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2014 Westminster Summer Undergraduate Research Experience

 

2014 Westminster Summer Undergraduate Research Experience Student/Faculty Application

 

Deadline for Submission: Monday, March 10, 2014
Notification: Monday, March 31, 2014
 
Westminster College is pleased to announce the availability of summer 2014 undergraduate research positions for students doing collaborative research with Westminster faculty. Any Westminster student is eligible to apply for a research position if he/she will be enrolled as an undergraduate at Westminster in the fall of 2014. The program provides students up to $3000 (maximum) paid in increments every two weeks for full-time research done over the eight week summer session, contingent upon satisfactory progress. This program is supported by the Gore Math/Science Endowment, the Eskuche Fund, The Environmental Studies Program, the Dee Foundation, the Martin Fund, The Great Salt Lake Institute and Keck BRINE grant, the Provost’s Office, and the Westminster Scholars program.
 
The Undergraduate Research Faculty committee will consider all applications and make recommendations concerning these positions. Generally, the students who receive these summer positions have excelled in their classes and have an interest in a field similar to a professor’s research field. Eligible projects are those on which a student and Westminster professor can work collaboratively during the summer. A student may approach a potential faculty mentor with a specific research topic in mind, or may simply ask a potential faculty mentor to suggest possible research projects that would be appropriate. In either case, a mutual agreement between the student and potential faculty mentor regarding general project goals must be identified prior to submission of this application. Final awards are contingent upon available funds and the merit of the proposed projects. 

Program Overview

The goal of this program is to provide an intensive research experience for students working one-on-one with a faculty mentor. The definition of Undergraduate Research communicated by the Council of Undergraduate Research (CUR) is: An inquiry or investigation conducted by an undergraduate student that makes an original intellectual or creative contribution to the discipline. It is expected that each student research project:
  • will produce a significant, high-impact student learning experience,
  • has well-defined objectives and methods,
  • requires engagement with the disciplinary literature, and 
  • will involve both oral and written presentation of information
 
Students receive training in the research methods applicable to their specific project, employ critical analysis, and create written and oral presentations of their results. Other activities include:
  • Weekly interdisciplinary meetings designed to address practical aspects of research including time management, safety, record keeping, independence & initiative, critical thinking, and communication. 
  • An end of the summer research symposium where students present the results of their research projects.  In addition, students are encouraged to present at other regional and/or national conferences.

Program Expectations

 

1.      Each student will work closely with a faculty mentor on a research project (up to full- time, 40 hours per week) for 8 weeks, or the equivalent, unless agreed upon by the student and faculty member. Students working full time on research projects should not take multiple courses in the summer session or have another job commitment.
 
2.      Students will meet regularly with their faculty advisor on a schedule agreed upon by students and faculty, as necessary for the progression of their research. 
 
3.      Attendance at periodic interdisciplinary research meetings is also required (schedule to be announced).
 
4.      Students are expected to participate at a forum in late July where each student can share with other research students the progress on projects. 
 
5.      Each student is also expected to present the results of their research (either by delivering an oral presentation or participating in a poster session) at an appropriate local, regional or national meeting during the 2014-2015 academic year. All students must also submit a copy (pdf, ppt, doc, docx wp) of their paper or poster to Tim Dolan by August 30.
 
6.      All students must participate in the pre and post SURE survey (Survey of Undergraduate Research Experiences). The pre-survey must be completed before students can receive their first paycheck and the post survey must be completed before they can receive their final paycheck.
 
To be considered for one of these grants the student and faculty mentor each need to fill out the information below on an online form (click here or below). There is one link for students and another for faculty. If the research project is a student-initiated, independent project, the student will provide the faculty member with a project overview that will be submitted by the faculty mentor. Please use Internet Explorer to fill out the online form! It is not compatible with other internet browsers.
 
It may be helpful to compose and edit responses first using a word processor and then cut and paste responses into the text boxes in the online form. Once you click "OK" your application will be submitted.
 

Student Information

Name 
Address      
Phone
E-mail
Major/(Minor, if appropriate) 
Class Standing as of Spring 2014: Freshman   Sophomore   Junior   
Expected date of graduation 
Courses taken in Major
Prior summer research funding?  
Cumulative grade point average
Faculty Research Mentor 
 
Exposition/Personal Statement: This section will be an important part of the selection process.

What is the primary reason you are interested in conducting research and participating in this summer undergraduate research program?  
 
Please describe your research interests and skills that are relevant to this research project, including any past research experience.
 
Please provide a brief discussion of your post-graduation plans and how your participation in this research program will help with these plans.
 
Student Information: Students, please follow this link and fill out the form.

Faculty Information/Overview

 
There are two different models of mentoring undergraduate research. Please indicate in your proposal which model best describes the work you’ll be doing this summer with your student.
 
Independent researcher model:  This is primarily a student driven project.  The student will approach a faculty mentor with an idea for the project and will be able to carry out the majority of the work independently from the faculty mentor.  The faculty mentor will provide guidance at appropriate times during the research project, but will not need to meet with the student on a daily basis.
 
Student-faculty team model:  The emphasis here is collaboration.  The student works closely with their faculty mentor necessitating close proximity and/or daily interaction.  These projects require more time-intensive faculty mentorship due to one or more of the following:
1)      The sustained level of teaching/training required due to the sophistication of the project in terms of tasks or methods required for research
2)      The supervision necessary due to safety considerations in the laboratory or the field
3)      The quality of the output required for peer reviewed presentation or publication such that the faculty member actively participates in the production, analysis and dissemination of the research
4)      The project may require faculty supervision of more than one student to sustain each individual’s productivity, project advancement, and review of results and presentation
 

Evaluation Criteria:

The goal of this program is to provide an intensive research experience for students working one-on-one with a faculty mentor. Projects will be evaluated on their potential to provide positive learning outcomes for students, including:
 
Research Outcomes:
  • well-defined objectives and methods,
  • substantial contact with the literature,
  • potential for original intellectual or creative contribution to the discipline
Student Learning Outcomes:
  • positive student learning outcomes, emphasizing one or more of the College Wide Learning Goals,
  • training in the research methods and analysis applicable to the specific project,
  • both oral and written presentation of information,
  • clearly communicated purpose, and
  • project evaluation and feedback from faculty mentor
 
Proposal, Outcomes and Faculty Responsibilities:
 
To be considered for one of these grants the student and faculty mentor each need to fill out the information below on an online form. There is a link below  and here (or use the one below) for faculty. If the research project is a student-initiated, independent project, the student will provide the faculty member with a project overview that will be submitted by the faculty mentor. Please use Internet Explorer to fill out the online form! It is not compatible with other internet browsers.
 
It may be helpful to compose and edit responses first using a word processor and then cut and paste responses into the text boxes in the online form. Once you click "OK" your application will be submitted.
 
Student/Faculty Proposal (can be co-written with the student.)
Please provide a short (two-page equivalent) proposal describing the project or research.
 
 
Student Learning Outcomes (can be co-written with the student.)
Describe the nature of student involvement (responsibilities and activities) in the project and the expected learning outcomes. Please address the research and the student learning outcomes (see the evaluation criteria above.)
 
 
Faculty Responsibilities
Describe faculty responsibilities and activities. This section will be used to determine faculty stipend.
 
Student/Faculty Information: Faculty, please follow this link and fill out the form.
 
The Summer Research committee will meet in March to award stipends and will notify recipients by March 29.