The Kenyon Summer Science Scholars Rise Science Fellowship is designed to fund off-campus research opportunities for students who already have research experience. With support from the Sherman Fairchild Foundation, funds will be used to support student research at qualified universities and other research institutions. The goal is to allow students to pursue research that cannot be conducted at Kenyon and would otherwise be unpaid. 

Preference will be given to sophomores or juniors who are demonstrably building on previous research experiences and there is no restriction on citizenship status. The Sherman Fairchild Foundation limits support to projects in biology/molecular biology, chemistry/biochemistry, neuroscience and physics. Fellowships are not available in mathematics & statistics, psychology or anthropology.

Dates & Deadlines

The next proposal due date is March 15, 2021. 


Information for Students

With guidance from a Principle Investigator at the outside institution, Rise Science Fellows will conduct their research away over an 8 to 10 week period in the summer, away from Kenyon's campus. At the end of the summer, they will submit an abstract of approximately 200 words describing the project and results. Additionally, like other Kenyon Summer Science Scholars, Rise Science Fellows will present their results at a research poster session during Family Weekend in October.

Students with research experience are encouraged to reach out to their current research advisor (if engaged in on-campus research) for possible off-campus collaborations. Alternatively, if they have acquired an off-campus opportunity independently, the student could speak with a faculty mentor in their field or with the program directors, Drew Kerkhoff or Kerry Rouhier. To apply for the Kenyon Science Fellowship, the student must then prepare the following materials:

• A research proposal that includes a description of the project/research area accessible to a general scientific reader, evidence of previous research experience, and a statement on how the proposed project extends or relates to previous research experience(s) (1000-2000 words).

• A brief endorsement letter from a faculty advisor in the relevant department at Kenyon who can verify the quality of the off-campus program.

• A letter of support from the host PI acknowledging that the student will receive research support and mentorship over the summer.

Once the student has collected all of these materials, they can be uploaded (as pdf documents) through the application form.

The Rise Science Fellowship program is intended to provide experienced research students with unique and intensive research opportunities that would otherwise go unpaid and/or are unavailable on campus . Thus, applicants must be able to demonstrate previous research experience, equivalent to the Kenyon Summer Science Scholars experience or a similar undergraduate research program. Students must also be declared majors in one of the applicable departments, and they must be in good academic standing at the college. Students or faculty with questions about student eligibility should contact the program directors, Drew Kerkhoff and Kerry Rouhier.

Up to three Rise Science Fellowships will be awarded based on the following criteria:

• The demonstrated experience, research potential and qualifications of the applicant.

• The quality of the off-campus opportunity and how it advances the applicant's research interests.

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

First generation students and students from groups underrepresented in the natural sciences are especially encouraged to apply.

Awardees will receive a $4750 stipend, which includes travel/housing expenses for the 8-10 week duration of their project.

Each Rise Fellow will also be provided with up to $750 in support of travel and registration expenses to present their research at a professional meeting.

Fellows who complete all requirements of the program and who are endorsed by their faculty mentor will receive audit credit on their transcripts for this summer research experience. Students unable to complete all requirements must make alternative arrangements if they wish to receive credit.

Information for Faculty

Faculty members who know a collaborator that we be a good match for one of their students are encouraged to point the student toward the Kenyon Science Fellowship. This program is also a great opportunity for international students who are not eligible for NSF or NIH-sponsored undergraduate research programs. We encourage faculty to reach out to students who may be looking for this type of opportunity, and to encourage them to speak with the program directors about any questions or concerns.

Endorsement Letter

Applicants are required to get a letter from a Kenyon faculty member verifying the quality of the institution/research group the student intends to join for the summer. This letter is intended to be brief and should not be an onerous burden for the faculty member. Information about particular strengths of the program or relevance to the student's research interests is welcome, but this is explicitly not a letter of recommendation for the student.