Summer Scholars Program | Capital University


Summer Scholars Program

    • The Freedom to Write

      Abby Goodheart

      The Freedom to Write It's every writer's dream: to be freed from the daily worries of life with plenty of time to write. Abby Goodhart's dream came true when she was awarded an Undergraduate Research Summer Fellowship to spend the summer writing poetry. Gifts from Capital University alumni and fr...

    • Summer Scholar Valerie Szabo debunks fake news with fact-checking technology and research

      Valerie Szabo

      From adolescence through adulthood,  we’re observing a generation who appears remarkably fluent in multi-tasking. They weave through social media sites effortlessly, text friends with lightning speed, and journal nearly every hour of their lives through the lens of a smartphone. Collectively, we’re Generation Tech.But we’re also finding out that, despite having endless access to information, Generation Tech is becoming increasingly clueless when it comes to filtering accuracy and trustworthiness in the 24/7/365 news cycle afforded by modern technology.That’s the topical space where Valerie Szabo, a rising senior at Capital University, is spending her summer as part of a 10-week research project. She is one of eight Capital students who have been awarded the honor of Summer Scholar, participating in a high-impact program offered here, which allows students to conduct their own research on campus with a faculty mentor....

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  • Undergraduate scholarship has been identified as a high-impact educational experience. Capital University strives to provide support for undergraduate scholarship through our curriculum, independent study projects, and Honors projects. Gift funds from alumni and friends of the University in the form of the Undergraduate Research Summer Fellowship, the Faculty Summer Scholars Fund and the Boyd Fund for Undergraduate Scholarship provide Capital the opportunity to support student scholarship conducted under the mentorship of a Capital University faculty member during the summer term. The experience occurs during a 10-week period. Students are paid a stipend of $3,500 plus a campus housing allowance (both taxable). Faculty mentors will receive a stipend of $1,000. Students who need supplies, software, equipment and other items to perform the scholarship activity may apply for up to $1,000 from the Boyd Fund for Undergraduate Scholarship. Note that this is a separate application.

    General Guidelines and Expectations:

    • All Capital University undergraduate students who are in good academic standing are eligible, although preference is given to current sophomores and juniors.
    • A current, continuing member of the faculty who will be present on campus during the summer must serve as a mentor for the student. Mentors are expected to supervise project development and implementation and to routinely meet with the research student (a minimum of 10 meetings over the course of the project).
    • The student must be in residence on campus for the 10-week research experience, although some students may need to travel off campus to collect data and resources. Typically such trips should not exceed three weeks of the research experience. Trips to collect data and resources should be described in the project proposal, and justification for longer times away from campus should be included.
    • Summer Scholars are not permitted to hold jobs during the term of their research. Summer Scholars are expected to devote a full 10 weeks exclusively to their project.
    • In addition to working with their advisors, students will be expected to meet regularly with each other and the Director of Honors and Undergraduate Scholarship to share experiences. 
    • Academic, social and cultural experiences will be planned throughout the summer. Summer Scholars are expected to participate in all of these activities.
    • All Summer Scholars are expected to present their work to the Capital community at the end of the summer and at the Symposium on Undergraduate Scholarship the year following completion of the Summer Scholar experience. Each student must also produce a final product that is submitted in electronic form for archiving. The final product is due to the Director of Honors and Undergraduate Scholarship by the last day of the Summer Scholar period.
    • Each student will complete a survey at the end of the summer to evaluate her/his Summer Scholar experience.
    • No academic credit is awarded for the Summer Scholar experience.
    • The 2017 Summer Scholar term runs from Monday, May 8, to Friday, August18. Students are expected to conduct and complete their projects within this period.

    How to Apply:

    1. Contact a faculty member to discuss possible research projects and activities.
    2. Write a proposal that describes the research project and follow the guidelines given below.
    3. By 5:00 p.m. on Friday, February 10, 2017, submit an electronic copy of the proposal by email to Stephanie Gray Wilson, director of Honors and Undergraduate Scholarship, at This proposal must include the mentor’s and department chair’s signatures to indicate support for the proposal. 

    Proposal Guidelines:
    To be considered for funding your proposal must include the following information:

    Cover Sheet
    Please include the following items on the first page of your proposal.

    1. Title of the project
    2. Your name
    3. Your email address and phone number
    4. Mailing address
    5. Date of birth
    6. Your major
    7. Your anticipated year of graduation
    8. Faculty mentor’s name
    9. Mentor’s departmental/program affiliation
    10. Student signature
    11. Signature of faculty mentor
    12. Signature of department chair

    Description of the proposed project (not more than 2 pages)
    This section should include the objectives or goals of the project, the question of interest, the scientific/scholarly context or background, methods, techniques, or activities used in the project, and expected outcomes. The roles and obligations of the student and mentor should be described. A brief description of the student’s past research or relevant experience should also be included.

    Supporting Materials

    • Literature Cited or Bibliography. Use a citation format appropriate for your discipline.
    • Student Products and Project Assessment. Possible publications and/or presentations at scholarly meetings should be described. A plan should be presented for evaluation of the project.
    • Timeline. Must cover a 10-week period during the summer and should include a weekly schedule of activities to be completed.
    • Travel/Trips. Describe any trips planned to collect data or samples.
    • Copy of Student Transcript (unofficial).
    • CV of Faculty Mentor. Supervision of undergraduate student research experiences should be highlighted.
    • IRB or IACUC Proposal. Projects that involve collection of human or animal data must receive IRB approval before data collection begins. 

    Proposal Evaluation:
    Proposals are evaluated by the Undergraduate Scholarship Committee (a.k.a., the Symposium Planning Committee) using the rating form linked below. The committee ranks the submitted proposals and reports those rankings to the Director of Honors and Undergraduate Scholarship. These rankings are used to determine which proposals are funded. Not all students who apply will receive funding.

    View the rating form used to evaluate Summer Scholar Applications.

    Proposal deadline is Friday, February 10, 2017

    Need more information?
    Contact Stephanie Gray Wilson, director of Honors and Undergraduate Scholarship, at, ext. 6894, Renner 137.