The Community-Engaged Summer Research Program provides opportunities for students to collaborate with faculty members as full participants in community-engaged research.

Students selected for these competitive awards will receive a $4,000 stipend, summer housing and up to $500 in funds for research materials and supplies if necessary. Primary components of this program are a public presentation of the student’s work at the conclusion of the research project and a community-based presentation on the collaboration and findings. The Community-Engaged Research Program is supported in part by the "Sense of Place" grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. Selections for these competitive awards are made by a committee of faculty members as part of the Summer Scholars program with input from the Office of Community Partnerships.

Program Requirements

The student member of a student/faculty research team is responsible for writing and submitting the proposal (see below) in consultation with the faculty member. The team conducts their research over an 8 to 10 week period in the summer, at the end of which the student member of the team submits a concise and accessible abstract of approximately 200 words describing the project and results.

Students will present their research at two public talks before the end of the fall semester, one of which will be in a community-based setting and the other usually occurs during Family Weekend.

Students will also be required to submit a final comprehensive paper that serves as the research project’s concluding report. Submit the paper electronically to Alyssa Gomez Lawrence at lawrencea@kenyon.edu by the stated deadline in December.

Student/Faculty Eligibility

The Community-engaged Summer Scholars Program supports student-faculty research teams in any discipline, in collaboration with a community partner. Applicants must consult with the Office of Community Partnerships prior to application. 

Students are eligible to apply for the summer after their first, sophomore, or junior year, and will generally be pursuing study or have professional aspirations in a field related to their project. Students may apply for more than one summer, but among fundable proposals, priority will be given to students who have not had prior support, even for a different project. Faculty may have an appointment in any department or interdisciplinary program, and both tenure track and continuing non-tenure track faculty may serve as mentors in the CESS program.

Proposals

A complete proposal consists of:

The Summer Research Application

Project Description and Budget: clear, concise description of the goals and methodology of the proposed project, understandable to individuals outside the discipline (limit 2000 words), as well as a budget detailing expenses limited to materials, equipment, and travel directly related to the research project — uploaded pdf as part of the application.

Faculty Mentor Form: This form allows the faculty mentor to describe how the proposed projects supports/advances their scholarly interests, to provide a clear plan for mentorship and collaboration (with both the student and the community partner), and describes the readiness of the student to take on the proposed project. The mentor also indicates whether grant funds may be available to support the student stipend and expenses beyond the $500 research budget.

The student member of the research team is responsible for completing the Summer Research Application. The student and faculty mentor should collaborate in composing the project description and budget. The faculty mentor completes the Mentor Form and submits it directly.

Awards will be announced in late February. Notification will be by email, copying the faculty mentor. Students may not accept this award if they are participating in another summer research program or has on-campus summer employment, and if they accept the award, they are expected to commit to the CESS program and remove themselves from consideration in other programs.

Selection Criteria

Community-engaged Summer Scholar proposals will be selected based on the following criteria:

The potential for the project to engage the student in authentic and compelling scholarly or creative work, with a clear plan for faculty mentorship and collaboration with the community partner.

The potential for the project to support or advance the scholarly or creative interests of the faculty mentor and/or the needs of the community partner.

Considerations of disciplinary, mentor, and student diversity, equity and inclusion.

Fellowship and Expenses

The current fellowship award is $4,000 per student plus provision of on-campus housing. Students not requiring on-campus housing are not eligible for additional remuneration.

A budget of $500 is provided to purchase materials, equipment, or travel that directly supports the research project. Any durable materials, supplies, and equipment will become the property of the College and remain with the faculty mentor’s department or the Office of Community Partnerships after the summer. All expenses must be approved by the faculty mentor and submitted with original invoice or receipt to the administrative assistant for the faculty mentor’s department no later than the last day of October following the summer project. Additional funding for conference travel may be requested through a Provost’s Student Research Grant or the Office of Community Partnerships.

Audit Credit

Students who complete all requirements as stated above and who are endorsed by their faculty mentors will receive audit credit on their transcripts for this summer research experience. Students who will be abroad at the time of the poster session may prepare a poster in advance for display at the session, or they may present their poster in the summer science poster session the following year to complete the requirements for audit credit. If neither of these options is feasible, other arrangements may be made with the approval of the Associate Provost and the student’s research mentor.

Human Subjects Research

Students awarded a summer research scholarship whose research involves the use of human subjects, must apply to the Kenyon College Institutional Review Board (IRB) for review of their research protocol. Information about the IRB application may be found on the IRB web page. IRB applications should be submitted well in advance of the start dates of your program and research.

Dates & Deadlines 

The next proposal due date is February 14, 2022. 

Student Application Faculty Mentor Form

How to Apply and Program Details

 complete proposal consists of:

• The Summer Research Application

• Project Description and Budget: clear, concise description of the goals and methodology of the proposed project, understandable to individuals outside the discipline (limit 2000 words), as well as a budget detailing expenses limited to materials, equipment, and travel directly related to the research project — uploaded pdf as part of the application.

• Faculty Mentor Form: This form allows the faculty mentor to describe how the proposed projects supports/advances their scholarly interests, to provide a clear plan for mentorship and collaboration, and evaluates the readiness of the student to take on the proposed research. The mentor also indicates whether grant funds may be available to support the student stipend and expenses beyond the $500 research budget.

Each team is responsible for completing the Summer Research Application, while the faculty mentor completes part 3 and submits it directly.

Students awarded a summer research scholarship whose research involves the use of human subjects must apply to the Kenyon College Institutional Review Board for review of their research protocol. IRB applications should be submitted well in advance of the start date of your program and research.

Students may apply for assistance in meeting the costs of research, including presenting results at conferences. If these requests are funded, any materials, supplies and equipment will become property of the College and remain with the sponsoring faculty member’s department or the Office for Community Partnerships. An estimated budget must be prepared and submitted with each proposal. Costs for equipment and materials or conference travel, if appropriately invoiced and receipted in the Accounting Office and approved by the faculty mentor, may not exceed $500.

Community-Engaged Research Summer Scholars will present their research at two public talks before the end of the fall semester, one of which will be in a community-based setting and the other usually occurs during Family Weekend.

Students will also be required to submit an electronic copy of the final comprehensive paper that serves as the research project’s concluding report. Submit the paper to Alyssa Lawrence at lawrencea@kenyon.edu by the stated deadline in December.

Students who successfully complete a summer community-engaged research project in accordance with program and project requirements and who receive the endorsement of their faculty mentor will have this summer research experience noted on their College transcript.

Additional Guidelines for Preparing Proposals

The proposal must contain a clear and concise statement of the research questions and focus of the research. Explain clearly what it is that you are attempting to investigate and why your question is important. This might include a statement about your field or discipline's approach to your question or related issues. Include information about your desired collaboration with a community partner and information regarding the value this research would bring to that partner and the broader community.

The proposal should contain a statement about the sources of information, data, or literature about your research topic. Here you will want to talk about what materials or sources you think exist to advance your work as well as how you expect and intend to access these sources. You might also discuss why your project requires funding and cannot be accomplished through a class assignment (e.g. it requires travel to archives, it involves field work or interviews of subjects, etc.).

The proposal should articulate your goals and objectives in pursuing the research. Ask yourself what you hope to have achieved or accomplished when you have finished your work. Further you might reflect upon how you will assess or evaluate whether your project was successful.

The proposal must contain a statement about the methodology you expect to employ in your research. Indicate why you have chosen this approach as opposed to others.

The proposal must contain a well-conceived timetable for the research, indicating the anticipated calendar of tasks week-by-week; this is where you will show that you have realistically calculated the time it should take to accomplish the phases of your work. If you are enrolled in an individual study course or some other class during the spring semester through which you can prepare for the summer research, you should discuss this in your proposal. If you expect to enroll in such a course in the fall to continue the research, this should be discussed as well. Of course, projects that involve human subjects will require Kenyon IRB approval, so your proposal's timetable should reflect your planning and intentions in this regard.

A good proposal will be clear and understandable to a reader who is not an expert or even particularly knowledgeable in your field of inquiry. It will avoid unnecessary jargon in favor of demonstrating a sophisticated and nuanced approach to the issues presented therein. Be sure to proofread it and submit it in a form that shows that you appreciate the fact that your receipt of an award is based entirely upon the impression that your proposal will make upon the selection committee.