The Multidisciplinary Undergraduate Research/Creativity Grant
Deadline: February 10, 2014
Grant Application Form
The Multidisciplinary Undergraduate Research/Creativity Grant provides a new opportunity for collaborative, multidisciplinary research or creative work in Summer 2014. One multidisciplinary team of 2-3 faculty/librarian mentors (full-time, tenured or tenure-track) from different departments at BSU and 3-6 undergraduate students (graduating in January 2015 or later) will be funded. The team proposes its own 10-week project to be carried out from late May to early August, 2014. One project will be selected for funding by faculty on the Undergraduate Research Advisory Board.
For the purposes of this grant, multidisciplinary undergraduate research/creativity involves a group of students from more than one major addressing the same topic or question, each from their own disciplinary perspectives and developing expertise. Interdisciplinarity is not necessarily expected for this grant, since integrating methodologies and working synergistically toward a mutual discovery often requires a level of understanding of not only oneís own major field but also other disciplinary approaches that is beyond the scope of undergraduate education. Even as students on the team might work primarily from their individual majorís perspectives, though, their collaboration with the other team members should give them a broader and more nuanced comprehension of the topic than they could attain by working individually with a single mentor. They will become familiar at a basic level with multiple approaches, allowing them to make innovative discoveries within their own areas. For example, a multidisciplinary project on Carver Pond could involve some combination of Biology majors studying the pondís ecosystem, an Economics or History student investigating the areaís former mills and foundries, Art majors creating a series of paintings of its flora and fauna, a Geography student mapping the areaís features with layered GPS data, and/or Elementary Education students developing curricular materials about Carver Pond for Bridgewater public schools. Each student in that group would create a distinct product, but all would be informed by the others. A more integrated (interdisciplinary) project could also work if it is scaled for undergraduates. For example, a project aimed at developing a Social Justice Training Institute for college students might be accomplished by a team with majors in the social sciences, humanities, and education, each bringing particular knowledge to the shared endeavor.
The studentsí final product can be a single, jointly written paper or individual essays, due in December 2014. The genre, length, and format of the essay(s) are determined by the faculty mentors. (Faculty mentors may propose a different final product, depending on the nature of the project, though at least a short written piece, such as an artistís statement, should accompany it.) The essay(s) should be submitted for consideration for publication in BSUís The Undergraduate Review: A Journal of Undergraduate Research and Creative Work. The students are also expected to give an oral or poster presentation at BSUís Undergraduate Research Summer Symposium on or around August 1, 2014óindividually or as a group. Students and mentors who receive the Multidisciplinary Research Grant will be part of the meetings and events of the ATP Summer Research Program, which kicks off in late May and concludes with the Summer Symposium in early August.
The Multidisciplinary Project Grant will provide stipends for the mentors and students, as well as funding for supplies. Each student will receive a stipend of $4,000 and up to $500 to spend on supplies and books. The project will be a full-time job for the students, each of whom should commit to about 40 hours per week from late May to early August, 2014. The faculty/librarian mentors will divide evenly a stipend pool of $1,700 times the number of students on the team. For example, on a team of two mentors and four students, the two mentors will each earn a stipend of $3,400: that is $1,700 times four ($6,800), divided by two. In general, mentors should plan to dedicate 10-15 hours per week (depending on the number of students they are mentoring) to meeting with the students and each other, overseeing the process, providing support and rigor, reading in the topic area, and reviewing drafts or other indicators of the studentsí progress.
Interested faculty/librarian mentors should complete the Multidisciplinary Undergraduate Research Grant application form (attached) and prepare a joint proposal with input from the students on the team. The proposal should be no longer than five pages, single-spaced (3,000 words). Please send the application form and proposal as email attachments to Kathy Frederick in the Office of Undergraduate Research (firstname.lastname@example.org) by February 10, 2014. Notifications will be made by February 18.