Summer Research Grants in the College of Liberal Arts are designed to provide undergraduate students with an opportunity to propose and pursue a project of their own, apart from curricular requirements or academic credit.
The names of the students receiving these awards and their advisors are listed below.
Daniel Ashby (Erik Ropers, advisor)
“Visualizing Textual Trends of Abuse on Twitter by the Japanese Far-right”
Samuel Smith (Paz Galupo, advisor)
“Experiences of Trans-IPV (Intimate Partner Violence) Survivors in the Context of Therapy”
Video presentations can be found on the CLA YouTube channel.
The awards program seeks to emphasize individual curiosity and initiative, intellectual ambition, and independent scholarly work. Each project will require a CLA faculty mentor, but the genesis of the project should clearly belong with the student and not with the research program of a faculty member. Stipends of $3500 will be awarded on a competitive basis to students whose applications demonstrate a sound conception of the proposed work and evidence of the interest and ability to complete the project successfully. Faculty mentors will receive a stipend of $500 for their work in advising a student and overseeing a project.
Any student may apply (.docx) for the awards who is a:
Students who receives a CLA Summer Research Grant agree to:
Each CLA Summer Scholar will receive a $2500 stipend at the beginning of the summer, no later than June 10, and a $1000 stipend at the end of the summer after all reporting requirements are complete.
The final decision will be made jointly by the department chair of the faculty advisor and the Dean.
The evaluation framework outlined below will serve as a guide for the Summer Undergraduate Research Award selection committee in making recommendations on award recipients. Understanding these considerations should assist students as they prepare proposals for the awards. The number of awards granted each year will be dependent on available funding, and the number of proposals and their ratings may vary from year to year. Thus, a ranking by the selection committee at the top evaluation level will make a proposal highly competitive for funding but will not guarantee an award, while a ranking at the second level will not necessarily preclude funding a proposal. Proposals ranked at Level III will not be funded.
The proposal presents a research question that suggests a fresh or interesting approach to its topic, consistent with expectations for research at the undergraduate level. The applicant explains why the question being asked is significant and presents the proposal’s ideas logically and vigorously.
The topic and research question described is appropriate for the student proposing the project. It is neither too large and open-ended for an undergraduate to manage successfully nor too limited and narrow to be of significant interest and challenge. The student’s record, combined with the discussion of the work in the proposal, encourages confidence that the student can carry out successfully a project of this scope. Relevant evidence from the record may include, but is not limited to, the applicant’s academic performance in relevant courses, any prior experience in related research, previous independent work, evidence of skills relevant to the project (software, language, statistics, protocols, etc.), community contacts connected with the project, or other relevant experience.
The student discusses contexts, sources, methods, theories, or strategies in ways that reflect a degree of sophistication in the discipline or disciplines most relevant to the work being undertaken.
If any specific resources are required for the project, including the cost of transportation to research sites, the proposal explains how those resources will be acquired or supplied.
The letter from the faculty research advisor provides unambiguous support for the intellectual and educational value of the project and clearly affirms that the student has the qualifications and capacities to complete the project successfully during the specified summer period. The faculty member is known to have, or explicitly defines, expertise that supports effective mentoring on the project and commits to a sound mentoring plan.
The proposal presents a research question that carries interest, but the statement of the project could be improved to show clear evidence of an independent thinking by the student or to convey a stronger sense of significant import. The discussion of the proposal is reasonably organized but may be somewhat lacking in energy or persuasive power.
There are positive elements that speak well for the project and the student, yet the match between the student and the research proposed could be more fully explained. The project may appear too big (or too small) for the period allowed. The student may lack some of the preparation the project appears to assume, or the student fails to discuss areas of experience and accomplishment appropriate to the project. Elements that create confidence that the student will be successful are not fully present, but there is potential to develop the proposal somewhat further, to clarify or focus the project, and to provide a more compelling case.
The student discusses only partially contexts, sources, methods, theories, or strategies that are necessary for a complete definition of the project. Further development is needed to support an expectation of successful project completion.
Resources on which the project must rely may be addressed in part, but a fuller explication is needed before the project is launched.
The faculty mentor expresses support for the project but may not address sufficiently the student’s ability to carry it out within the defined summer period, based on the student’s intellectual preparation and experience. The match between the faculty member’s own specialties and the proposed project are not clearly explained. The faculty member needs to supply additional assurance about the commitment to summer mentoring.
The proposals lacks a clear research question, or the question being asked seems well-used and familiar. The student’s writing leaves uncertainties about the intent or substance of the proposal.
The work described does not suggest any likelihood of success for the project in the hands of the student making the proposal. The suggested work may be evidently too large in scope or too limited for the summer research program or for the individual student. There may be little evidence of the thought, planning, or preparation needed for a successful project.
The student does not adequately discuss a research approach, sources, or methods, or the student describes theories, sources, or methods that do not match well with the project.
The project would require significant resources that the proposal does not recognize or discuss.
The letter from a faculty mentor does not engage sufficiently with the project or speak with any substance to the qualifications of the student for carrying it out. The faculty member’s commitment to supporting the project and providing summer mentoring is not clear.
*This document honors the model for evaluating Student Undergraduate Research Funding proposals created by The Office for Undergraduate Research at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill.