When most college students think about summer, they’re likely to envision lazy days spent on the beach or quiet time relaxing at home. But for many industrious Rollins students, the summer presents a rare opportunity to perform exciting collaborative research with distinguished faculty.
A decade-long initiative, the Rollins Student-Faculty Collaborative Scholarship Program offers students the opportunity to participate in high-level scholarly research, the sort of endeavors that are typically only available at the graduate-school level.
With a goal to further the education experience beyond the classroom, the program enables students to encounter real-world problems and then collaborate with professors to discuss and construct solutions.
In previous years, students and faculty members have collaborated on research projects in anthropology, art, biology, chemistry, computer science, philosophy, physics, political science, psychology, religion and theater. Rollins students have written plays, created murals, and conducted scientific research -- just to name a few ventures.
Research collaborations have resulted in papers being published in peer-reviewed, scholarly journals, as well as artwork displays and theatrical performances.
Many of the participants have traveled to conferences around the world to present their research. If they’re accepted to present in a professional section, Rollins provides funding for their travel.
To begin, students and faculty members work together to develop a proposal for a unique research project in the faculty member’s field. A faculty committee reviews the proposals and funding is awarded to as many projects as possible. Research must meet internationally recognized and accepted scholarly standards.
“What makes our program different from other similar programs is the goal of a high level of academic scholarship from the faculty themselves,” said Professor of Physics Thomas Moore, who leads the program. “This is a collaborative project between the student and the faculty, not just a student project or an assistantship to a faculty member’s own research.”
The research program is funded for eight weeks in the summer, although most students work on their research far longer, continuing to do research, write papers and present at conferences throughout the year.
Moore believes the summer research program is “the best learning experience that Rollins has to offer,” because the students do graduate level work. “Student’s don’t know what’s best about the program until they get in it,” Moore said.
While some may think doing research over the summer is no day at the beach, students and faculty at Rollins relish in the opportunity to learn from each other and the community. Inviting students to do projects that capture their interests, talents and passions, the Student-Faculty Summer Scholarship Program inspires the desire to learn and expand beyond the average academic experience.