The goal of the Emerging Scholars in Interdisciplinary Studies Program is to enable promising young scholars to explore research interests with a faculty mentor. This program differs from other summer research grants, such as those provided through the Program for Undergraduate Research, in that applicants pursue different types of exploratory conceptual and applied research rather than a more structured research project. The program allows emerging scholars to develop interests and expertise in an interdisciplinary field of study while honing their research skills under the tutelage of a faculty mentor or mentors.

Successful candidates will present projects that explicitly draw on multiple disciplines such as economics and religion and/or multiple fields of study within related disciplines such as environmental economics and environmental ethics. In addition, projects should seek to explore and integrate themes of interest including, but not limited to, sustainability, democracy, human rights, public health, climate change, place/community studies, conflict studies, community wellness, civic education, shale gas development (e.g., Marcellus Shale), and watershed studies, among others.

Eligibility

Eligible candidates include all enrolled undergraduate students in good standing at Bucknell University. The program seeks to encourage undergraduates who have not yet had the opportunity to pursue independent research, especially those representing the social sciences and the arts and humanities.

The 2014 Award Program

Proposals for the summer of 2014 are due by Friday, February 21, 2014. Applicants will be notified by Friday, March 21, 2014.  


Application Materials

Students interested in applying for this program should submit an application that includes the following:

  • A presentation of the research question(s) or theme(s)
  • An explanation of the interdisciplinary nature of the research question(s) or theme(s)
  • A description of the research environment
  • A statement of support from faculty mentor or mentors

The application should be written by the student. Application materials should reflect a high level of involvement by the student in defining and narrowing the project. The student should include in the application a brief summary of his/her own background and interest in undertaking this research. The proposal must include a clearly defined set of goals for the proposed research that are achievable within a period of 8-10 weeks during the summer months as well as evidence of intellectual collaboration between the student and faculty member(s) in both the formulation and completion of the project. The proposal should also include a brief summary of what the proposed research will produce (e.g., an annotated bibliography, a literature review, or a research paper) and how the project will support the student's educational goals (e.g., supporting development of an honors thesis project during senior year).

The proposal should be written in language that is understandable to those whose area of specialization is outside the area of the proposed research. It is important that the application criteria (see below) are clearly addressed. Please note that grammatical lapses, sloppy editing, and spelling errors will negatively influence the committee's impression of the proposal. In keeping with the objective of clarity, the goals of the project and the student's work plan should also be clearly evident to the members of the advisory committee.

Part I

Cover Page, to include:

  1. Title of the Project
  2. Student Name and Class Year
  3. Campus Address (Box #) and Cell phone #
  4. Email Address
  5. Student BUID
  6. Name, Department, and Email Address of Faculty Mentor (s)

The cover page is to be signed by the student and mentor.

Part II

Limit the following to three single-spaced word-processed pages, using 12 point font.

Description of the research question(s) or theme(s):

The student should describe the research question(s) or theme(s) and the planned research outcome, typically a focused literature review or a similar finished product. In writing this paragraph, students should be mindful of time constraints in designing their summer research question, and thus propose a project that is sufficiently narrow to allow completion during the summer, but leave room for discovery of some new angles that might inform future projects. Regardless of what is proposed, a logical connection between process and outcome must be evident to the selection committee.

Description of the interdisciplinary nature of the research question(s) or theme(s)

The student should provide a brief discussion of the two or more disciplines, sub-fields, or domains, that will inform the project and the rationale for synthesizing material from these areas. Ordinarily, this discussion will include a discussion of the student's own background, through coursework or other means, in these disciplines, or discussion of the student's background in one area and advice received from faculty mentors on relevant other disciplines to add to this knowledge.

Describe the research environment and work plan

The student should discuss the planned research environment for the summer, including work plan, work location, and planned meeting frequency. Please note that contact and communication between student and mentor is expected to be both regular and substantive throughout the project. The frequency with which the student and mentor interact, and the general availability of the mentor, will be important factors in selecting summer fellows.

Faculty Endorsement

The faculty mentor should submit under separate cover a supporting letter that details his/her commitment to the completion of the project, summarizes how mentoring will occur, and provides an assessment of the student's scholarly potential. The letter should also briefly summarize how the project relates to the faculty mentor's scholarship or teaching as well as how the project will benefit the student scholarly development.

NOTE: If the proposed project involves human or animal subjects, it is the faculty advisor's responsibility to obtain any required IRB or IACUC approvals.

Submitting Your Application

Please submit proposals to Meg Martin in 100 Academic West, mcm039@bucknell.edu. Applications will be accepted electronically as a pdf attachment. The deadline for submission is Friday February 21, 2014. Applicants will be notified by Friday March 21, 2014.

Further Information

Contact Meg Martin, 570.577.2820, mcm039@bucknell.edu. If you have questions about your proposal as you are developing it, feel free to contact Professor Peter Wilshusen, pwilshus@bucknell.edu, or Professor Jan Knoedler, knoedler@bucknell.edu.

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