Application Directions

Information for Davidson Students (First year, Sophomores, and Juniors) who are applying for the DRI Summer Research Program

Students interested in applying for the DRI Summer Research Program should begin consulting with a potential faculty mentor early in the fall semester and are invited to attend an informational session on proposal writing that will be held in October and/or November per an announcement on The Crier and Inside Davidson. The announcement and examples of successful proposals from past years are also available at P:\Academic Affairs\Davidson Research Initiative (authentication required).

After consultation with a mentor regarding possible research projects and attending the information session, students should write a proposal containing all of the elements described below. Students are permitted to obtain feedback on the written proposal from their mentor and others; however, the feedback can only be of a general nature. The actual proposal must represent the students' own work without extensive editing by others. The application process has changed.

Please complete the new DRI Proposal Application (authentication required). The application is now online. Please fill out the application form and upload your proposal. Email prompts will automatically be sent to your mentor and faculty recommenders once the online Proposal Application has been completed. Your mentor will be asked to write a letter of recommendation and the additional recommenders will be asked to fill in a recommendation form. Application deadline for students is Friday, Jan. 24, 2014 at 5 p.m. All letters must be submitted by Friday, Jan. 31, 2014. Completed applications will be reviewed by the Student Study and Research Committee. Awards will be made in February.

Completed proposals should be divided into the following sections, with section headings:

  • Narrative (not to exceed 2,500 words):
  • Provide an overview of the project, explaining the basic ideas, problems, or questions you will examine in your proposed work. Describe the intellectual significance of the proposed project, including its value to your field of study or discipline. Explain the unique and original nature of the project and how the project will complement, challenge, or expand relevant studies in the field. How will the project contribute to your field of study, your discipline or general audiences?
  • A detailed project description:
    • Provide a work plan describing what will be accomplished during the award period and the methods to be used. For scientific or digital projects, describe the technologies that will be used and/or developed. For humanities or projects in the arts describe what research materials will be used. If relevant, specify the arrangements for access to archives, collections, or institutions that contain the necessary resources.
    • What is the anticipated timetable for the project? If you do not anticipate finishing the entire project during the award period, discuss your plan for completion of the project.
  • Special note: The narrative should not assume specialized knowledge and should be free of technical terms and jargon. Applicants should format pages with one-inch margins and with a font size no smaller than 12 point. Applications violating the format guidelines will not be reviewed.
  • Bibliography:
    • The bibliography should consist of primary and secondary sources that relate directly to the project. Include works that pertain both to the substance of the project and its theoretical or methodological approaches. Evaluators will use the bibliography to assess your knowledge of the subject area.
    • Relationship with mentor:
      • Describe the relationship between you and your mentor throughout the project. Please include the frequency of planned interactions and meeting times, the nature of those interactions or meetings, and other forms of formal or informal communication that will occur regarding the project. You will be asked for the names of your mentor and two additional recommenders on your application form. Your mentor and recommenders will receive an email prompt with instructions once your online Proposal Application has been completed. Your mentor will be asked to write a letter of recommendation and the additional recommenders will be asked to fill in a recommendation form.
    • Competencies, skills, and access:
      • Explain your competence in the area of your project and any previous experiences that prepare you for the project, including a list of prior funding, presentations of research, and publications. If the area of inquiry is new to you, explain your reasons for working in it and your preparation to do so (e.g. relevant coursework). Specify the level of competence in any language or technology needed for the study.
    • Final product and dissemination:
      • Describe the intended audience and the intended results of the project. Explain how the results will be disseminated and why these means are appropriate to the subject matter and audience. For example, if you intend to present your work at an undergraduate research conference and/or seek to publish in a professional or an undergraduate research journal, be sure to be specific about these opportunities. If the project has a website, provide the URL.
      • If the final product will appear in a language other than English, explain how access and dissemination will be affected.

    For your information: The SS&R Committee will request a pdf of your transcript from the Registrar's Office. We will include your transcript with your application for review by the committee.

    If you have any questions, please contact Linda Shoaf in the Center for Teaching and Learning.