Academic Catalog


VI.Student Scholarships and Research Opportunities: B. Summer Scholars Program

Denison’s Summer Scholars Program permits students to pursue independent research under the close supervision of a faculty member, or full-time collaborative work with faculty members, during the summer. It gives students a unique undergraduate venue in which to experiment with ideas and artistic expression, pursue an intellectual passion, and focus intently on the resolution of a question over a sustained period of time. Summer Scholars projects do not confer credit hours and are not graded. 

Denison’s endowed funds provide students with a stipend and a campus housing allowance. Faculty advisors also received a stipend.

Additional funds of up to $500 per student are available for the purchase of materials or travel required for research if funds are not otherwise available. All students must produce a scholarly project (e.g., final poster, paper, performance, or equivalent) and present their summer’s work in a public forum.

Qualified rising sophomores, juniors, and seniors in all disciplines are eligible to apply for Summer Scholars awards. A qualified student is one who:

  • will be returning to Denison in the fall and has registered for classes;
  • will be on an approved off-campus study program in the fall;
  • is on an approved academic leave;
  • is on an approved leave of absence and does not have to reapply to return.

Projects do not necessarily need to be in the discipline of the student’s major. Interdisciplinary projects may be proposed as well. Any student who does not fall into one of the above categories is not eligible.

Applications for Summer Scholars awards are typically due at the end of January. Students are expected to identify their proposal, secure agreement from their faculty mentor well in advance, and work with their mentor to develop their application materials. See below for details.

Decisions on faculty eligibility to supervise, or share in the supervision of, student summer research shall be made on a case-by-case basis by the Provost. In most cases, tenure track and non-tenure-track faculty who teach at least 75% of a full-time load, and who have a contract to teach at Denison in the fall semester following the summer research, will be eligible to supervise summer research.

Lisska Scholars awards support students pursuing projects in the social sciences, humanities, fine arts, and interdisciplinary projects. Young Scholars work under the close guidance of a Denison faculty member for projects that typically last 10 weeks between mid-May and the end of July. Students may not hold jobs during the term of their research. Awards will not be made for projects requiring a substantial portion of time away from campus, although short research trips may be permitted on a case-by-case basis. (For projects requiring more than 1 to 2 weeks away from campus, see the Off-Campus Summer Scholars guidelines below.) Applications for Lisska Scholars awards are evaluated by the Student Research Grants Committee (SRGC), an elected committee of four faculty members (one from each division of the college), overseen by the Lisska Center for Intellectual Engagement.

Faculty members are expected to work closely with students as they develop their project proposals in the fall; they must also submit a detailed endorsement form supporting each student’s application for a Young Scholars award. Applications are typically due in late January with endorsement forms due in early February.  Faculty advisors are expected to be on campus (except for short absences) and should meet at least twice weekly with each student during the project’s 10 weeks. Faculty members may not supervise more than three individual or joint proposals. Complete program guidelines can be found on the Lisska Center MyDenison page.

The Anderson Summer Science Program provides summer research assistantships in the sciences. Denison students conduct research under the guidance of a Denison science faculty member for projects that typically last 10 weeks between mid-May and the end of July. The program guidelines and the application and selection processes are routinely revised in consultation with chairs of the science departments. Current information is maintained on the Anderson Summer Science Program MyDenison page. For additional information, contact the Anderson Endowment Coordinator.

Off-Campus Summer Scholars awards support a limited number of students and faculty conducting a full-time independent research, scholarly, or creative project in any discipline (including the sciences) that requires some or all of the time to be spent off-campus. Projects typically last 10 weeks between mid-May and the end of July. (Some time may be spent on campus before and/or after the off-campus portion of the project.) A Denison faculty member must be the primary mentor, but a non-Denison mentor may help supervise the project on-site, as appropriate. Proposals must specify the role and time commitment of the Denison and non-Denison mentors; faculty stipends will be awarded accordingly. The student stipend and guidelines are the same as for on-campus awards, but also cover travel expenses and provide an allowance for off-campus housing. Applications for Off-Campus Summer Scholars awards are evaluated by the SRGC. For complete guidelines, see the Lisska Center MyDenison page.

Early Experience awards provide an opportunity for ambitious rising sophomores to explore interest areas and build relationships with faculty members that supplement their experiences in the classroom. Qualified students pursue independent research, scholarly, or creative projects in any discipline (including the sciences) under the close mentorship of a faculty member for a period of 5 weeks. The 10-week stipend is prorated based on the number of weeks, and a room allowance is provided for campus housing. Applications for Early Experience awards are evaluated by the SRGC. For complete guidelines, see the Lisska Center MyDenison page.

Woodyard Scholars awards provide students with Summer Scholars awards to carry out individual or collaborative projects in the area of “Religion and Civic Responsibility.” Woodyard Scholars are supervised by members of the Religion Department for 10 weeks between mid-May and the end of July. (For projects involving other disciplines, other faculty members may also be involved.) For more information, contact the Department of Religion.

Ashbrook Summer Scholars awards are intended to “foster and promote research and educational cooperation between faculty and students in exploring ways to improve the political and economic betterment of the underprivileged Licking County person.” The Ashbrook Scholarship is open to any student who has engaged in community service (broadly defined as including, but not limited to, DCA involvement, work with America Reads or as a Community Service intern, and service learning coursework). Scholars work under the guidance of a Denison faculty member as they carry out research and engage in service with an organization that provides some kind of assistance to the community. For complete guidelines, see the Lisska Center MyDenison page.

Battelle Memorial Institute awards support Denison students participating in science research projects throughout the world. Some awards for entire summer support may be given, whereas other awards may be for a student’s short stay at a remote location to carry out data collection. For complete guidelines, see the Lisska Center MyDenison page. For additional information, contact the Battelle Student Research Coordinator.

Denison University Research Foundation (DURF) awards support to students working as research assistants for Denison faculty members during the summer. (Note: research assistants are only considered Summer Scholars if they are doing a piece of independent work, not just assisting with the professor’s project.) Denison faculty apply for DURF funds to support a Denison student assistant. Any qualified Denison student is eligible. Faculty may contact the Associate Provost for Faculty Affairs for more information.

Student research may also be supported by outside grants received by faculty in various departments. Students receiving outside funding to conduct summer research (e.g., DURF Scholars, DAAD-RISE, etc.) may also be included as members of the Summer Scholars Program.​