Students interested in applying for the Davidson Research Initiative (DRI) Summer Research Program should begin consulting with a potential faculty mentor early in the fall semester.

After consultation with a mentor regarding possible research projects, 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.

Please complete the DRI Summer Program Student Application (login required) by Wednesday, January 17, 2024. Please fill out the application form and upload any optional files including sample questionnaires. Email prompts will automatically be sent to your mentor once the online proposal application has been completed. Your mentor will be able to complete the Faculty Advising/Mentoring Plan directly in Submittable. Completed applications will be reviewed by the Student Study and Research Committee (SS&R) using these rubric guidelines (PDF). Awards will be made in February.

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

  • Narrative (with the following elements clearly labeled)
    • Introduction (description of project) - in 100 words max, describe your project and what you want to accomplish.
    • Justification (literature or previous work) - Why is this work important? (250 words max.)
    • Implementation - How will you accomplish your project goals? (250 words max.)
    • Preparation - What previous work have you done that prepares you for this project? (preliminary work, relevant coursework, previous research experience/creative projects)
    • Dissemination - What are your specific plans for sharing your work both on and off campus?
    • Interviews or Surveys - If you are planning to conduct interviews or use surveys, please upload a list of interview or survey questions (questionnaire).
  • Works Cited
    • The Works Cited 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 this information to assess your knowledge of the subject area.
  • Faculty Advising/Mentoring Plan
    A link will be emailed to the faculty mentor email address entered by the applicant, which will allow the mentor to complete the mentoring plan directly on the student's application. A separate form is no longer required. The faculty must complete each section of the mentor's plan for each DRI student proposal, which includes the following:
    • Research location information
    • Information on planned meetings between the two of you
    • Information about foreseeable absences during the research period
    • Risk assessments for research involving reagents, equipment and/or travel
    • Professional development opportunities

The Student Study and Research 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 questions, please email Mary Muchane ( in the Office of Sponsored Programs.