/ Provost's Office


Every year 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 social gatherings 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 Hope’s annual A. Paul and Carol C. Schaap Celebration of Undergraduate Research and Creative Activity.


The SHARP application process allows faculty to submit their project abstracts and students to apply to research in those areas. Many departments use the SHARP application process to match students to projects. View available abstracts below.

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 process

Some offices do not use the SHARP application process to match mentors and students. If you do not see a project or department of interest 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 process).
  • 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.
  • End of March (typically): Each student that plans to live on campus for the summer must submit the online housing application through the Residential Life office. See the Residential Life page for this year's deadline. 
  • Early May: SHARP Program Manager sends individualized Time and Effort forms to students and their faculty mentors.
  • May through August: Summer research dates. Dates vary by project, but are typically 8-10 weeks long.
  • Early to mid June: Responsible Conduct of Research Training, offered to all students and in some cases a requirement for research.
  • Before the end of August: Faculty sign off on completed student Time & Effort forms and the Program Manager sends a summary of Time & Effort to Human Resources.
Guidelines for Student Research Wage Structure

Hope College bases the standard wage structure for student researchers on experience and necessary skills, emphasizing compliance, retention, and equity. Read more about our student wage structure.

Students: How to Get Involved
  • How to find a mentor or project
  • Summer Hope Academic Research Program (SHARP) Abstracts
    Check out our list of available summer research project abstracts (below) and submit a SHARP application. Keep in mind that not all summer projects are advertised on this page and application deadlines vary, so communication with your department of interest is key.
  • External Applicants
    While our summer research application is open and accessible to all students via this webpage, qualified Hope College students are given preference during the selection process. This preference is in line with our commitment to support our students and provide them with opportunities to excel in their academic pursuits. However, we recognize and value the diversity of perspectives and experiences that students from different institutions bring to the program. Should you apply, your application will be carefully reviewed, and we encourage you to highlight your unique skills, achievements, and passion for research in your application materials.

Students: I've been offered a position, now what?


Communication with your hosting department is key. Read the student agreement and offer letter carefully and respond with your acceptance. These should be turned in to the Office Manager of your hosting department.

Non-Hope Students  Additional forms and paperwork may be required. 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.


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 21


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.

 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: Most 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

Responsible Conduct of Research Training – TBD for Summer, 2024

Additional programming for Summer 2024 will be announced at a later date. 

Faculty and Staff Resources

Project Abstracts

View the Abstract section below for a listing of 2024 Summer Hope Academic Research projects. 


Workflow is determined by department and is flexible.
  • Faculty or Office Managers can enter project abstracts through the SHARP Google form.
  • 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 student agreements 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 student begins their research.
  • Office Managers hire students through a process to be determined druing the start of the spring semester, 2024. The hiring must be done by mid-April.

The Program Manager for SHARP will:

  • Answer questions and troubleshoot issues with the SHARP application and onboarding system. 
  • Coordinate and schedule RCR training.
  • Provide templates of forms (student agreements or acceptance letters, etc.), and conduct training for those new to the SHARP application process, as requested.
  • 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.

If you are interested in form templates, have questions about the hiring process, or would like information about training on the SHARP application process, contact Hillary DeBoer, Program Manager for SHARP.

Other Links

  • Biology – Jianhua Li
  • Chemistry – Elizabeth Sanford, Liz Hinkley
  • Computer Science – Mike Jipping, Chuck Cusack, Stephanie Doolittle 
  • Engineering – Mike Misovich, Cathy Stoel 
  • Geological & Environmental Science – Suzanne DeVries-Zimmerman, Cathy Stoel 
  • GWRI - Aaron Best, Brent Krueger, Jackie DeBoard
  • Kinesology – Brian Rider
  • Mathematics – Paul Pearson, Stephanie Doolittle 
  • Nursing – Melissa Bouws
  • Physics – Zachary Williams, Cathy Stoel 
  • Psychology – Mary Inman
  • Sociology & Social Work – Aaron Franzen
  • Social Sciences –Alyssa Cheadle, Ben Meagher
  • Arts & Humanities – Curtis Gruenler

Abstracts – Summer 2024

As a liberal arts college, we recognize students may have many interests and abilities that would contribute to a department outside their field of study. Hope College encourages interdisciplinary student interest in research. If you have questions on these abstracts, please get in touch with the faculty mentor or Hillary DeBoer, the SHARP program manager.

View available 2024 SHARP abstracts below. Complete the 2024 application and specify the projects you are interested in using this list. 
Project Title Summary Faculty Mentor Home Department (Faculty) Research Abstract/Project Description Position Qualifications This project recruits from the following areas: Duration (start date) Duration (end date) Work Hours Working Conditions & Physical Effort