Summer Research Fellowships

The Mellon Scholars Program offers the opportunity for students to develop a high quality summer research or creative project with the support and guidance of a faculty mentor.

View student summer research projectsThe Summer Fellowship Program provides a full-time (40 hours) weekly employment for a student to conduct research or research-based creative production.

“I collaborated with three other students and Dr. Jeanne Petit to create an online exhibit about the 1918 United War Work Campaign. We spent eight weeks researching, writing, and constructing our website, including 10 days at the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C. To any Mellon scholar considering a summer project, I say dream big, put yourself out there and work hard!”

—Miriam Roth

Mellon scholars have traveled to Rwanda, France, Kosovo, Spain, Boston, Chicago, Philadelphia and Washington, D.C., to conduct their summer research in world-class archives and libraries.

Applying for a summer fellowship

Students should start developing project ideas with their faculty mentor as early as December or January. Students are strongly encouraged to submit the proposal jointly with the faculty mentor to the director by the middle of February. Proposals are considered by the Mellon Executive Committee, which makes the final decisions. Applicants will be notified of the status of their applications by the beginning of April. The application must include the following elements in the order stated below:

  1. Cover sheet including name(s), name of mentor, project title, abstract and total requested funds
  2. Project goals, description of project, and final form to be submitted
  3. Statement of planned integration of technology 
  4. Week by week plan of action with dates
  5. Preparation for Project (i.e., feasibility)
  6. Statement of plans for NCUR, CUR and other venues for dissemination
  7. Relevance of project to student's academic and career goals
  8. Detailed budget including weekly stipend, travel budget (means of travel, hotel, meals) and equipment budget

The application must also include a letter from the proposed faculty mentor and should assess the quality of the student’s application proposal (i.e., the value of the project, the feasibility of the work plan and the student’s preparation for the project). The faculty mentor’s letter also should state how the project would relate to the mentor’s other summer activities and funding, and he or she should confirm an understanding of the mentoring commitment as outlined in the Mellon Scholars Program mentoring guidelines.

Students must attend at least one information session prior to submitting a proposal to the Summer Fellowship program. Students who receive fellowship funding must also attend the registration session in which their summer time cards will be created and fellowship weeks confirmed. 

Students traveling off campus must meet with the Dean of Students and fill out the appropriate risk and responsibility forms prior to leaving campus. (See policy for off-campus travel in the Student Handbook.)

Researching in the summer

Researching at Hope College in the summer provides students with a lively community of fellow students engaged in research from all disciplines. Students many sign up for library space in which to meet with other student researchers, and there are weekly lunches and ice cream socials in which to socialize and learn about each other’s research projects.

Mellon scholars and their faculty mentors are expected to participate in the lunches and presentation venues for summer scholars that are sponsored by the Arts and Humanities Division. The summer project should produce results that can be presented by the end of the summer, such as at the Summer Research Showcase at the end of August and the Celebration of Undergraduate Research and Creative Performance, held in April. Summer Mellon Research Fellows are also expected to apply for the NCUR conference, which takes place annually in the spring.

Summer fellowship awards

The Summer Fellowship Program supports students up to $1,400 for a 4-week project (first-time applicants) and $2,800 for an 8-week project (returning applicants). Some additional support may be provided for travel and accommodation expenses to students needing to travel to special archives and libraries. Students must apply separately for this support, which will be distributed depending on available funds. 

Faculty mentors receive an honorarium of $125 per week, with a maximum of $500 for an 8-week project.