Student FAQ

Who can apply to the Tufts 2014 Summer Scholars Program?
Any Tufts undergraduate student who will be a junior or senior during the 2014-2015 academic year may apply. Exceptional proposals from rising sophomores will also be considered. You may propose research in your major field of study or another field of interest to you.

But I'm interested in research in the Humanities. Isn't this program for scientists?
Nope. Summer Scholars supports research in every discipline. Every year applications (and funded projects) are split just about 50/50 between natural/applied sciences/engineering and humanities/social sciences/creative arts. If you want to commit 10+ weeks to the intensive investigation of a subject with direct mentorship from a faculty member, we want to see your application!

Where is the application?
The application materials are available here.

What if I already have a mentor with whom I would like to work?
Terrific! Students are strongly encouraged to contact Tufts faculty members with whom they would like to work and to collaboratively develop an opportunity.

So I don't have to use this site to find a research mentor and a project?
You may use this site to find a mentor looking for an undergraduate scholar, or you may initiate a project on your own. Either way, keep in mind that successful applicants will have contacted their proposed mentors early enough to have meaningful conversations about their plans prior to completing the application.

I have contacted several potential mentors of projects in which I am interested and they have all invited me to apply for the program. May I submit multiple applications?
You may apply with only one mentor, for one project.

I have identified a graduate student with whom I would like to work. May I propose him/her as my faculty mentor?
Your mentor must be a Tufts faculty member. Though some of your responsibilities may necessarily be supervised by an advanced graduate student, the plan for your research and the joint letter in your application must be constructed with a faculty member.

I am already conducting research and hope to continue through the summer and into next academic year. Can I still apply?
Yes! You may apply to continue research on which you have already started and with a Mentor with whom you are already working. In your application, make sure to give details about the specific goals and intended outcomes for the portion of your research to be conducted during the summer.

I already have other plans this summer. Will I be able to fit Summer Scholars in?
Summer Scholars is intended as a full-time commitment and funded as such. Your application must indicate a plan for at least 10 weeks of continuous research between University Commencement and Labor Day. Other employment - paid or unpaid - is not permitted during those 10 weeks so that you may focus fully on your research. Concurrent enrollment in a summer course is strongly discouraged; instructions for proposing enrollment in one summer class that is directly related to your research are provided in the application packet. If you are offered and accept a Summer Scholars grant, you are expected to withdraw your applications for any other grants, internships, etc. so that others may be offered those opportunities.

I think I would be spending more/less money than some other applicants on rent, etc. Where can I address that fact in my application?
All selected Scholars receive the same stipend, regardless of circumstances. If you receive financial aid from Tufts, you may apply for an additional housing scholarship, but you need not specify in your application the way in which you intend to use the $3,500 stipend. Your proposal should include a budget for anticipated costs directly related to successful completion of the project.

I'd like to participate in the Summer Scholars program, but it isn't financially realistic for me. I'd make more money if I lived at home and worked, and I don't want to jeapordize my financial aid.
There are a limited number of housing scholarships available to students receiving financial aid from Tufts. Students receiving a housing scholarship will be placed in campus housing and given an 80 meal plan. Please check the box on the application to indicate that you are interested in being considered for one of these scholarships. Students who receive the housing scholarship still get the full $3500 stipend.

May I get help with my application?
Of course. Though your final submission must be 100% original work, you may, and should, request feedback from people you trust, such as your faculty advisor and Graduate Writing Consultants. You are also welcome to meet with Anne Moore in Undergraduate Studies to go over drafts of your proposal as well as to discuss any questions you might have.

How do I guarantee that I'll be offered Summer Scholars?
Well, there's no guarantee on what makes a successful applicant, project, and mentoring pair. Based on past applications, though, these DOs and DON'Ts offer some guidance for putting forth a strong application:

My GPA is below a 3.0, but there's a good reason . . .
There are often circumstances beyond one's control that affect academic progress. However, this is a very competitive application process and GPA is a factor for consideration. If you are a rising senior with a cumulative GPA between 2.9 and 3.0 who believes that circumstances that have now been resolved contributed to past grades that do not reflect your abilities, please meet with Anne Moore in Undergraduate Studies. Students earlier in their academic careers are encouraged to focus on their studies, access Tufts' outstanding advising and academic support resources, and consider applying for Summer Scholars in future years.

What are the selection committees looking for?
The faculty reviewing your application are hoping to award this opportunity to students who will make the most of it. After determining eligibility, they will look at the fit and commitment of your mentor pairing, your understanding of the work you propose to explore, grades in your relevant coursework, ability to balance work as demonstrated by choices illustrated on your transcript and resume, and fit of the program into your overall educational plan. Click here for a copy of the rubric used by the faculty selection committee.

Is this program the same as the IR Research Scholars Program?
No. The International Relations program has its own funds for the support of student research projects. For their deadline and more information, please visit the International Relations website.

  Office of the Dean of Undergraduate Education, Dowling Hall, Medford, MA, 02155  |  Tel: (617) 627-4239