student doing research in a lab

About the Summer Scholars Program

Students supported by the Summer Scholars Program in 2023 will receive a stipend of $4,000 (the stipend is tax free) and the opportunity for on-campus housing (at the greatly reduced cost of $1500 for 2023, subject to the terms and conditions of Residence Life, cost of food NOT included, space limitations may apply) in order to allow them to devote a substantial period of time and effort to the pursuit of a creative scholarly project under the direction of a Saint Joseph’s University faculty mentor.

The nature of the work is open but the project must be both creative and largely independent, in order to allow students to experience the process of scholarly exploration and development. As such, the project is expected to be student centered with the faculty member serving as a guide and mentor in this creative scholarly process. Projects in which the Summer Scholar would act as an administrative assistant or “gopher” are thus not appropriate and will not be supported. It is important to note, however, that projects that form part of the faculty-mentors research or creative scholarly activities program ARE acceptable and, in fact, encouraged. 

Although the program requires that Summer Scholars work under the mentorship of a full-time Saint Joseph’s University Faculty Mentor, this requirement does not mean that the work must occur at Saint Joseph’s University. A number of students have been supported to engage in work, with an SJU faculty mentor, in other areas, both inside and outside of the U.S. The key requirements are that 1) there be sustained, direct interaction between the student and SJU faculty mentor and 2) that while the student may be working at another academic institution, they are doing so under the direct supervision of an SJU faculty mentor. Summer Scholars funds CANNOT be used to support work at other institutions under the direction of non-SJU faculty.

Given that one goal of the program is the development of close professional interaction between Summer Scholars and faculty mentors, it is expected that students and faculty will meet frequently throughout the course of the program to discuss the project and its progress. It is greatly preferred that such interaction be in person throughout the summer period. A few projects have involved contact between students and faculty mentors primarily by e-mail or phone. These instances were mainly limited to creative writing and literature projects, and such “mentoring at a distance” is not encouraged and should be a rare exception.

While Summer Scholars are expected to act in a professional capacity (i.e. there are no set work hours, the project, once defined, will be primarily performed by the student, etc.) the general expectations are that the equivalent of ten weeks of full time work (roughly 400 hours total) will be committed to the project. As such, a substantial body of work should be completed by the end of the summer period; it is this work that the student will present, both in the Summer Scholars book, published in the following fall semester, and at the Celebration of Student Achievement, the following spring. These requirements for the production of documentation of the scholarly work produced using the support of the program are born equally by the student and the faculty mentor and will influence subsequent applications for support through the program. Please note that given the magnitude of the work involved, students in the program may NOT hold a full-time job during the summer (part time employment of less than 20 hours per week may be acceptable, but it requires the approval, in advance, of both the prospective mentor and the program director).  Similarly, students may not be able to take summer courses due to the nature of the work involved in the project. Students MUST obtain written permission from their mentor in advance of taking summer classes or holding part-time jobs during the program and they must inform the program director.