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Undergraduate Advising and Research
Parker House, HB 6201
Hanover, NH
Phone:  603.646.3690
Fax:  603.646.8190

Sophomore Science and Junior Research Scholars: Faculty Information

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the Sophomore Science Scholar and Junior Research Scholar programs?

These programs provide opportunities for students to experience research first-hand by working with Dartmouth faculty in part-time, paid research assistantships.  Students apply in the spring term and engage in research for one or two terms during the sophomore year (for Sophomore Science Scholars) or junior year (for Junior Research Scholars).

Can any student participate in these programs?

Any first-year student is eligible to apply in the spring for the Sophomore Science Scholars program.  Students are eligible to apply for the Junior Research Scholars program starting in the spring of their sophomore year.

Can any faculty member affiliated with Dartmouth participate in these programs?

All tenured, tenure-track, and research-track faculty are eligible to supervise undergraduates in research.  The category of research-track faculty includes research assistant professors, research associate professors, and research professors.  Those with other types of appointments may supervise undergraduates with approval from the relevant department or program chair, director, or dean.  Examples of other types of appointments include: visiting faculty, adjunct faculty, emeritus faculty, lecturers, senior lecturers, instructors, and post-doctoral scholars.  This policy applies to faculty affiliated with the Arts & Sciences (undergraduate program), Thayer School of Engineering, Geisel School of Medicine, and Tuck School of Business.

How do I get a Sophomore Science or Junior Research Scholar?

The program does not match students with faculty mentors, and students are instructed to contact faculty directly about participating in the program.  Faculty are invited to submit project descriptions to the online project database, and many students use this tool to find potential faculty research mentors.  Once you have selected a student, the student will need to complete the application process, and faculty mentors will need to submit an on-line confirmation (you will receive an email requesting this confirmation after the student submits his/her application).  Note that these programs are competitive and funding is limited, so selection of a student does not guarantee acceptance into the program.

How many Scholars can I have?

Because funding is limited, it is suggested that faculty select only one Scholar per year as it is unlikely that the program will be able to fund more than one Scholar per faculty member.  However, faculty who are willing to fund Scholar stipends from their own accounts ($850 per term) may select additional Scholars.

What kind of work can I assign to my Scholar?

It is expected that Scholars will assist faculty in their research. Students participating in this program are not expected to generate their own independent research projects.  Students may become independent during the course of their Fellowship, but independence should not be expected at the outset of the fellowship.   The faculty research advisor and the student should set up a work schedule at the beginning of the term, and this schedule should include weekly or biweekly meetings between the student and he advisor.  This will help to ensure that projects remain on track and that students are receiving adequate supervision.

How many hours can I expect my Scholar to work?

Scholars are expected to work 7-12 hours per week during the term(s) of the assistantship.  The terms of the assistantship must be conducted during students' "ON" terms, unless there are extenuating circumstances and approval is given by both the professor and the Office of Undergraduate Advising and Research.  In general, students planning to conduct research during leave terms should apply for a research grant for that term.

How are Scholars compensated?

Scholars may receive $850 per term of the assistantship (one or two terms, based on the initial agreement between the student and faculty research mentor).  Stipends are paid a lump sum through the Office of Undergraduate Advising and Research at the END of each term, and this is contingent on a satisfactory evaluation by the faculty mentor.  Students are not required to complete time-sheets.  Payments for international students (non-resident aliens) are subject to a 14% tax.  Note that checks are not ordered until both the Scholar and the faculty research mentor have submitted the end-of-term confirmation forms.  Submission of the confirmation form by the faculty mentor confirms that the student has worked the requisite number of hours and that the student's work has been satisfactory.  If this is not the case, faculty should NOT submit the form, and they should contact the Office of Undergraduate Advising and Research to discuss options.

Can Scholars receive academic credit for their work?

No.  If the student is interested in getting academic credit for the research, then he/she should consult with the faculty research mentor about independent study credit instead of participating in the Scholars program.  Students receiving independent study credit for their research are not eligible to participate in the Scholars program during the term in which they are receiving credit.

Are there funds available for research expenses incurred by Scholars?

No.  Since Scholars are working as research assistants for faculty, it is expected that the faculty mentor will cover any research-related expenses.

How does the assistantship get started?

In the first week of the first term of the assistantship, the student and faculty research mentor should meet to address the following:  (1) work schedule:  what days/hours the Scholar will work; (2) expectations:  what the faculty mentor expects the Scholar to accomplish during the term; (3) meetings:  how often will the student and faculty mentor meet (preferably not less than once a week, and setting up a regular time is best); and (4) troubleshooting:  what the student should do if he/she has difficulty with any of the tasks. 

Are Scholars required to complete final report or presentation?

Scholars are required to present their work at the annual Karen E. Wetterhahn Science Symposium in the spring.  If they are off campus for a leave term or for an LSA or FSP, they are required to submit a final report.

What if I encounter problems with my Scholar?

If the Scholar is not meeting your expectations for quality or quantity of work, you should first discuss this directly with the Scholar.  In many cases, difficulties result from a mismatch in expectations, a misunderstanding about the level of competency a student has in a particular area, or simply miscommunication.  Often, the student and faculty mentor are able to resolve any difficulties by meeting to discuss the issues and to brainstorm solutions.  If this approach is not effective, please contact the Office of Undergraduate Advising and Research.

Last Updated: 10/21/15