Roanoke College

Summer Scholars FAQs


What is Summer Scholars?

Summer Scholars is a competitive grant program that enables qualified Roanoke College students to conduct intensive, independent research over the summer.

What are the requirements to apply?

Students must have a GPA of 3.0 or higher, have completed 8 units of credit by the start of the grant period, and plan to return the following fall semester. Each applicant must identify a faculty mentor to work with, and faculty mentors are limited to working with one Summer Scholar per summer.

The three parts of the application process are due March 15 and include:

Whose project is this?

Summer Scholar projects are collaborative efforts involving both students and faculty members. In some cases the research idea comes directly from the student, while in other cases the proposed research is part of a continuing research program of the faculty member. Both approaches are appropriate for this program. However, the student should be the sole author of the "Student Application for Summer Scholars". The faculty mentor should discuss the project with the student and may serve as an editor of the description, but should not do the actual writing.


Who reviews the applications?

Ms. Laura Bair collects the applications and passes them along to a committee of faculty from different disciplines for review. Applicants should keep this audience in mind. Language should be accessible and understandable to people from a variety of disciplines. If special or technical terminology is used, be sure to explain what the terminology means, or its importance. Thirteen Summer Scholars positions are typically available each summer, and decisions will be announced on April 1.

How does the Summer Scholars Program work?

Each Summer Scholar works in collaboration with a faculty mentor throughout the summer. On-campus housing is provided at no cost to the Summer Scholars.  Over the course of the summer, students and mentors meet for a series of colloquia to share ideas and learn new skills. In the Fall, Summer Scholars agree to present their research at the Showcase of Research & Creativity, held over Family Weekend (late September/early October). Summer Scholars must submit a final research paper (for inclusion in the College archives) and a reflection paper by September 15. Summer Scholars must also complete an evaluation survey on their experiences, which will be used to improve the program in the future.

What does the award cover?

Summer Scholars are provided with a tuition waiver for one unit, on-campus housing, and a stipend of $2500 in return for 8-12 weeks of full-time summer research. Depending on their classification (i.e., rising sophomore, junior, or senior), Summer Scholars may choose to use their tuition waiver for an Independent Study credit (406), an Honors in the Major credit (496), or in lieu of an Intensive Learning May-term course (note: you must apply for this option to the Director of Intensive Learning by April 15).

What housing is provided?

Roanoke College will provide housing at no charge for full time, financially supported researchers. We encourage you to take advantage of this.  We currently plan to house all summer researchers in New Hall, but housing is at the discretion of the College. It is not anticipated, but if for some reason it is necessary to designate another residence hall for this program, participants will be notified as soon as possible.  The earliest possible move-in date for housing will be in May. All students must move out by a date in early August. Please plan your project around these dates.  Please indicate your housing needs on your application form. Once you have accepted your offer, you will choose your housing online during the housing selection process. You need to know the dates that you want to be in campus housing to make this arrangement, so talk with your research mentor first.

What else can I do during the summer?

Roanoke College Student Scholars must devote full-time effort to their projects. This policy means that they are not permitted to take summer courses during the term of the award.

What do faculty mentors receive?

In addition to a fantastic student collaborator, faculty mentors earn a stipend of $1000. In return, faculty mentors must maintain close contact with Summer Scholars, meeting often (i.e., at least weekly), participating in a majority of colloquia, and providing feedback and encouragement to their mentees.