/ Mellon Initiatives

Summer Research Fellowships

The Mellon Scholars Program offers the opportunity for students to develop a high quality summer research or creative project with the support and guidance of a faculty mentor.

View student summer research projects 

The Summer Fellowship Program provides full-time (40 hours) weekly employment for a student to conduct research or research-based creative production.

“I collaborated with three other students and Dr. Jeanne Petit to create an online exhibit about the 1918 United War Work Campaign. We spent eight weeks researching, writing, and constructing our website, including 10 days at the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C. To any Mellon scholar considering a summer project, I say dream big, put yourself out there and work hard!”

—Miriam Roth

Mellon scholars have traveled to Rwanda, France, Kosovo, Spain, Boston, Chicago, Philadelphia and Washington, D.C., to conduct their summer research in world-class archives and libraries.

Applying for a summer fellowship

Students should start developing project ideas with their faculty mentor, the DLA fellow and DLA librarian, as well as the reference librarian as early as December or January. Students are strongly encouraged to submit the proposal to the program director by the middle of February for feedback and revisions. Applications are due on March 1. Proposals are considered by the Mellon Executive Committee, which makes the final decisions. Applicants will be notified of their application status by the beginning of spring break. Students apply through the online form and should be prepared to include the following elements, in the following order:

  1. Student name(s), ID number, name of mentor, project title, 150-word abstract, research start and end dates, requested research funds ($358 per week) for up to eight weeks, travel costs and itemized travel expenses, campus housing and academic building access needs
  2. Description of project goals, research question and method
  3. Description of how digital tools will be integrated into the project
  4. Description of prior preparation for the project (coursework, experience with digital tool, etc.)
  5. Description of how project was developed, including how mentor, DLA fellow, DLA librarian and reference librarian were consulted (it is required to meet with all of these people)
  6. Description of final form the project will take and plans for NCUR, CUR and other venues for dissemination
  7. Description of how project fits into student's academic and career plans
  8. Week by week plan of action

The application must also include a letter from the proposed faculty mentor (emailed to mellonscholars@hope.edu) on or before March 1, and should assess the quality of the student’s application proposal (i.e., the value of the project, the feasibility of the work plan, and the student’s preparation for the project). The faculty mentor’s letter also should state how the project would relate to the mentor’s other summer activities, and he or she should confirm an understanding of the mentoring commitment as outlined in the Mellon Scholars Program mentoring guidelines.

Students must attend at least one information session prior to submitting a proposal to the summer fellowship program. Students who receive fellowship funding must also attend the registration session in April. Students traveling off campus must fill out the appropriate risk and responsibility forms prior to leaving campus. (See policy for off-campus travel in the student handbook.)

Researching in the summer

Researching at Hope College in the summer provides students with a lively community of fellow students engaged in research from all disciplines. Students many sign up for library space in which to meet with other student researchers, and there are weekly lunches and ice cream socials in which to socialize and learn about each other’s research projects.

Mellon scholars and their faculty mentors are expected to participate in the lunches and presentation venues for summer scholars that are sponsored by the Arts and Humanities Division. The summer project should produce results that can be presented by the end of the summer, such as at the Summer Research Showcase at the end of August and the Celebration of Undergraduate Research and Creative Performance, held in April. Summer Mellon Research Fellows are also expected to apply for the NCUR conference, which takes place annually in the spring.

Summer fellowship awards

The Summer Research Fellowship Program provides research funding for up to 8 weeks. Additional support for travel and accommodation expenses may be provided to students needing to travel to special archives and libraries. Students must apply separately for this support, which will be distributed depending on available funds. 

Faculty mentors receive an honorarium of $125 per week, with a maximum of $1000 for an 8-week project.