The purpose of the Summer Scholars Program (SSP) is to offer students an opportunity to engage in experiential learning within an area of their interest. That scholarly engagement may take many forms, including independent research, the production of original writing or artwork, or research with the faculty mentor on a specific project relating to their discipline.
The nature of the work is open, but the project must be both creative and largely independent, in order to allow students to experience the process of scholarly exploration and development. As such, the project is expected to be student-centered with the faculty member serving as a guide and mentor in this creative scholarly process. Projects in which the Summer Scholar would act as an administrative assistant or “gopher” are thus not appropriate and will not be supported. It is important to note, however, that projects that form part of the faculty-mentor’s research or creative scholarly activities ARE acceptable.
STUDENT - FACULTY INTERCHANGE
As the program entails, by its nature, a formal mentoring relationship, Summer Scholars and their faculty mentors are expected to meet routinely throughout the course of the summer. The nature of this interaction is open but in most cases will occur via face-to-face meetings. This interaction is essential to the development of the student within the discipline. Students who fail to fulfill this obligation with their mentors will be liable to removal from the program.
This requirement does not mean that the work must occur at Saint Joseph’s University. A number of students have been supported to engage in work with an SJU faculty mentor at other institutions/locations both inside and outside of the U.S. The key requirements are that 1) there be sustained, direct interaction between the student and SJU faculty mentor and 2) while the student may be working at another academic institution, they are doing so under the direct supervision of an SJU faculty mentor. Summer Scholars funds cannot be used to support work at other institutions under the direction of non-SJU faculty.
One informal mechanism to foster the student-faculty interchange is through various events held during the summer for students and faculty. These events are both informal and voluntary and a schedule will be distributed at the start of the summer program.
HOURS AND COMPENSATION
Students being compensated for participating in the Summer Scholars Program are expected to engage in at least 400 hours of work relating to their scholarly activity. This is the equivalent of working ten weeks for 40 hours per week. Depending on the nature of the project and the source of funding support, students may be required to formally record their hours spent engaged in work. Any such requirements will be specified by the faculty mentors at the start of the summer program.
Students supported by the Summer Scholars Program receive a stipend of $4,000 in 2023 (the stipend is tax free) and the opportunity for on-campus housing at the greatly reduced cost of $1500 for 2023. Cost of food is NOT included. Housing is subject to the terms and conditions of Residence Life, and space limitations may apply, Stipends are broken down into six payments, which are made around the 16th and 30th of June, July and August.
DOCUMENTATION OF WORK
A substantial body of work should be completed by the end of the summer period; it is this work that the student will summarize in a video presentation for a program celebration in September. Some students may also present their work at academic conferences or as co-authors or authors in publications. Requirements for completing and documenting the scholarly project are born equally by the student and the faculty mentor and will influence subsequent applications for support through the program. Students who are found to be non-compliant with these requirements will be removed from the program and required to repay all of the stipend received to that date.
SUMMER COURSES AND OTHER EMPLOYMENT
Please note that given the magnitude of the work involved, students in the program may NOT hold a full-time job during the summer. Part-time employment of less than 20 hours per week may be acceptable, but it requires written approval, in advance, of both the prospective mentor and the program directors. Similarly, students must obtain written permission from their mentor in advance of taking summer classes. Generally, given the nature of the workload for the program, Summer Scholars are discouraged from taking summer classes.