The Kenyon Sustainability Scholars program provides opportunities for students interested in research or scholarship related to climate change or sustainability. Selected scholars will work in close collaboration with a faculty mentor on a project proposed by that mentor.  Project proposals may be submitted by any faculty member regardless of department. 

Over 8-10 weeks, a Sustainability Scholar will gain experience conducting and communicating scholarship or research. As part of the Kenyon summer scholars community, they will join faculty and students from across campus for discussions, social events, and peer mentorship. One Sustainability Scholar will be funded per summer. Limited additional support from Kenyon may be available depending on specific project needs. Selections for these competitive awards are made by a committee of staff and faculty members with final approval by the project mentor.

Dates & Deadlines

Project proposals will be finalized in March, and applications will be accepted immediately following.

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Information for Students

In collaboration with their faculty mentor, Sustainability Scholars will conduct their research over an 8- to 10-week period in the summer, at the end of which they will submit an abstract of approximately 200 words describing the project and results. Additionally, Sustainability Scholars present their results at a research poster session during Family Weekend in October.

Sustainability Scholar applicants will review project descriptions from participating faculty mentors, rank their top three choices, and briefly explain their interest in each project. Applicants will also submit a concise 300-word statement about how becoming a Sustainability Scholar will help them achieve their goals at Kenyon and beyond.

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The Sustainability Scholar program is intended for students from across academic disciplines with an interest in the climate change or sustainability. Past research, scholarship or participation with campus initiatives is not required. A student may not apply for both the Sustainability Scholar program and another Summer Scholarship program in the same year. Students or faculty with questions about student eligibility should contact the program directors, David Heithaus or Drew Kerkhoff.

Sustainability Scholars will be selected based on the following criteria:

• The potential impact of Farm Fellow participation on the student.

• The match between student interests and the chosen project.

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

First generation students and students from underrepresented groups are especially encouraged to apply.

Sustainability Scholars will receive a $4000 stipend plus the provision of on-campus housing for the 8-10 week duration of their project. Students not requiring on-campus housing are not eligible for additional remuneration.

Each Sustainability Scholar will be able to purchase up to $500 in mentor-approved materials, supplies and/or equipment to support their research project.

Note on research expenses: All purchases become the property of Kenyon College and will remain with the faculty mentor or appropriate department after completion of the project. 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. Funding for conference travel to present project results may be requested through the provost’s Student Research Grant program.

Students 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/scholarship experience. Students unable to complete all requirements must make alternative arrangements if they wish to receive credit.

Note on audit credit: 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 director of undergraduate research and the student’s faculty mentor.

Information for Faculty

Faculty interested in mentoring a Sustainability Scholar may submit a proposal regardless of department or whether the specific project directly relates to their field of study.

Participating faculty must submit a concise (300 words) description, summarizing a specific project to be undertaken in collaboration with the Sustainability Scholar. As part of their application, students will rank their top three project descriptions and briefly describe their interest in each.

Once the selection committee makes their recommendations for support, selected faculty will be able to review the application materials of the Sustainability Scholar who has been recommended for their project. At that time, the faculty mentor may waive the recommended scholar, but if they do so, there is no guarantee that another Sustainability Scholar will be recommended for their project.