/ Office of the Associate Dean for Research and Scholarship

Summer Research

Every year hundreds of students join mentors in disciplines across campus to delve into research through the Summer Hope Academic Research Program (SHARP).

Through SHARP students conduct research with faculty mentors each summer. Students learn cutting edge research techniques, conduct literature reviews, attend seminars, and analyze data. At the same time they engage with other research students across campus with lunches, weekly ice cream socials, and other events planned by individual departments or divisions. Typically research is presented to the larger community through professional conferences, divisional poster sessions, and/or the annual Hope College Celebration of Undergraduate Research and Creative Performance

The SHARP Application System is a clearinghouse of many research positions available across campus. Many 
departments use the SHARP application system to match students to projects. In other departments the best way to get involved in summer research is to talk to faculty about your interests and their projects. Talk to faculty or the office manager of your department to find out more.

Annual Timeline for SHARP application system

Some offices do not use the SHARP application system to match mentors and students. If you do not see a project of interest or your department listed, talk to your department's Office Manager or your advisor. Each department determines their own process for hiring, so the timeline below is a guideline only. 

  • Early December: Faculty post summer research opportunities in SHARP and begin discussing research opportunities with possible student collaborators (ongoing).
  • January: Students apply to posted positions (for departments that use the SHARP application system).
  • February: Applications are typically due by early February. Specific deadlines are determined by departments.
  • March: Offer letters and contracts are emailed to the students, typically with stipend amount, confirmation of summer research dates (these will vary with each project), and acceptance information.
  • Early April: Deadline for SUMMER HOUSING APPLICATIONS. Each student that plans to live on campus for the summer must submit the online housing application through the Residential Life office.
  • May through August: Summer research dates. Dates vary by project, but are typically 4-8 weeks long.
  • Early to mid June: Responsible Conduct of Research Training, offered to all students and in some cases a requirement for research.
Students: How to Get Involved
Students: I've been offered a position, now what?
FORMS

Communication with your hosting department is key. Read the offer letter carefully and respond with your acceptance. Often you will need to fill out other forms as well, including a contract and a health information form. These should be turned in to the Office Manager of your hosting department.

Non-Hope Students  will also need to fill out a Health History Form (or a Health History form for International Students) and a TB form for the Health Clinic. If you are an international student from another institution, you will also need to fill out an International Student Arrival Information Form and mail it to the Hope College Paul G. Fried Center for Global Engagement prior to travel.

HOUSING

Are you going to be housed on campus while you research? If so, notify the Office Manager in your hosting department. In addition, you must fill out a Summer Housing Application Form on the Student Housing website by April 1. If you chose to live on campus, half of the cost of your on-campus housing (for up to ten weeks while conducting research) is covered by the college.

HUMAN RESOURCES

You may not have another job at Hope College while you are a full-time research student. In addition, many research contracts may stipulate that no other outside positions are acceptable while conducting research, especially when a second job could impact safety and productivity in the research lab setting.

Forms:
 If this is your first job at Hope College, you must fill out federal and state employment forms before you can start summer research. Employment forms require proof of identity and authorization to work and must be turned in at Human Resources, located at 100 East 8th Street Suite 210. We also encourage students to sign up for direct deposit through Human Resources.

Payment: Summer research students are paid on a stipend, not hourly. That means that you can expect to get a set amount deposited into your bank account every other week while you are a research student. The full amount of your research stipend will be outlined in your offer letter or contract. If you have any questions about payment, stipened, or payment schedule, contact us at sharp@hope.edu

Time and Effort: Human Resources requires all summer research students to track the number of hours they work on research over the course of the summer. This will not impact your pay but will be used to ensure college compliance with federal regulations. Time and Effort forms will be emailed to you in early May. These must be completed by you and signed-off on by your faculty mentor by the end of August.

Summer Events
WEEKLY EVENTS
  • Wednesday lunch discussions for students in the Social Sciences, Arts & Humanities divisions.
  • Thursday morning Faith & Scholarship Discussions for all students, staff, and faculty.
  • Thursday afternoon Ice Cream Social 12:30-1:15 for all student researchers and their mentors in the plaza outside the Schaap Science Center (or the Schaap Atrium in case of rain).
OTHER EVENTS AND TRAINING
  • Responsible Conduct of Research Training. This morning training session usually happens in early June. It is required by some grants and recommended for all summer research students. 
  • Chemical Safety Training is hosted by the NAS division and required for scienc research students
  • Departmental Seminars happen across campus in most departments or divisions
  • Student-led social events such as a weekly cookout at the beach coordinated by the Chemistry Club
  • Resume building workshops hosted by the Office of Research and Scholarship in collaboration with Career Services
Faculty and Staff Resources
DATABASE

Basic instructions for entering projects in SHARP.
The SHARP database is an online repository for projects and applications. It is used to streamline the hiring process and coordinate human resources, housing, and building access. Many departments advertise research opportunities and manage applications for projects through this system. For more detailed information on how to use the database, contact sharp@hope.edu. Trainings, either for a department or an individual, are always available.

WORKFLOW: FACULTY AND STAFF DUTIES
Workflow is determined by department and is flexible.
  • Faculty or Office Managers can enter projects in to the SHARP database.
  • Students apply (optional -- students may also be directly hired by the office manager).
  • Faculty determine student hires.
  • Faculty and Office Managers work together to draft and distribute offer letters and contracts and collect student responses and forms. Office managers and faculty also must check that students have all new hire documents to Human Resources before the start of summer research.
  • Office Managers hire students using the SHARP Database. This must be done by mid-April.

The Office of Research and Scholarship will:

  • Send faculty and students individualized Time and Effort forms to track student work time in early May. These will be filled out by students, signed by faculty mentors, and are due electronically in August.
  • Answer questions and troubleshoot issues with the SHARP database system
  • Provide templates of forms (contracts or acceptance letters, health forms, etc.), and conduct training for those new to the SHARP application system, as requested.

If you are interested in form templates, have questions about the hiring process, or would like information about training on the SHARP database, contact Laura McMullen, Program Manager for the Associate Dean for Research and Scholarship.

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