Dana Research Assistantship at Dickinson

Photograph from a Women's ConferenceWhat is a Dana Research Assistantship?

The Dana program allows faculty members to hire individual students to assist in faculty scholarly and creative research. In order to open up research opportunities for students earlier in their college careers, and at the same time to further faculty research, students will be hired in substantive roles as research assistants. A detailed description of the role of the student is expected in the proposal.  Although the role of the student is an important consideration in Dana proposals, the emphasis is on assistance to the faculty member in his or her research.

Once these general criteria are met, then a range of activities can comprise the project. Please note, however, that the primary purpose of the Dana program is the support of faculty scholarship and creative work through the involvement of students as research assistants therein. The College has other monies, not administered through R&D, for work-study positions to support the other activities of the College, including those which also may be listed below.

What activities are supported?

The research assistant's duties may include:
  1. Conducting library and web research
  2. Compiling literature reviews
  3. Assisting with researching, planning and mounting exhibitions and performances
  4. Assisting with lab experiments or field investigations
  5. Copy-editing and proofreading
  6. Indexing
  7. Fact-checking
  8. Locating or creating illustrations; charts, and graphs
  9. Organizing academic events
  10. Compiling and annotating bibliographies
  11. Other substantive research assistance as needed

These duties may also include such incidental clerical tasks as photocopying and word- processing, but the core of the students role should be more substantive tasks.  Please also note that, under a decision by the Planning and Budget Committee, the College has discontinued administrative Dana internships; administrators should apply to their divisions for assistance.

What criteria are used to determine funding?

The Danas will be awarded by the R&D Committee using the following criteria:

  1. Quality: What is the quality of the project in terms of significance, originality, and intellectual merit?
  2. Student role: The student role must be clearly defined and educationally substantial during every phase of the project.  For summer Danas, students are expected to make a full-time commitment for the period of the project which would prevent taking summer classes and having an additional job on campus.  Please see Student Summer Employment Updates.
  3. Projects involve a 1:1 working relationship between the Dana Assistant and the faculty member.  Significant mentorship is expected.
  4. Projects normally take place on campus and the student is expected to be in residence.  In the case of field work the Dana Assistant and the faculty member will normally be at the same location.   
  5. Finally, R&D looks to the ancestry of the project. The applicant's previous history of grant applications should indicate the ability to accomplish what was promised, to use awarded funds prudently, and to file final reports as required.  Successful outcomes from previous projects will be a significant factor for repeat applications.

 How are the Dana Assistantships supported?

For the summer assistantships, the student will be compensated at the rate of $350.00 per week for up to eight weeks and the student's room in on-campus housing (or on-site equivalent). (Please note: if the project is on-campus, the student will be expected to live in campus housing during the time of the project.) The project dates must conform to the student housing constraints for summer.

For academic year assistantships, the student will be compensated at $7.55/hour (Category B) of the Student Payroll Classification Plan and may be employed for up to 8 hours per week for 26 weeks. Project expenses for faculty may be applied for under the separate "Scholarly or Creative Project" category.

Please note that any outright expenses incurred by the student (e.g. travel; photocopying) will have to be covered through other sources; the Dana Student Research Assistantship program covers student stipends and room only.

Please be sure to check for Dana Assistantship proposal deadlines.

Application instructions for this program:

  • Complete a cover sheet/application.
  • Faculty should supply R&D with a two-page abstract (max. 1000 words) of the scholarly/creative project and a full description of the role of the student.  (See criteria above).


    After approval of your academic year Dana, please complete the required forms. (Summer Danas do not need to complete the Payroll Contract, but will need to complete the Honesty Form, a Student Assistant Information form, and a Housing Form, which will be enclosed with your award letter).

    1. Student Payroll Contract
    2. Honesty in Academic Research

     PLEASE NOTE:  Part of the Dana experience requires the completion of a module on Responsible Conduct of Research. See Explanation and Form. Information will also be provided with the award letter.

    Special reporting requirements for just this program:

    Timely submission of a final report prepared by the student-faculty team will be expected.  The final report should include:

    • A summary of the research completed, including methods and results (150 words)
    • The actual activities of the student researcher (150 words).
    • The potential long-term benefits to the student of the completed project (150 words).
    • Actual expenditures and receipts.
    • Bibliographic citations of publication(s), presentation(s) or performance(s) resulting from this project, with actual or expected dates.
    • Total number of hours worked by student for the year.
    • Additionally, it is now required that the student attach to the final report a brief commentary (500 words maximum) stating what they accomplished as well as what they learned from this experience.

     Resources to support this activity are also available at:

    Sustainability Education Funding