FCRH Summer Research Program
APPLICATION DEADLINE: March 24th, 2023
What is Fordham’s RH Summer Research Program?
Fordham’s Summer Undergraduate Research Program enables Rose Hill students to pursue original, meaningful research for a focused period of 8 weeks under the guidance of a faculty mentor, in community with other student scholars. Typically from early June to early August, students from all majors, rising sophomores and up, work to create and share new knowledge. Successful applicants receive a $4,000 stipend and on-campus housing, and participate in our summer programming that includes weekly lunches, where Fordham faculty present their own current research, informal coffees, and more. Together, the faculty and undergraduate students create a scholarly, collaborative community on the Rose Hill campus.
In recent summers, our science students have worked in labs to design technology to monitor air pollution. Humanities students have explored questions of a changing neighborhood, racial demographics, and nostalgia by conducting oral histories Jewish former residents of the Bronx. A student in the music department participated in a vocal arts workshop in Narni, Italy, and returned to finish an original composition in musical theater. Another worked on an interdisciplinary project combining political science and communication, to explore gender bias in network programming on female political candidates. It was extraordinary to see the students’ original work at the program culmination at the summer symposium. Each spring, our summer researchers join FCRH students who have conducted research during the academic year at one of the highlights of the academic year at RH, the undergraduate research symposium, held annually in May.
Why do summer research?
While engaging in summer research, some Fordham students learned they want to pursue a PhD, and the research experience is a crucial piece of graduate applications. Some are eager to work with a faculty analyzing serious enduring social, economic and environmental problems with the goal to work on solutions in their post-graduate careers in business, science, the arts, or politics. Many get clarity on their professional path. Some want something impressive on their resume while earning summer income. Possibilities abound. Regardless where the research leads the student, pursuing one’s own project and working closely with a faculty mentor outside the classroom is invaluable experience. It takes the Fordham learning journey to deeper level.
In the sciences, most students typically work in a lab setting, and join the research team of a professor. In the humanities, social sciences and the arts, summer research can take many forms. Some students have their own research idea that they bring to a faculty member, requesting mentorship. Or a student can serve as a researcher on a faculty member’s own writing or artistic project. He or she may conduct research, visit library holdings, do field visits, conduct interviews and more as a research assistant. But at the end of the summer, the student writes and presents his or her own interpretation of the research, usually in the form of a written paper and a presentation.
For some projects, it is necessary and exciting to travel to do research in the humanities, social sciences, and the arts: to immerse onesellf in a new language or community for study, to conduct interviews outside of NY, visit distant archival or library holdings, and much else. We encourage immersive experiences outside of New York if the research project requires it, but expect students to spend some portion of time on campus, participating in the summer program and presenting at the end-of-summer symposium.
Although the grants are competitively awarded, there is no GPA requirement, and any FCRH student is eligible to apply as long as he or she has secured a faculty mentor.
What does a faculty member need to do?
Faculty mentors receive a $1100 stipend to mentor a summer research project. Faculty mentors are encouraged to participate in an early spring workshop designed to help faculty mentor students through the application process and to ensure a successful summer experience, both for the faculty member and the student.
Undergraduate mentorship looks very different across the disciplines. Some departments have long histories of including undergraduates in faculty research, and some faculty run labs staffed by full teams of undergraduate students. But increasingly, even scholars working in the humanities and social sciences are experimenting with ways of creating knowledge that that is collaborative rather than solitary. Students have travelled to archives to scan documents and organize primary resources for Fordham faculty. Students have conducted interviews, sometimes in languages where they, rather than the professor, have fluency. Students have summarized and analyzed sources, data, and so much more. Overwhelmingly, Fordham mentors say how invigorating it can be to their own thinking to talk about their research with a motivated student. And most of all, seeing the incredible accomplishments of our undergraduate researchers shows us how life-changing these special projects can be for our students, reminding us of the most rewarding part of our vocation as teacher-scholars.
To apply for funding for the 2023 Summer Research Program, applications are due March 24, 2023.