Advanced undergraduates are invited to apply to be an American University Summer Scholar or Artist (SSA) for Summer 2021. Funded by the Office of Undergraduate Education, Scholars will receive up to $4,000 to conduct full-time research that demonstrates the potential to lead to significant scholarly or creative work. Applicants must be rising juniors or seniors.
SSAs will work closely with faculty mentors in ways that enhance faculty research or creativity. Faculty mentors will receive a $500 stipend to guide students through their research apprenticeship. Projects may be jointly conducted or authored with professors or with other students, but the project must show evidence of significant original work by the SSA.
SSAs receive up to $4,000 to support their research-related expenses, which may include living expenses, travel, equipment, supplies, etc. Scholars can expect to participate in an information sessions and budget workshops after receiving the award and are encouraged to publicly present their completed work. For instance, they might incorporate their work into a senior or honors capstone; they might present their work at a conference at AU or elsewhere, or they might publish, display, or perform their work on or off campus.
All SSAs will be expected to publicly present their completed work at an event sponsored by the Office of Undergraduate Education in fall 2021. Scholars may be asked to attend research-related events sponsored by the Office of Undergraduate Education, CTRL, the Academic Support and Access Center, or the University Library.
Faculty mentors must be active throughout the application, research, and presentation phases, helping students explore their interests, focus on their topic, and find appropriate research materials and contacts. They will assist students first to identify the knowledge and skills required to complete the project and then to plan ways of acquiring that knowledge and those skills. They will aid students in defining research phases and setting research deadlines. During the summer, they will remain in frequent contact with students and provide timely feedback. They will help students find appropriate venues for sharing the results of their research.
Scholars may or may not be directly involved in the faculty mentor's own research. If they are directly involved, mentors should think of these students not as research assistants but as apprentices. That is, Scholars should have their own research problem or question to investigate so that they can participate in all phases of research design, development, analysis, and conclusions. Scholars will be required to provide a summary of their project to the Dean of Undergraduate Education by the end of the calendar year. Faculty mentors are required to write a paragraph describing their role and expectations in mentoring the fellow as part of the report.