Research, Scholarship, and Innovation

SUMMER OPPORTUNITIES FOR ACTIVITIES IN RESEARCH AND SCHOLARSHIP (SOARS) REQUEST FOR PROPOSALS

Full-time Faculty at Nazareth College are invited to apply for a Summer Opportunities for Activities in Research and Scholarship (SOARS) grant through the Office of Research, Scholarship, and Innovation for work in Summer 2020. 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 award. 

Applications that show dynamic engagement with faculty applicant’s scholarship, involve students in a wide variety of activities that make up 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 best practices surrounding undergraduate research, this paid training opportunity is shaped by several principles:

  1. The experience, even though it includes actual operation of the facilities of the College (e.g. lab equipment), is similar to training which would be given in an educational environment;

  2. The experience is for the benefit of the student; 

  3. The student does not displace regular College employees, and is operating under 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 at the conclusion of the experience; and 

  6. The College and the student understand that the student is not entitled to wages for the time spent in the experience, though this is a paid experience. 

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 one (1-2) faculty mentors 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. 

No supplies or materials costs will be covered by this grant. However, projects that require additional funds for supplies or materials may utilize the Student Creative Activity and Research Support Award (SCARSA). This award offers $500 to each student participating in select research and creative activity experiences on campus. All students on a SOARS project are eligible to apply. That funding opportunity and accompanying application will open in January 2020.      

Expectations of Awardees

Faculty Expectations and Eligibility

  • Faculty will work with students to develop their experience schedule, objectives, and scholarship

  • Faculty will sponsor students’ presentation(s) in CARS the following spring

  • Faculty will engage with the student or group of students in pursuit 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 2020. 

  • Each faculty member may only apply to and receive one summer grant in 2020 (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, and 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 Fall 2020

Student Participant Expectations and Eligibility

  • Students will 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 develop a schedule appropriate for the activity.  

  • Participating students will not hold employment, either on or off campus, nor be registered for credit bearing classes during the project period.  Students, with approval, may request a waiver to enroll in one class, but must provide information for how the two experiences will not conflict.

  • Students may mentor SPARK Grantees, or other students, as appropriate

  • Students will present at CARS the Spring following the Summer they receive funding

  • Students will present original research either regionally or nationally, as appropriate. 

  • Students will become more aware of and active in the Council for Undergraduate Research (CUR). Nazareth holds an institutional membership to CUR. This means that all members of the Nazareth community – faculty, students, and staff – can become a member of CUR, with access to all member benefits, at no cost to them. For more information about CUR, see check out cur.org

Required Proposal Narrative Questions – To be entered online when application opens

  1. PROPOSAL Narrative:  The proposal narrative has been broken down into six sections.  Please provide the information as requested. Together, the subparts should succinctly summarize the type(s) of projects for which you are interested in serving as a mentor, your mentoring philosophy, the role of the students in the project, and how you plan to mentor students. 

 a) Provide a brief overview of the scholarly project or projects you are interested in mentoring (limit 750 characters).

  b) Provide a statement of your mentoring philosophy.  If a Co-mentor is included, describe your team’s co-mentoring philosophy (limit 1,500 characters).

c) Appendix A of the SOARS RFP (below) outlines 12 student learning outcomes (SLOs). Please describe how your mentoring approach will focus on at least 5 SLOs (limit 1,500 characters).  

d) Appendix B of the SOARS RFP (below) outlines five characteristics of guided mentorship.  Please describe how you will incorporate these 5 characteristics. If you do not plan to incorporate one or more characteristics, please explain your reasoning. If a co-mentor is included, address how the structure will benefit the student mentorship (limit 1,500 characters).

e) Provide a 2 – 3 sentence description of student roles.  If students will have different roles please use 2 – 3 sentences to describe each student role making clear what the outcome will be for each role:     

f) Briefly describe any risks associated with the types of projects proposed, and detail a plan for how that risk will be mitigated (limit 750 characters):

Proposal Review Criteria

The following criteria apply to the selection of successful applications: 

  • 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 5 characteristics of guided mentorship, or provides adequate justification for exclusion of any of the five

  • Impact of Student Outcomes — applicant identifies at least 5 student learning outcomes from Appendix A of this RFP, and clearly justifies their approach

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

  • Overall quality of the proposal — the proposal is clean, clear, complete, and convincing

Appendix A: SOARS Student Learning Outcomes

  1. Relating knowledge to daily life: Seeks new information to solve problems; relates knowledge to major and career decisions; makes connections between classroom and out-of-classroom learning; articulates career choices based on 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.

  1. 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.

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

  1. Effective reasoning: Uses complex information from a variety of sources including personal experience and observation to form a decision or opinion; is open to new ideas and perspectives.

  1. 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.

  1. 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.

  1. 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.

  1. 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.

  1. Pursuing goals: Sets and pursues individual goals; articulates 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.

  1. 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.

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

  1. 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 mentoring the student. The information below serves as a guide for developing a mentor plan.

  • Establish Expectations.  What are your expectations and how have you communicated this to the student?  How will you review with the student whether your expectations are being met? Have you reviewed the student’s 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, how do you propose involving the student? Are there other opportunities to expose the students 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 Type Environment.  Mentors should offer opportunities for the research students to have increasing responsibilities while promoting a collegial environment rather than having the student feel like a research assistant.   How will you foster a relationship that encourages the student to build autonomy, ask questions, provide feedback, and allows the students the opportunity to ask, formulate and test their own ideas? 
  • Student Mentors.  Students gain knowledge by working with 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

Download and complete the SOARS Application Form and submit to your Chair or Associate Dean for AA (SoE) by Friday, February 7! 

2020 SOARS Application and Selection Timeline 

Deadline for proposal submission: 11:59pm, Friday, February 7th, 2020 

Deadline for Approval by Chair or Associate Dean for Academic Affairs (SoE): 11:59pm, Friday, February 14, 2020

Deadline for Approval by Dean: 11:59pm, Friday, February 21, 202

Review Committee Meets: Late March 2020

Awards announced: April 2020

SOARS Contact

For all questions related to the 2020 SOARS RFP and/or application, please contact: 

Dr. Jessica Slentz

Director, Office of Research, Scholarship, and Innovation

GAC 206

X2419

jslentz5@naz.edu