Advanced undergraduates are invited to apply to be an American University Summer Scholars & Artists for 2018. Undergraduate Scholars will be receive a payment of $4,000 to support their research-related expenses, which may include living expenses, travel, equipment, supplies, etc.
The intention of this program is to give talented students an opportunity to explore an intellectual interest in depth and at length. Their project might find its final form in an independent study in the following year as the student's thinking matures. The selection committee will need to keep such issues in mind as they decide which projects to fund.
Scholars will work closely with faculty mentors in ways that enhance faculty scholarship or creativity. Faculty mentors will receive a $1,000 stipend to guide students through their research apprenticeship.
Faculty members must actively mentor the Scholar throughout the application process, scholarly endeavor, and final presentation. They will aid students in all phases of development, design, implementation, analysis/interpretation and presentation of the scholarly or creative work. During the summer, they will remain in frequent contact with students and provide timely feedback. Finally, faculty will help students find appropriate venues for sharing the results of their scholarship.
Projects may be conducted jointly with professors or with other students, but it is strongly suggested that the project show evidence of significant original work by the Scholar. For example, if the Scholar or Artist is directly involved in a faculty research project, they should have their own area of intellectual inquiry to investigate and participate in all phases of design, development, execution, analysis, and conclusions. In essence, the relationship would be one of apprenticeship rather than research assistance. Projects may be conducted jointly with professors or with other students, but the project must show evidence of significant original work by the Scholar. For example, if the Scholar or Artist is directly involved in a faculty research project, they must have their own area of intellectual inquiry to investigate and participate in all phases of design, development, execution, analysis, and conclusions. In essence, the relationship would be one of apprenticeship rather than research assistance.
Faculty mentors must be active throughout the application, research, and presentation phases, helping students explore their interests, focus 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. Faculty mentors are required to write a paragraph describing their role and expectations in mentoring the scholar.
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 can expect to be invited to attend information sessions or workshops after receiving the payment and are encouraged to publicly present their completed work. For instance, they might incorporate their work into a senior or honors capstone; they might present their work at a conference at AU or elsewhere; at the CAS Robin Rafferty Matthias Conference, or they might publish, display, or perform their work on or off campus.
Scholars and artists are encouraged to participate in workshops on scholarship sponsored by the University Honors program, CTRL, the Academic Support Center, or the University Library- and may be asked to attend information sessions or workshops after receiving the payment. Scholars are invited to provide a summary of their project to the Dean of their school or college and to the Office of Undergraduate Studies by the end of the calendar year.
APPLICATION REQUIREMENTS & DEADLINES:
Applicants should have a minimum 3.3 GPA in their major and a minimum 3.0 cumulative GPA. In addition, applicants should have earned at least 60 credits and registered for classes in the subsequent fall semester. Scholars are required to work full-time on their scholarly or artistic activity for a designated period of eight weeks in the summer. Any summer session courses taken by a scholar should fall outside the eight weeks identified as their program period.Scholars must be undergraduates. Their fall 2017 classes can be at AU or at AU Abroad. At the end of the registration period in April, the Center for Undergraduate Education will check to ensure that scholars are indeed registered for fall 2017 classes.
Requirements for all applications include:
The proposal for scholarly activity. The proposal is limited to 1500 words, not including references. It should include:
- An abstract (300 word maximum) and a short list of key words. Describe the project (exactly what you will do), explain the project's significance in terms of your field, the method(s) of how you will complete the project and provide information regarding the academic training that will enable you to undertake this proposed activity. Also include the desired impact you hope the work to have for your intended audience.
- A cover page with the title of the project, the names and email addresses of the student and faculty mentor, and the student's primary major; if applicable include secondary majors and minors.
- A proposed timeline for the 8-week period of proposed research.
- A sample portfolio of previous projects if applicable.
- A current transcript (unofficial is fine).
- A letter of support from the intended faculty mentor.
Applications should be submitted via e-mail to the Administrative Assistant for Academic Affairs, Brendan Williams-Childs (firstname.lastname@example.org) by February 23, 2018. The subject line should read "Summer Scholars Application." The faculty mentor should send the letter of support to Brendan Williams-Childs separately. Recipients will be announced in late March 2018.
CONDITIONS OF THE POSITION:
Scholars are required to file a final report, co-signed by their faculty sponsor, within 30 days of completing their scholarly activity. All recipients will be expected to publically present their completed work. For instance, they might incorporate their work into a senior or honors capstone; they might present their work at a conference at AU or elsewhere; they might submit might their work to the Visions Film Festival or the Public Communication awards, or they might publish, display, or perform their work on or off campus. In cases in which events prevent students or mentors from starting or completing the project, both the student and the faculty member must return the funds to the School of Communication. The Vice Provost's office may place a stop on the student's account while awaiting reimbursement. Scholars and Artists are encouraged to participate in workshops on scholarship sponsored by the University Honors program, CTRL, the Academic Support Center, or the University Library- and may be asked to attend information sessions or workshops after being chosen as a Scholar.
The selection committee will be composed of faculty and staff representatives from the School of Communication. The committee will choose one recipient. Candidates may be contacted by the selection committee with additional questions on their proposal. There is no interview process; however, proposals should be thorough and should get to the heart of what Scholars want to do, and why and how they are going to do it.
All funds need to be disbursed to the recipient by April 30, 2018. Funds are taxable.
ACKNOWLEDGEMENT AND PUBLICITY:
Summer Scholars, Artists, and their mentors will be acknowledged in the spring. The American University Office for Undergraduate Education will notify various university and other publications about the Scholars, both in the spring after the payments and in the fall after the symposium.