Advanced undergraduates are invited to apply to be an American University Summer Scholar or Artist (SSA) for Summer 2023. 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 who will guide their research or creative work over the course of eight weeks. Faculty mentors will receive a $750 stipend for their guidance and mentorship related to the project. Projects may be jointly conducted or authored with professors, but the project must show evidence of significant original work by the SSA.
SSAs may request up to $4,000 to support their research-related expenses, which may include living expenses, research-related travel, equipment, supplies, etc. Scholars can expect to participate in an information session and budget workshop after receiving the award. In addition, the SSAs are required to present their work publicly at the annual fall research symposium, which will be held in late September of the fall 2023 semester. They are also encouraged to publicly present their completed work in other forums where possible. For example, 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.
Scholars may be asked to attend research-related events sponsored by the Office of Undergraduate Education, CTRL, or the University Library. In addition, each summer scholar will have an individual consultation with a research librarian before beginning their project.
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 also 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. At the conclusion of the SSAs research, digital copies of their research products will be archived and made accessible in American University’s institutional repository.
Faculty mentors are required attend the fall research symposium in the fall and write a paragraph describing their role and expectations in mentoring the fellow as part of the report.