Friday, September 30, 2011

Students as Scholars 2011-2012 Calendar

As we are getting into the fall semester, we wanted to provide a summary of important dates and deadlines for Students as Scholars activities for the 2011-2012 academic year. As we are in our pilot phase, please note that these dates, especially in the spring semester, are tentative pending our experience this semester. Instead of adding new entries, I'll update this blog post as needed with additional information until our website is ready to have a calendar.

September 2011
14, 20, 26 – Scholarship Development Grants Information Meetings

October 2011
21 – Track A Scholarship Development Grant proposals due
28 – Undergraduate Student Travel Grant applications due (for travel in December or later)

November 2011
28-29 – Scholarship Development Grant Information Sessions (Time and location TBA)
30 – Undergraduate Research Scholars Program applications due (for Spring URSPs) UPDATED

January 2012
16-17 – Scholarship Development Grant Q&As (Time and location TBA)

February 2012
3 – Track B and C Scholarship Development Grant proposals due
24 – Undergraduate Student Travel Grant application due (for travel in April or later)

March 2012
23 – Students as Scholars Course Applications for course designation due from Departments

April 2012
16 – Undergraduate Research Scholars Program applications due (for Summer URSPs)
27 – Undergraduate Student Travel Grant applications due (for travel in June or later)

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Track A Scholarship Development Grant Proposal Page

The proposal form for submitting your Scholarship Development Grants under Track A, Research and Scholarship Intensive Course Redesign, is now available!  Proposals for Track A SDG are due by October 21, 2011.

Track A SDGs for Research and Scholarship Intensive Course support the redesign of courses in which students participate in the creation of original scholarly or creative projects. These courses will address the Research & Scholarship student learning outcomes and, as such, are eligible to be designated Research and Scholarship intensive (RS).

Track A SDG Call for Proposals and Instruction page is available here as pdf.
Track A SDG On-line application is available here (and a pdf version for planning purposes is here).

Please note that while the on-line form will initiate your proposal, you will still need to send in the supporting documentation (original syllabus, proposal statement, and budget) as pdf files to

Please let us know if you have any questions, and we look forward to receiving the proposals!

Friday, September 23, 2011

"Righting Wrongs" Call for Papers

The Institute for Human Rights and Humanitarian Studies at Webster University is currently soliciting undergraduate research papers and book reviews for possible publication in the 2011/2012 issue of Righting Wrongs: A Journal of Human Rights to be published August 2012Entering its second year, Righting Wrongs is a peer-reviewed academic journal that provides space for students to explore human rights issues, challenge current actions and frameworks, and engage in problem-solving aimed at tackling some of the world’s most pressing issues.

NOTE: This is a great opportunity for our undergraduate students!

Submission Deadline: January 9, 2012

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Students as Scholars Opportunity Database Sneak Preview

Although we will officially roll this out at the Innovations in Teaching and Learning conference on October 3rd, I wanted to go ahead and give faculty and staff and students an opportunity to see what we are doing...

As we were developing the Students as Scholars plan, many students and faculty asked for a central place to post and look for research and creative opportunities at Mason.  Since we have so many students, and so many faculty, the perfect "project" pairing may not happen by chance.  In response, we have developed the Students as Scholars Opportunity Database in collaboration with Career Services.

The Students as Scholars Opportunity Database uses the existing HireMason software to allow faculty and staff to post research and creative projects for undergraduate students. Career Services has worked with us to create specific category of "Student as Scholars Projects" within the database that allows faculty to list these positions.  You have the option of listing the position with compensation including academic credit and/or wages, and limiting the potential students applicants by GPA or major. You can also ask students to submit a resume to you, using the very convenient resume-builder within HireMason. 

Faculty can download detailed instructions about posting Students as Scholars Projects, and enter the Students as Scholars Opportunity Database here

Students can find available opportunities by registering for a student account and then searching specifically for Students as Scholars Projects (detailed instructions).  This is a great way to find research or scholarly projects, and to get familiar with the HireMason program so that you will be prepared to start your job searches later. The resume building is an excellent tool, also. 
Students, please note that we are just beginning to ask faculty to post Students as Scholars Projects now, so the database won't be full for a while. If you don't see a project that interests you, please feel free to talk to professors, graduate students, and staff about your interests and see what you can find!

Undergraduate Research for All?

Yesterday, we held our first in a series of Scholarship Development Grant Information Sessions (thank you all for coming!). One of the most important challenges we face in implementing the Students as Scholars initiative is scale - how do we give many Mason undergraduates an opportunity to participate in research and creative activities, given our undergraduate population and the demands on our faculty to be so good at so many things?  Clearly, one way to attack this is to merge research and teaching by intentionally bringing aspects of scholarship into the classroom, which is the goal of our Scholarship Development Grants.

But the actual doing of this is hard. Not many universities have implemented models like this, and that was why I was particularly excited to see the most recent CUR Quarterly. The Fall 2011 issue's theme is "Undergraduate Research for All?"  The issue is available for all CUR members online (see link at the top of the blog for information about Mason's institutional membership).  There are several interesting articles, but I think that the CURQ Vignettes, a few published in the journal and many others published online, are excellent tangible examples of how a variety of colleges are approaching this question.

Please feel free to contact me if you want to brainstorm ideas!

Monday, September 12, 2011

Gazette Article on Students as Scholars SDGs

Robin Herron from the Mason Gazette interviewed me last week about the Students as Scholars initiative and the Scholarship Development Grants, and posted this article.  Hope to see all interested faculty at the information meetings this week!

Quality Enhancement Plan Moves into Active Phase

Friday, September 9, 2011

EPA GRO Fellowships for Undergraduate Environmental Study

The US Environmental Protection Agency has announced the 2012 Greater Research Opportunity Fellowships for Undergraduate Environmental Study.  As the announcement states, "Eligible students will receive support for their junior and senior years of undergraduate study and for an internship at an EPA facility during the summer of their junior year. The fellowship provides up to $19,700 per academic year of support and $9,500 of support for a three-month summer internship."

In the student's personal statement, undergraduates outline a research study that they would like to pursue, as well as showing an understanding of the broader impacts of their environmental interests.  This would be a great opportunity for a Mason undergraduate to be supported in their research and education!

Application Deadline: December 12, 2011 (the application is very involved, so start soon!)

Friday, September 2, 2011

Scholarship Development Grant Information Sessions

The Office of Student Scholarship, Creative Activities, and Research (OSCAR) will be holding information sessions about the Scholarship Development Grants in September (see below for details).  Scholarship Development Grants are offered in four tracks, and available to departments and programs that plan on integrating the Students as Scholars inquiry-based learning outcomes into their curriculum.  The information sessions will be opportunities for members of the Mason community to hear about the programs and ask questions (and we know that there will be many of them!).  If you can't make a meeting and have additional questions, please feel free to email me at to set up an appointment to talk.

UPDATE: Several people have asked for access to the slides from our presentation, so they are available here

Information Sessions:
Wednesday, September 14th, from 1:30-3:00 in Research Hall, Room 163 [UPDATED]
Tuesday, September 20th, from 9:30-11 in Johnson Center Room B (third floor)
Monday, September 26th, from 3:00-4:30 in Research Hall, Room 163 [Change from earlier post]

Thursday, September 1, 2011

First Friday Fellowship Info Sessions

Dr. Berger, Director of the Office of Fellowships, will be holding First Friday Fellowship Information Sessions this fall. Working on an undergraduate scholarly project is a great way to get experience applying your scholarly knowledge. And demonstrating that you can work independently and responsibly is usually a requirement for prestigious fellowships, like the Truman, Fulbright, and Goldwater. Although most students don't apply until their junior or senior year, successful applicants often begin planning much earlier in their college career.

If you are interested in applying, or just want to know more, please attend one of these Info Sessions!

When and Where:
Friday, October 7, 12-1pm, in Enterprise 318
Friday, November 4, 12-1pm, in Enterprise 318
Friday, December 2, 12-1pm, in Johnson Center Room C (third floor)
Email:For more information, please contact Dr. LaNitra Berger