Summer Student-Faculty Research Projects

MEMORANDUM

TO: Tenured and Tenure-Track Faculty

FROM: R. Joseph Dieker, Vice President for Academic Affairs and Dean of the College

DATE: December 4, 2013

RE: Summer Student-Faculty Collaborative Research Projects

Through the generosity of the Hewlett Foundation and funding through Dimensions, The Berry Center, the Rogers Gillette Student-Faculty Research Fund, and the Rebecca Joe Wearin Pulk Student-Research Fund, Cornell College is pleased to announce the availability of funding to support student-faculty collaborative research for the summer of 2014. Awards of up to $4,000 include compensation to the student research assistant (paid on an hourly basis) up to a total of $3,000 and a faculty stipend of $1,000 up to a total of $1,000.  Limited funding is available to support project costs.  The average award under this rubric will be approximately $500. 


The aim of the program is to fund collaborative research between faculty and students during the summer to support faculty in their research activities and to provide students with a first-hand research experience as undergraduates. The intent is to expose students to the diverse goals, research methods and skills to conduct advanced research in their fields of study, prepare research reports of their findings, and present their conclusions to their peers in classes, a departmental seminar for majors, at the annual Cornell College Student Symposium, or at professional meetings. Collaborative research projects should foster a mentor-apprentice relationship between the faculty member and the student, and expose the student to the processes of scholarly inquiry and discovery that characterize the life of a scholar/teacher. Ideally, the relationship between the student and faculty member will continue following the summer.

General Guidelines:

1) Any tenured or tenure-track faculty member or team of faculty members may apply for one summer student research assistant grant in support of on-going research or in support of a student research project designed in collaboration with the faculty member. Both types of projects should be carried out under the direct supervision of the faculty mentor over what would normally be a ten week period.

2) Awards are competitive and based on a proposal submitted by the faculty member. Proposals will be considered by the Faculty Development Advisory Committee. Awarded funds are available May 12, 2014.  Project funds must be expended in full by August 15, 2014.

3) As per U.S. Department of Labor regulations, compensation for the student will be paid on an hourly basis.  The student may work up to (but not exceed) 40 hours per week, at the rate of $7.50 per hour, for a total of 10 weeks.  The student researcher must also agree to submit a final research report to his or her faculty mentor and to the Office of Academic Affairs by August 31, 2014.  The faculty stipend, based on the number of weeks of collaborative research, will be paid in two equal installments: one in July and one in August.

4)  Employment of the student researcher is contingent upon the results of a background check to be conducted by the college and verification of employment eligibility.

5)  Awarded funds must be used for the purposes described in the proposal.  If a faculty member wishes to use the funds in any other way, he or she must consult with the Dean in advance to seek approval.

6) Expectations of Faculty: The Faculty member and the student are responsible for designing and implementing a meaningful research experience. The project should involve a process whereby the student carries out the research with a solid understanding of the research question, the theory and methodology informing the research, the methods, skills and technical knowledge required to complete the research, the methods and rigor in recording of data and research results, and the writing of a final report.

Prior to starting the research, the faculty member and the student should agree on the expectations of the research experience. During the summer, the faculty member and the student should be in frequent contact with one another, at least several times a week. This close collaboration between the faculty member and student is the foundation for a successful program and a meaningful research experience.

The faculty member will work with the student to arrange a presentation of the research results to the campus through presentations in classes, a departmental seminar for majors, the annual Student Symposium, or at a professional meeting in the discipline (poster session, co-presentation with the faculty member).

The faculty member will submit a written evaluation of the project, the performance of the student, and the accomplishments of the research by August 31, 2014.  The grantee cannot be considered for additional faculty development funding if this report is not filed.

7) Expectations of the Student Researcher: The student will be expected to work full-time for ten weeks on the proposed research project under the direction of the faculty mentor. If a student works less than ten weeks, the student  compensation will be adjusted accordingly.  The student should share the final results of the project with the campus through presentations in classes, a departmental seminar for majors, the annual Student Symposium, or at a professional meeting in the discipline (poster session, co-presentation with the faculty member).  In addition, the student will submit a final research report to the Office of Academic Affairs by August 31, 2014.

Application Procedure:

The Faculty Development Advisory Committee will evaluate the proposals and make recommendations to the Dean of the College.

1)  The proposal must begin with a title and a brief summary of the proposed research.  The writing should be clear, complete and concise, and should use terms and language readily understood by the non-specialist. Please limit your proposal to no more than five pages.

2) The proposal should describe the research project and its objectives, the significance of the research problem being studied, the benefit to the participating student, the role of each collaborator in the project, and the project's relation to the faculty member's on-going research. If the research is designed by the student, then the project should be described in full and the respective roles of the student and the faculty member delineated.

3) The proposal should describe the research process to be followed by the student in carrying out the research with the faculty member, specifying the theory and methodologies which the student will learn, the research methods and skills being taught to the student (specific library research strategies, use and application of equipment and instruments, bibliographical research, hypothesis testing, etc.) and their importance, the anticipated outcome of the research, and how the research findings will be shared on campus or at a professional meeting.

4) Other sources of funding, internal or external, in support of any summer research must be indicated on the application.

5) A budget for project costs, with justification for each category (e.g., mileage, reproductions, types of supplies).  Faculty members should submit an itemized and prioritized project cost budget.  Project cost funding will be allocated according to the budgets received and funding available.

6) Other information you consider appropriate.

8) Submit the proposal to Nancy Rawson, Office of Academic Affairs, by January 14, 2014. Be sure to receive confirmation that your proposal was received. Retain a copy for your file. Awards will be announced at the beginning of February 2014.