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.

Examples of successful proposals from past years are available at P:\Academic Affairs\Davidson Research Initiative (authentication required) and for more assistance please see tips for writing proposals (PDF).

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 new DRI Proposal application (authentication required) by Friday, January 3, 2020. Please fill out the application form and upload your proposal (no PDFs will be accepted). 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 faculty recommenders will be asked to fill-in a recommendation form. All mentor letters and faculty recommendation forms must be submitted online by Friday, January 17, 2020. 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 or less describe your project and what you want to accomplish.
    • Justification (Literature or Previous Work) - Why is this work important? (250 words)
    • Methods - How will you accomplish your project goals? (250 words)
    • Preparation - What previous work have you done that prepares you for this project? (preliminary work, relevant course work, previous research experience/creative projects)- (150 words)
    • Dissemination - What are your specific plans for sharing your work both on and off campus? (100 words)
    • Interviews or Surveys - If you are planning to conduct interviews or use surveys, please include a list of interview or survey questions.
  • 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: This section should be written in collaboration with your faculty mentor. The faculty mentor's letter should also speak to the relationship. The faculty mentor's letter for each DRI student proposal must include the following:
    • A response to the question: "How does the student's DRI project goals contribute to overall goals for the student's academic development?
    • A very clear statement about the amount of time you will spend meeting with the student while on campus. The Student Study and Research Committee recognizes that mentoring in the sciences and mathematics, the social sciences, humanities, and the arts can be quite different. You will need to justify how the relative time that you will be spending with your student is appropriate for your discipline. Additionally, you and the student will need to provide a rationale for how the mentoring relationship will continue when the two of you are not in the same geographic location.
    • 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.

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 any questions, please email Donella Mayes at in the Center for Teaching and Learning.