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Summer Research: Student Expectations

Information for On-Campus Summer Research Students

Inquiry-based learning reaches its pinnacle in scientific research. For this reason, Calvin College for many years has encouraged and arranged research opportunities for its students. One of these occurs during the summer when students work with faculty and receive salary support in the form of summer research fellowships. Fellowship funds come from a variety of sources. Some come from generous private donors who know or have experienced the importance of undergraduate research. Other opportunities are supported by various grants that faculty have obtained. These include grants from National Institutes of Health, and the National Science Foundation. Still more funds are provided by Calvin College and by the Alumni Fund. All of these funding sources have the same goal: to enhance and expand inquiry-based learning opportunities for undergraduate students in the sciences.

Award and Payment Information
Salary: $4,000 total for research appointment, based on 400 hours of research.
            $3,800 will be paid out in biweekly paychecks over the summer.
            $200 stipend will be paid in November only after assignments (4) – (7) below are complete.

The following general expectations are common to all projects. Failure to meet these expectations may put both the student and faculty at risk for receiving funding next year. You and your faculty mentor should get together before the summer begins to work out additional project-specific expectations.

All undergraduate summer researchers must…

  1. Complete up to 400 hours (approximately 10 weeks) of full time research activity during the summer months, ending by September 5, 2017. You and your mentor have the freedom to decide precisely when this will be accomplished. Circumstances of individual projects and experiments may require you to work irregular hours/days. Any additional employment or coursework during this time must be approved by your faculty mentor.
  2. Attend and participate in any regularly scheduled research meetings organized by your department or the Science Division.
  3. Display an ID badge at all times when inside the science complex on the front of their person, above the belt, not blocked by hair or clothing, etc.
  4. Complete an online ethics tutorial on the Responsible Conduct of Research by May 22, 2017. This requirement aims to fulfill Calvin’s educational goals and certain federal requirements. You are exempt from this requirement if you were a summer researcher in 2015 or 2016 and already completed this online tutorial. See instructions for completing this requirement.
  5. Prepare a one-page, single-side written description of the summer’s research that will be used for promotion of Calvin. The description must include: (1) title; (2) names of student and faculty mentor; (3) introduction that provides relevant background as well as a statement of the problem; (4) brief narrative that generally describes the research methods, 5) any results to date; and 6) how the research benefitted you personally. Your description should be accessible to non-scientists. Please submit an electronic copy of the summary to Beth Schoone-Jongen ( in the Science Division Office by August 1, 2017.
  6. Prepare a poster and participate in Calvin’s Summer Research Poster Fair October 20, 2017. Detailed written guidelines for content and formatting will be sent to you during the summer.
  7. Register for and present your poster at the West Michigan Regional Undergraduate Science Research Conference at Van Andel Institute. This is a full day conference, on a Saturday in November, to be announced. Students are required to attend unless they present at an alternate conference before June 2018. Students and faculty mentors must let Beth Schoone-Jongen know if this is the case.

By accepting the research position, you agree to these terms. Please let Beth Schoone-Jongen know if you have any questions or concerns. Remember, failing to complete assignments (4) – (7) as instructed will cause you to forfeit at least $200, so diligently read all emails from Beth Schoone-Jongen as they will contain important information about the specifics of these assignments.