Full-time Faculty at Nazareth University are invited to apply for a Summer Opportunities for Activities in Research and Scholarship (SOARS) grant through the Office of Research, Scholarship, and Innovation. Grants will be awarded for work in the Summer of 2024.

The SOARS grant program makes possible 10-week, full-time, paid research opportunities in which undergraduate students work closely with a faculty mentor and potentially more senior students (undergraduate or graduate) to reinforce classroom knowledge through experience and mentorship. The research or scholarly activities completed as part of the proposed project may be related to the faculty mentor’s scholarship but should be the student’s own product.  

Proposals for this award are to be submitted by the faculty mentor. Applicants do not need confirmed student participants at the point of application; participating students may be selected after confirmation of the award.

Applications that show dynamic engagement with the faculty applicant’s scholarship, involve students in a wide variety of activities across all aspects of the research process, give students agency to take ownership of the activities involved in the project, and include significant and clearly articulated student learning outcomes (see Appendix A) will be given preference. 

In keeping with the best practices surrounding undergraduate research, this paid training opportunity is shaped by several principles:

  1. The experience, even though it includes the actual operation of the facilities of the University (e.g., lab equipment), is similar to training that would be given in an educational environment;
  2. The experience is for the benefit of the student;
  3. The student does not displace regular University employees and is operating under the close supervision of existing faculty and staff;
  4. The College that provides the training derives no immediate advantage from the activities of the student, and on occasion, its operations may actually be impeded;
  5. The student is not entitled to a job after the experience; and
  6. The University and the student understand that the student is not entitled to wages during the experience, though this is a paid experience.

SOARS Award Amount

The maximum amount of each SOARS award is up to $10,000 for applications from a single faculty member, or up to $17,500 for applications from a team of two faculty, covering stipends for each faculty mentor and up to two (2) student researchers per faculty mentor.

Awards include:

  • Student stipends – Students (selected by successful faculty applicants) will each be provided a $3,750 summer stipend, paid over a 10-week research period. 1-2 students per faculty applicant will be supported.
  • Faculty stipends – Single faculty applicants will be provided a $2,500 stipend for mentoring 1-2 students. In the case of collaborative applications of 2 faculty members mentoring 2-4 students, the stipend will be split for a total of $1,250 each.

NOTE: No supplies or materials costs will be covered by this grant.

Faculty Expectations and Eligibility

Faculty will work with students to develop a timeline, schedule, learning outcomes, and plan for meaningful engagement in the scholarship/creative activity.

Faculty will sponsor student presentation(s) in CARS the following spring.

Faculty will support student achievement of established learning outcomes (see Appendix A).

Full-time faculty from all schools and departments are eligible to apply. Applicants must be returning on contract in Fall 2024.

Each faculty member may only apply to and receive one summer grant in 2024 (either SAIFF or SOARS).

Collaborative projects will be accepted. In the case of collaborative projects:

  1. All applicants must be included in the application and meet all other eligibility criteria listed here.
  2. The $2,500 stipend will be divided evenly among the applicants involved.

All projects must take place in the summer session with all proposed activities completed prior to the start of the Fall 2024 semester. A written report of the faculty member's achievements is submitted to the Office of Research, Scholarship, and Innovation by October 15, 2024.

Student Expectations and Eligibility

Students must be returning full-time for the entire academic year following their participation in SOARS.

Students will complete a 10-week research experience. The student and mentor will collaboratively develop an appropriate schedule/timeline for their work.

Participating students should not hold full-time employment, either on- or off-campus, nor be registered for multiple credit-bearing classes during the project period. Students may request a waiver to enroll in one class or hold a part-time job, but must explain how the two experiences will not conflict. Students should plan to allocate at least 25 hours per week to their SOARS project.

Students may mentor SPARK Grantees or other students.

Students must present at CARS the Spring following the Summer they receive funding.

Students are encouraged to present original research either regionally or nationally, as appropriate.

Application Instructions

Click here to view the application form.

Click here to generate your own copy of the application form.

Proposal Review Criteria

Quality of student research experience — 1) all student roles are clearly defined, and 2) the project is likely to lead to authentic research experiences for participating students.

Mentoring philosophy and plan — 1) the applicant’s mentoring philosophy aligns with Nazareth’s stated goals, mission, and vision for student success, and 2) the mentoring plan addresses all five characteristics of guided mentorship or provides adequate justification for the exclusion of any characteristics.

Impact of student outcomes — the applicant identifies at least five student learning outcomes from Appendix A of this RFP and clearly justifies their approach.

Consideration of risk — the applicant has adequately considered any risk to students and, if applicable, has proposed a reasonable mitigation plan.

Overall quality — the proposal is clear, complete, and convincing.

Appendix A: SOARS Student Learning Outcomes

Relating knowledge to daily life – seeks new information to solve problems; relates knowledge to major and career decisions; makes connections between the classroom and out-of-classroom learning; articulates career choices based on an assessment of interests, values, skills, and abilities; provides evidence of knowledge, skills, and accomplishments resulting from formal education, work experience, community service, and volunteer experiences, for example in resumes and portfolios.

Critical thinking – identifies important problems, questions, and issues; analyzes, interprets and makes judgments of the relevance and quality of information; assesses assumptions and considers alternative perspectives and solutions.

Reflective thinking – applies previously understood information, concepts, and experiences to a new situation or setting; rethinks previous assumptions.

Effective reasoning – uses complex information from various sources, including personal experience and observation to form a decision or opinion; is open to new ideas and perspectives.

Commitment to ethics and integrity – Incorporates ethical reasoning into action; explores and articulates the values and principles involved in personal decision-making; acts in congruence with personal values and beliefs; exemplifies dependability, honesty, and trustworthiness; accepts personal accountability.

Collaboration – works cooperatively with others, including people different from self and/or with different points of view; seeks and values the involvement of others; listens to and considers others’ points of view.

Understanding and appreciation of cultural and human differences – understands one’s own identity and culture; seeks involvement with people different from oneself; articulates the advantages and impact of a diverse society; identifies systematic barriers to equality and inclusiveness, then advocates and justifies means for dismantling them; in interactions with others, exhibits respect and preserves the dignity of others.

Social responsibility – recognizes social systems and their influence on people; appropriately challenges the unfair, unjust, or uncivil behavior of other individuals or groups; participates in service/volunteer activities that are characterized by reciprocity; articulates the values and principles involved in personal decision-making; affirms and values the worth of individuals and communities.

Pursuing goals – sets and pursues individual goals; articulates the rationale for personal and educational goals and objectives; articulates and makes plans to achieve long-term goals and objectives; identifies and works to overcome obstacles that hamper goal achievement.

Communicating effectively – conveys meaning in a way that others understand by writing and speaking coherently and effectively; writes and speaks after reflection; influences others through writing, speaking or artistic expression; effectively articulates abstract ideas; uses appropriate syntax and grammar; makes and evaluates presentations or performances; listens attentively to others and responds appropriately.

Managing career development – takes steps to initiate a job search or seek advanced education; constructs a resume based on clear job objectives and evidence of knowledge, skills, and abilities; recognizes the importance of transferrable skills.

Demonstrating professionalism – accepts supervision and direction as needed; values the contributions of others; holds self-accountable for obligations; shows initiative; assesses, critiques, and then improves the quality of one’s work and one’s work environment.

Appendix B: Elements for Mentoring Student Research

Nazareth is committed to providing authentic research experiences rooted in best practice. A key to a successful research experience is guided mentorship. As part of this experience, you are committing to student mentoring. The information below serves as a guide for developing a mentoring plan.

Establish expectations – What are your expectations, and how have you communicated them? How will you review whether your expectations are being met? How will you learn more about student expectations?

Provide regular meetings – Mentors should offer regularly scheduled meetings to answer questions, seek feedback, provide direction, and encourage independence. What is your proposed meeting frequency?

Utilize the entire research process – Faculty mentors should involve research students in the entire research process, from literature review to public dissemination. Given the 10 week duration of the SOARS Program, what will student involvement in the research process look like? Could students be exposed to additional facets of the research project through regular meetings with other student researchers? How will this be incorporated into the experience?

Offer a collegial environment – Mentors should offer opportunities for students to take on increased responsibility in a collegial environment, rather than having them feel like research assistants. How will you foster a relationship that encourages students to build autonomy, ask questions, provide feedback, and generate and test their own hypotheses?

Student mentors – Students gain knowledge by working with other more senior or experienced students. Will there be an opportunity for students to work with others? If so, how will these relationships be supported, encouraged, and fostered?

To Apply

Create a copy of the SOARS application form. Fill out the form and submit to your Chair or Associate Dean by Friday, March 1, 2024.

Deadlines and Timeline

Friday, March 1, 2024 – share proposal with Chair/Associate Dean

Friday, March 8, 2024 – Chair/Associate Dean approve and forward to Dean

Friday, March 15, 2024 – Dean approve and forward to Megan Tobin in ORSI

Review committee meets in early April; awards announced by the end of April