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Call for Emerging Scholars Summer 2017

Emerging Scholars in Interdisciplinary Studies 2017 Summer Research Program

Description:  The program’s goal is to support promising young scholars in the exploration of their research interests and development of expertise in an interdisciplinary field of study while honing their research skills under the tutelage of a faculty mentor or mentors.  This program differs from other summer research grant programs, such as the Program for Undergraduate Research (PUR), in that applicants are not expected to have developed to the stage where they are likely to produce a successful, formal research proposal, as for PUR, but nonetheless show strong potential for future success in scholarship.  Emerging Scholars often pursue different types of exploratory, conceptual, and applied scholarship rather than more structured research projects.

Successful candidates will propose scholarship that explicitly draws on multiple disciplines such as economics and religion, music and computer science, and/or multiple fields of study within related disciplines such as environmental economics.  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,), and watershed studies, among others.

Eligibility: Eligible candidates include undergraduate students enrolled and in good standing at Bucknell University who expect to earn a bachelor’s degree after May 2017.

Award: Successful applicants will receive $3,000 over the summer and have access to university housing without fee.  Faculty mentors are awarded $500.

Application:  The application is in two parts.  One should be written by the student, the other by the faculty mentor. Each part is submitted separately, though the faculty mentor should review the student’s portion.  The proposal must include a clearly defined set of goals for the proposed scholarship 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 the faculty mentor(s) in both the formulation and completion of the project.

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 selection committee.


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

  • Cover Page indicating: (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)
  • Student statement of interest that addresses the following points in up to three pages of single-spaced pages with 12 point font.
    • A presentation of the research question(s) or theme(s)
    • A statement on why the student is interested in the research area and what skills/research methods the student hopes to gain
    • A brief summary of what the proposed research will produce (e.g., an annotated bibliography, a literature review, 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).
  • An unofficial transcript


PART II: Faculty Statement

The faculty mentor should provide, under separate cover, a supporting statement that offers information about following:

Description of the Student’s Potential: Explain the student’s potential to develop into a strong researcher in the future.  This will likely include a statement of the student’s preparation for the proposed project, e.g. coursework, training in research methods.  In addition, explain how the summer work will contribute to the student’s educational objectives.

Description of the Research Environment: Explain the context of the student’s research, including the work plan, timeline for the research, the support to be provided to the student, and how the faculty mentor plans to provide development opportunities for the student (e.g. mentor’s direct involvement, requiring participation in BIPP’s professional development summer workshop series).  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 Emerging Scholars.

Description of the interdisciplinary nature of the research question(s) or theme(s): 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 also will include information on the student’s background in these disciplines, or information on the student’s background in one area and the advice received from faculty mentor(s) on relevant other disciplines to add to their knowledge.

Relationship to the Faculty Mentor’s Scholarship and Teaching: Summarize how the project relates to the faculty mentor’s scholarship or teaching.

Faculty Endorsement: Conclude with a statement endorsing the student’s work on the proposed project and the faculty mentor’s willingness to collaborate with the student in the education mission of this research.

If the proposed project involves human or animal subjects, it is the faculty member’s responsibility, working in collaboration with the student, to obtain any required IRB or IACUC approvals.


Submission: Students and faculty mentors, please submit your statements separately to Gretchen Fegley via email to:  Applications will be accepted electronically, as a pdf or Word attachment.  The deadline for submission is 5:00 pm March 27, 2017.  Applicants will be notified the first week of April.
FURTHER INFORMATION: Contact Amy Wolaver, x1699,  If you have questions about your proposal as you are developing it, feel free to contact Professor Jessica Newlin,, or Professor Amy Wolaver,

NOTE: After this summer, the Emerging Scholars program will be reshaped and moved to the Office of Undergraduate Research.


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