Swenson Summer Research Fellowships
CLU is very fortunate to be able to offer this program for the 9th year, thanks for the generosity of Jim and Sue Swenson. The goal of these fellowships is to have students engage in research that is full-time, faculty-mentored, novel and presentable outside the university. The quality of the mentoring from the faculty member is vital as the goal of these fellowships is to advance the students in their professional and personal development. Projects that are more independent in nature may be better suited for independent study projects. Projects across a broad range of disciplines are desired, but all must meet the criteria of being research. We will award up to 15 fellowships for the summer.
- Nominated students may apply for approximately $3,600 (plus benefits) that requires that the student participate in approximately 8 weeks of full-time mentored summer research with a CLU faculty member. Students will submit time sheets and will be paid biweekly.
- Funds for approved “consumables” can be provided (up to $500). Consumables include printing costs, travel to special libraries, office supplies, chemicals, etc. Consumables do not include dining costs, books or films, payment for subjects or non-essential travel costs. All expenditures must be approved prior to purchase by the OURCS.
- Faculty compensation is $500 per student.
- On-campus housing is available and students can move in as early as May 14th. The OURCS will provide some housing assistance, but students will have to pay the bulk of the $180/week cost. More information about housing will be posted here by mid-February.
Who is eligible?
- Students must be nominated by a faculty member who can commit to act as the project mentor. It is expected that the faculty mentor will meet with the student on a regular basis. Faculty and/or students who are not going to be on campus for the majority of the summer should not submit an application.
- Research should begin around May 21st and conclude in mid-late July. It may begin as early as May 14th, but must conclude prior to the start of fall classes.
- Students should not have another job during this time and can take, at most, one summer class. It is best if the student does not have any other obligations during this time as the intent of this program is to have the student fully immerse in the research process.
- Students must be returning to the university in the fall semester. Graduating seniors are not eligible.
- Students in the Natural Sciences who are proposing projects in the Natural Sciences (Biology, Chemistry, Biochemistry, Bioengineering and Applied Physics, Exercise Science, Geology, Environmental Science, Mathematics and Computer Science) are eligible. (See information on the other research programs if you are not eligible for the Swenson program.)
- It is expected that the student have full ownership of the project and that they are not acting as a research assistant for the faculty member. This must be clear in the submitted application and in the final product.
- Students and faculty will participate in OURCS-sponsored events which will include social events as well as research-related events. These will occur roughly every other week between May 21st and July 20th.
- Prior to beginning the project, the faculty mentor and student will develop a plan which will be shared in writing with the Coordinator of the OURCS. Students will be asked to meet with the Coordinator to discuss how the project is progressing and for the Coordinator to learn more about each project. Faculty will also be consulted about the project's progress. Failure to progress appropriately may jeopardize project funding.
- If projects involve Human Subjects, it is required that the IRB Application be submitted prior to May 21. Assistance in the IRB process can be provided from the OURCS. Failure to have an approved IRB application may jeopardize the funding of the project.
- Each Fellow must present their results of their summer research work at the CLU Student Research Symposium which is held in the fall. Additionally, students are expected to present in the Festival of Scholars.
- Students should plan on presenting at the Southern California Conference on Undergraduate Research which is always held in the Los Angeles area in October or November OR at a discipline-specific professional conference. Students may apply for an Undergraduate Professional Presentation Travel Grant through the OURCS for the costs associated with these off-campus presentations.
- If possible, faculty and students should work toward publishing their results in a journal within their discipline.
- Only full awards will be given – students cannot share a fellowship and cannot share a project. Each student must have a full-time project that is her/his own distinct project.
How to apply?
- If you are planning on submitting an application, please let the OURCS know via email as early as possible. This is not binding, but rather to give us a rough idea of how many applications we can anticipate.
- Faculty must submit the following information in a MS Word document to the Office of Undergraduate Research and Creative Scholarship (OURCS@callutheran.edu) by 5:00 pm on March 1st. The application document must include:
(1) Student Name and Major
(2) Nominating Faculty Member
(3) Grade point average
(4) Grade point average in discipline of study
(5) Previous research experience - state specific projects and their context (e.g. class)
(6) Title of project
(7) A 1-2 page description of the research project that the student intends to conduct during the summer.
The student needs to address both the specifics of the proposed research as well as the broad context of the proposed work. The specific purpose of the study and the methods must be explicitly stated. Vague proposals will be denied. It must be clear that the student is capable of ownership of this project and that the project is not simply an extension of the faculty member's research. It is fine for the project to be related to the faculty's research (in fact, preferable if it is!), but the student cannot simply be a research assistant for the faculty member.
(8) Venue at which you anticipate presenting the results of this project, not including the on-campus presentations which are required as part of the award.
(9) Estimated consumable cost and explanation of these costs - there is funding for an average of about $500 per project. Specific details (items, costs and justification) must be given.
(10) Other funding sources you have – include both external and internal funding sources such as grants and departmental funds for research students.
(11) Listing of previous Swenson Summer Research Fellowship students you have mentored (include those you have mentored and co-mentored). Next to each students name, indicate the outcome of the project – was it presented off campus? If so, where and when? Have the results been written up and submitted to a journal? If so, when and what journal? For both presentations and publications, please send electronic copies of the abstracts/manuscripts. We would like to collect these and send them along to Mr. and Mrs. Swenson.
- In addition to the application outlined above, each application must include a confidential letter of recommendation from another faculty member. The letter should comment on the student's academic abilities as well as their work ethic, responsibility and initiative. The letter should be sent directly to the OURCS or can be hand-delivered to the OURCS. The content of this letter will only be seen by the Coordinator of the OURCS - it will not be shared with the student or the faculty mentor.
- The Coordinator of the OURCS, the Natural Science Division Department Chairs (or designated replacements) and the Dean will be consulted as part of the decision-making process. Faculty with other funding sources (e.g. grants or department funds) will be given lower priority than those with other funding sources.
- Previous project outcomes will be considered in the overall selection process with priority given to those previous projects that resulted in discipline-specific conference presentations or publications.
- No more than two student awards per faculty mentor will be given. Only full awards will be given to students – no sharing of projects will be allowed. Each student will be given a full-time award for their own distinct project.
- The quality of the writing will be taken into consideration – a well-written proposal will be given preference over a poorly written proposal.
- Priority will be given to quality projects with the desire of having a wide range of disciplines represented, if possible.
- To increase the impact of the program, students who have not previously received a Swenson Fellowship will be given priority over those who have been awarded a fellowship in the past.
- Additionally, projects that support the university mission will be given priority.
- Faculty and student interviews may take place, if necessary.
- Faculty and students will be notified of the status of their application by March 14 via email.