research-related expenses, which may include living expenses, travel, equipment, supplies, etc. Scholars will attend an information session in April after receiving the award and will be expected to present their work to an audience of faculty and students in September, 2020. More information will be given about the presentation at the April meeting. Students are also encouraged to present their work in other venues, such as a senior or honors capstone; a professional conference at AU or elsewhere, or they might publish, display, or perform their work on or off campus. Scholars may be asked to attend research-related events sponsored by the Office of Undergraduate Education, the Center for Teaching, Research, and Learning (CTRL), or the University Library.

Faculty mentors must be active throughout the application, research, and presentation phases, helping students explore their interests, focus on their topic, and find appropriate research materials and contacts. They will assist students first to identify the knowledge and skills required to complete the project and then to plan ways of acquiring that knowledge and those skills. They will aid students in defining research phases and setting research deadlines. During the summer, they will remain in frequent contact with students and provide timely feedback. They will help students find appropriate venues for sharing the results of their research.

Scholars may or may not be directly involved in the faculty mentor's own research. If they are directly involved, mentors should think of these students not as research assistants but as apprentices. That is, Scholars should have their own research problem or question to investigate so that they can participate in all phases of research design, development, analysis, and conclusions. Scholars will provide a summary of their project to the Dean of their school or college and to the Office of Undergraduate Education by the end of the calendar year. Faculty mentors are required to write a paragraph describing their role and expectations in mentoring the scholar. Guidelines for the summary will be provided by the academic unit.

Awards will be announced by March 29th, 2020.

The best mentors are usually faculty you are already working with in class. If your project doesn't stem from a course, then ask a faculty member you know for suggestions. If you don't know a faculty member in the field you want to research, make an appointment with the department chair. You might also consult AU Experts, which lists faculty expertise.

We have resources to fund up to 8 Summer Scholars.

No, you don't have to be in DC over the summer, but you do have to specify how you and your mentor will communicate, including detailing how and how often you will communicate.

No, scholars must be sponsored by an AU faculty member. One purpose of this program is to foster research partnerships between AU students and faculty.

No, there are no limitations. The intent of the program is to provide freedom from the necessity of working for rent, but the purchase of research materials is also encouraged.