Student-Faculty Research at Dickinson

Photograph of a studentWhat is Student-Faculty Research?: These projects normally take place in the summer when there is enough time for the students to take a truly collaborative role with a faculty member in a scholarly or creative project. The projects can be in any discipline and should concern a significant scholarly question or creative pursuit. They usually last 8 weeks, but in some circumstances may be shorter.  Both the student and the faculty role must be substantial at every stage of the project, with the student taking on co-investigator status.

Proposals for projects from all three divisions are invited and are eligible for funding. All proposals from all disciplines will be ranked in the same competitive pool. Funding will be allocated to the proposals that best meet the published criteria.

In addition, the generosity of donors who have contributed to the endowment supporting Student Faculty Research has made it possible to periodically fund projects in the following specific areas:
  • critical or creative work in literary, dramatic or cinematic studies
  • projects in clinical neuroscience
  • projects in classical studies or archaeology
  • research that forwards the cause of peace
  • research conducted in history or political science
  • projects involving environmental fieldwork
Proposals for projects in these areas are encouraged from across the campus. Invitational priorities may go unfulfilled in some years.

What criteria are used to grant Student-Faculty research funding?: Student-faculty research grants are 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. Dickinson's preferred model expects a 1:1 working relationship with an experienced faculty member taking an active teaching/mentoring role in carrying our the project.
  3. Student role: The student role must be truly collaborative and substantial during every phase of the project. Students are expected to make a full-time commitment during the period of the project which would prevent students from taking summer classes and having an additional job on campus.   Please see Student Summer Employment Updates.  The application should clearly identify the student by name where possible.  When a student cannot be identified by name, a clear description of the skills needed for the project must be provided.
  4. Clearly defined outcomes from the research will be an important evaluation criterion in the award process.   Future independent research honors thesis work for the student, and co-authored papers or presentations are examples of desired outcomes.
  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.
How are these projects supported?: Student-faculty research grants are usually substantial, providing stipends to the faculty member ($500 per week) and the student ($350 per week) for up to 8 weeks, the student's room in on-campus housing (or on-site equivalent) and the expenses of the project. (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.  Expenses are limited to $2,000 per summer for materials, supplies and project-related travel. Students who plan to present the results of the research conducted can apply for Kenderdine grants (up to $750) to support travel to a conference.

Information about other sources of funding for student travel and research can be found at:
Center for Sustainability Education

Please be sure to check for application deadlines.

Special application instructions for this program:  
Your application should include a cover sheet/application, budget, and a 5-page description of the project.
  • Please be sure to provide a full description of the role of the student.
  • All applications must be submitted electronically to randd@dickinson.edu.
Special reporting requirements for just this program:
*Timely submission of a final report prepared by the student-faculty team is required.

The final report should include:
  • a summary of the research completed, including methods and results
  • the role of the student researcher, for example, how they participated in the research, what they accomplished as well as how the student benefited from this experience (what they learned and how any new specific knowledge will aid them in the future, who they met or what contacts were made during the course of the research experience)
  • an accounting of how any funds were spent
  • bibliographic citations for any publications and/or presentations which
  1. resulted from the research
  2. are in progress
  3. are planned.
  • Additionally, students are to attach to the final report a 500-word statement, stating what they accomplished as well as what they learned from this experience.    
  • The report must be submitted electronically to randd@dickinson.edu.

**Please note that any travel more than 50 miles from campus requires that the student be registered through the  on-line trip system. Details for this can be found by logging onto CLIQ, going to the "general" tab and travel system. For more information on this process contact your Professor.