For Faculty: CURI Guidelines Criteria & Proposal Application

Research/inquiry is a great opportunity for faculty to collaborate with enthusiastic and high-quality undergraduate students, further enriching their education. This can also be a chance to spark a student’s interest in a particular area of study, providing further direction to students in search of their academic niche.
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Procedures and Criteria for Summer Research Projects Reviewed by the CURI Advisory Committee

Summer 2019 Timeline & Process

  • Thursday, November 29, 2018 – Faculty proposals for Summer Research Program funding due. Faculty with outside funding should use the proposal form to post their project descriptions and hiring criteria.
  • Thursday, December 13 – CURI Faculty Advisory Committee reviews proposals
  • Thursday, January 10, 2019 – Summer Research Program descriptions posted to CURI website for students to review; student online application opens
  • Monday, February 18 – Student applications for Summer Research Program positions due
  • Monday, March 4 – Faculty selections of student researchers finalized and students selected
  • Friday, March 22 – Student response to offer due

Faculty Stipend

Faculty without external grant supported salary supervising one student will receive a stipend of $1000, $1500 for supervising two students and $2000 for supervising three or more students. Faculty jointly supervising a student or students will share the stipend equally.

Criteria for Funding Summer CURI Projects

CURI funding will depend upon the following criteria.

Stage 1: Scoring for fit with CURI Intended Learning Outcomes

 

Two members of the CURI Advisory Committee will read each proposal and score for proposal’s attention to the Intended Learning Outcome, as follows:

1. The ability to recognize and articulate meaningful questions in the chosen area of study.
2. The ability to conduct research using methods appropriate to the field(s) of study.
3. The ability to find and interpret scholarly and creative works relevant to their project.
4. The ability to explain the research project and present the results to a variety of audiences.
5. The ability to work collaboratively.

4 = Excellent. The project has excellent potential for allowing the student to fulfill related ILOs and the author clearly articulates this in the proposal.
3 = Very good. The project has very good potential for allowing the student to fulfill related ILOs, though the author did not articulate this in the proposal in a manner that made it completely clear.
2 = Good. The project has some potential for allowing the student to fulfill related ILO, though author did not articulate this in the proposal in a convincing manner.
1= Needs revision. Request for CURI director to follow up with faculty proposer for rewrite.
0=Not fundable. Be prepared to explain.

Stage II: Distributing resources

During our in-person meeting, the Advisory Committee will determine the level of support for projects deemed fundable by attending to total demand for projects, number of student researchers, and available financial support from the college. We use the following criteria in that discussion:

  1. We aim for diversity in disciplines funded.
  2. We give preference to research proposals that align and contribute to the faculty member’s scholarly activity. This program does not support students’ independent study.
  3. We expect proposals to specify the benefit to the student. CURI’s goal is to support authentic collaborations between faculty and students, not projects that put the student in the role of simply a worker.
  4. We look for the potential of the project to contribute to scholarship beyond what is already known and for the dissemination of the results of the summer’s research.
  5. We may attend to faculty status if resources are insufficient to meet demand; in such instances, we will prioritize support for projects proposed by tenure-track faculty.

Ultimately we only fund projects for which students apply. If faculty have someone already in mind when they submit their proposal, the student must still complete the online application.

Stage III: Student applications

Students will be invited to peruse projects descriptions, identify the project or projects for which they would like to be considered, and apply for a summer research stipend ($440 per week plus housing for 10 weeks) online by February 18. At that time, CURI will provide faculty mentors a list of students who expressed interest in their project. Faculty will identify the student(s) with whom they would like to work by March 4.

Please do not make promises to students before you review all applications. Formal announcements of acceptance will be sent by the CURI office.  Due to the high demand for CURI positions, college funding will be reserved for students planning to enroll in the subsequent Fall following the CURI experience.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why get involved in undergraduate research?

  • Opportunity to get to know students outside of the classroom
  • Reward of passing on knowledge and skill while watching students grow academically under one’s guidance
  • Give students a sense of the various career paths that may be taken to get to where you are today
  • Faculty can enrich their own research with properly structured projects.

What is expected of me as an undergraduate research/inquiry faculty mentor?

  • Set clear and high standards for student performance
  • Offer opportunities such as co-publishing and/or conference presentations when appropriate
  • Give both positive feedback and constructive criticism
  • Frequent, regularly scheduled communication with students, answering all questions to the best of one’s ability in a timely manner

What are the best ways to inform students of an available position on my research team?

  • Students may be intimidated to meet with a faculty member out of the blue
  • Posting information about current research projects outside office doors for students to peruse may be one way to make the initial interaction less nerve-wracking
  • Students can become familiar with the type of research a faculty member may be interested in conducting prior to setting up a time to meet in person
  • Students may also be able to formulate questions about current projects prior to meeting with the faculty member.

How do I order supplies for my project?

  • In early May you will receive an e-mail from the CURI director with your spending unit number and your sub-account number along with an approved amount you are able to spend on supplies for your project.
  • You may order supplies through the CURI administrative assistant, through your departmental AAA or yourself.
  • Remember to use St. Olaf’s tax exempt status and save all receipts.
  • Reimbursement forms must be completed using appropriate account numbers and signed by your Supervisor and the CURI director.