Interested students should have an advisor willing to supervise a summer project of ten weeks duration. The project should be environmental research with a focus on West Branch of the Susquehanna River Bioregion. The proposed work may be environmental science, engineering, or another type of environmentally related research relevant to our local area. || How do I find an advisor?
Proposals should include a title page (with student and advisor name and departments) and a References Cited section. The page-numbered body of proposals should be no longer than approximately four pages single-spaced. A competitive proposal will be well-written and should demonstrate that the student has a clear grasp of the research problem, methods, and significance appropriate for the early stages of a project. Research advisors are expected to guide the student in proposal development, but the student should be the author of the proposal.
The McKenna Summer Application Form (.doc format) contains further information pertaining to proposal submission.
The proposal deadline falls in February of each year. The deadline for Summer 2016 internships is Friday, Feb. 5, 2016. The award will be announced approximately two weeks after the deadline.
Among the criteria used to award the internships will be (A) the quality of the proposal, (B) a demonstration of the applicant's genuine interest in environmental science, (C) evidence of active faculty sponsorship, and (D) the strength of the letter of support from the faculty sponsor.
Upon finishing the summer's work, advisors are requested to ensure that an approximately four-page report of the summer's research is delivered to Dr. Kirby within four weeks of the beginning of the fall semester. These reports are compiled and delivered to the McKenna Foundation, so the future of this internship program depends in part upon the prompt submission of reports.
Students will be expected to present results at the spring Kalman Student research symposium on campus. Currently, these presentations may be either oral or in poster form.
The earlier this process is started, the less rushed you will be to complete a competitive proposal that demonstrates that you are prepared to begin your research. Given the early February deadline, November or December is a good time to start.
Occasionally, a student approaches a professor with an original research idea of his or her own. This scenario is probably the exception rather than the rule because most undergraduate students do not yet have the background to design a project that is original and can be accomplished with the equipment and time available.
It is much more common for students to find advisors by going to several professors in their major and minor departments (or with who they've had coursework) and asking what potential student projects the professors have.
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