Advanced undergraduates are invited to apply for a fellowship to be an American University Summer Scholar or Artist for summer 2016. Funded by the Vice Provost for Undergraduate Studies, fellows will be awarded $4,000 to conduct full-time research that leads 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: CAS, KSB, SIS, SOC, SPA. (The links are under construction. To be notified when a particular link becomes active, please write Dr. Manson at UResearch@american.edu.)
Fellows 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.
Fellows are required to work 35 hours a week on their research for a designated period of eight weeks in the summer. The $4,000 award is expected to cover living expenses during this time. Fellows may take summer courses that directly aid their research; otherwise, any courses taken must fall outside the eight weeks identified as their research period.
Fellows may be asked to attend information sessions or workshops after receiving the award and will be expected to publicly present their completed work elsewhere. 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; or they might publish, display, or perform their work on or off campus.
Fellows are encouraged to participate in the Sophomore Pathways Event: Chart Your Academic Future and in workshops on research sponsored by the Undergraduate Studies, CTRL, the Academic Support Center, or the University Library.
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.
Fellows 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, fellows 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.
Fellows will be required to provide to the Dean of the school or college and to the Vice Provost for Undergraduate Studies a summary of their project by no later than the last day of classes for Fall 2016.Faculty mentors are required to include with the fellow’s summary a paragraph describing their role and expectations in mentoring the fellow. Guidelines for the summary will be provided by the academic unit.
Awards will be announced by March 31, 2016.
ACKNOWLEDGEMENT AND PUBLICITY
Award winners and their mentors will be acknowledged in the spring at an event where they will meet the selection committee.
The Office for Undergraduate Studies will notify various university and other publications about the winners, both in the spring after the awards and in the fall after the symposium.
The intention of this program is to give especially driven students an opportunity to really explore something in depth and at length. They need eight weeks of research in order to produce the beginning of a substantial project. In other words, the eight weeks is only a slice of a process that might take six months or a year from conception to final product. Thus, their summer research cannot merely be for a concurrent independent study. Their research, however, might find its final form in an independent study in the following year as the student's thinking matures. The academic unit’s selection committee will need to keep such issues in mind as they decide which projects to fund.
Fellows must be undergraduates. Their fall 2016 classes can be at AU or at AU Abroad.
Fellows should be aware that their award is taxable. Checks must be paid before April 30, 2016.
For their participation, faculty mentors will receive $1,000 in research funds. Checks must be paid before April 30, 2016. In cases in which events prevent students or mentors from starting the project, they should reimburse the university's award/stipend.
At the end of the registration period in April 2016, the Office for Undergraduate Studies will check to ensure that fellows are registered for fall 2016 classes.