College of Arts & Science

Humanities Summer Research Institute

This summer, up to 12 Undergraduate Research Fellows will be selected to participate in the Humanities Summer Research Institute. The institute provides intellectual community and regular support for students working on individual research projects in history, philosophy, literature, media, cultural studies, religion, anthropology, classics, rhetoric, modern languages, and other humanities subjects.  Most participants will use their time in the institute to complete a project for the Undergraduate Summer Scholars Program, the Dean’s Scholars Program, the Honors and Scholars Program, or departmental honors.  The institute is intended to give beginning researchers a sense of what it is like to join a vibrant, interdisciplinary community of scholars. 

Humanities research can be a lonely endeavor, involving painstaking archival work and lots of reading, writing, and rewriting.  The Research Institute provides a collegial environment where ambitious students can receive guidance, feedback, and support on a regular basis.  In 2018, the institute will be led by Professor Andrew Hebard (English). It will meet once a week for two hours.  Homework will be minimal and targeted at enhancing the research project.  In the institute, students will discuss the ups and downs of their work, share findings and writing, give and receive feedback, study models of excellence, and practice presenting their work to other scholars. Professor Hebard will help fellows set and meet goals, learn how to work around typical research problems, and make their findings clear to an interdisciplinary audience. Above all, the institute will offer community during a period of intense individual study.

The institute is intended to supplement and enhance, not replace, traditional one-on-one faculty supervision of undergraduate research projects. Student Research Fellows will continue to work closely  with individual faculty mentors who are expert in their fields.  Specialist faculty supervisors will remain instructors of record with full authority over their students’ projects, and they will continue to receive any professional expenses awarded for directing students projects.  Professor Hebard will liase with these faculty members, and he will work to help students achieve the goals set by their faculty supervisors.

Participation in the Summer Research Institute is free, and Research Fellows will receive $250 to support their research expenses.  This award will come in the form of a bursar credit upon completion of the program. 

In 2018, the Institute will meet Wednesday from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. for 10 of the 12 weeks between May 22 and August 8.  This is a residential program, but it can accommodate some student travel, provided absences are limited and students are able to participate electronically. The final schedule of sessions will take student travel into account.

Applications will begin in January 2019. To be notified when the application process begins please fill out this brief form. The application will be simple and requires only a statement of research interest, an unofficial transcript, and a tentative description of summer travel plans.  Selection of fellows will begin in February 2019 and continue on a rolling basis.  Criteria include intellectual development, participation in other Humanities Center research programs, soundness of project, and ability to be in Oxford during meetings. To participate, selected students must receive the approval of their research supervisor.