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Funding Opportunity for Calvin Faculty to Engage Student Researchers


The Henry Institute for the Study of Christianity and Politics annually invites applications from Calvin College faculty members for research awards to be used to fund student fellows to work in collaboration with a Calvin faculty member on their particular research endeavors.  

For the 2009-2010 academic year, the Henry Institute Governing Board awarded three full and two partial research projects with funding based on applications submitted by Jamie Skillen (Environmental Studies), Steven McMullen (Economics), Amy Patterson (Political Science), Gail Zandee (Nursing), and Bruce Berglund (History).

The grants require that the selected student fellows are expected to work approximately five hours per week, for which the student fellow is paid a $500 stipend per semester.  While this funding opportunity seeks to enable Calvin faculty to facilitate certain aspects of their research endeavors, it also seeks to provide Calvin faculty with the opportunity to mentor undergraduates in scholarly research.  In fact, a significant intent of the grant is to encourage and enhance mentoring of students, and applications are expected to specifically demonstrate how that requirement will be met.

The research projects associated with the application proposals should relate in some manner to the Christian faith and public life; no particular methodological approach to the study will be given preference over another.  Projects which meet the Henry Institute mission of integrating Christian faith and politics, which is meant to include public life and/or civic engagement, will be more heavily weighted in the review process. Faculty members are free to choose the particular student who will participate with them as the undergraduate research fellow. 

Applications for the 2010-11 academic year should be submitted by April 30, 2010, and decisions related to the funding of proposals will be made by the Henry Institute Governing Board. A maximum of three grants will be funded for the 2010-2011 academic year. Decisions regarding applications will be announced by May 21, 2010. When equally qualified proposals are submitted and the Institute is unable to fund all submissions, greater consideration will be given to faculty who have not previously received a grant from the Henry Institute.

Applications are required to provide the following:

(1) a brief description (two or three paragraphs) of the research project and the length of time it is anticipated that the research project is likely to last—e.g., a semester, a year, more than a year;
(2) how it is anticipated that the student fellow will be used in relationship to the research project—i.e., the kinds of tasks envisioned for the student researcher and the extent to which mentoring will occur. Please note that the quality and depth of the work assigned to the student will be considered in the review process;
(3) the potential name(s) of the student who will be working on the project and the basis for the student’s selection. 

For additional information, contact Corwin Smidt.

Application Form for Research Award