Program Purpose

The Goucher Summer Science Research Program offers undergraduate students the opportunity to work closely with faculty members on research projects. The program is designed for students who have taken relevant course(s) that pertain to faculty research, and wish to learn more about the graduate or professional school experience and pursue a research career in science.

  

Research Opportunities

Summer research opportunities are available in a variety of topics in biology, chemistry, mathematics and computer science, physics, and psychology. Each student will be working with a faculty mentor with special expertise in which the student is interested. Students will either assist the faculty member in an ongoing research project or work collaboratively with the mentor in designing a new project of mutual interest.

The program fosters:

  • hands-on experience in applying concepts learned in the classroom to a research project
  • research skills and writing
  • strategies for enhancing success in applying to graduate or professional schools or positions in industry
  • opportunities for informal discussion with other students and faculty
  • academic and professional career opportunities
  • social activities (e.g., volleyball, bowling, and BBQ parties)

For further details about specific research opportunities, please refer to the research interests of individual faculty members by reading about them on the departmental websites and/or by contacting professors directly. The Hoffberger Conversations series is also a good venue for learning about faculty-student research that is going on at Goucher.

Acceptance into a summer research position will depend on the student's qualifications (GPA, course background and other familiarity with the research area), availability (dates compatible with faculty member's summer schedule), and funding. A minimum GPA of 3.0 in science courses is normally required for consideration. It is the prerogative of individual faculty members to set their own criteria appropriate to their research areas (e.g., some faculty may require more background coursework than others, or may prefer or require a commitment to continued research during the academic year or ensuing semesters).

The research experience is typically supplemented by two student-faculty research talks. The first is in mid-June and will serve to informally introduce students' research projects to fellow students and faculty over pizza. Students give a second oral presentation about their research at the end of the program in late July or early August. Some visitors will attend this second presentation, likely including President Ungar, Provost Roy, and some alumnae/i who are interested in the research program.

For those who are interested in more formal conferences, another valuable experience is to present their work in a larger forum, such as the Annual Landmark Conference Summer Research Symposium in July among a number of colleges and universities. The conference features a talk by a keynote speaker and oral and/or poster presentations by students. This year's conference will be hosted at Goucher. Some labs have also presented at other summer conferences such as National Conference of Undergraduate Research, American Physical Society Conference, American Astronomical Society Conference, and Mathematical Association of America's National Summer Conference.

In the fall, students also hold a poster session, highlighting their summer research in the Goucher Student Research Symposium for Alumni/e Weekend and Explore Goucher Day.

Stipends, Travel, and Housing

Funding from government and private research foundations as well as generous donations from Goucher alumnae/i allow students to participate in this research. The program provides research-related expenses as much as possible and a stipend of approximately $400/week.

The college substantially subsidizes on-campus housing. Window AC in each room and shared kitchen facilities are available in the hall and will only be used by students in the science program.

Program Dates

The Goucher Summer Science Research entails 8-10 weeks of full-time research. Though dates are flexible in consultation with the faculty member, the program typically runs from early June to early August. Arrival and departure dates one week earlier or later may be arranged in a few cases if necessary. Students are encouraged to participate for the full weeks of the program.

Before the Program Begins

Students are required to:

  • Complete the tutorial on Responsible Conduct for Research found at http://www.responsibleresearch.org/. In line with National Science Foundation guidelines, these tutorials must be completed prior to the beginning of research activities.
  • Keep an electronic portfolio describing their research to document their summer research experience and integrate it into their Goucher education. To set up a portfolio, please email Dr. Esther Gibbs the Goucher login name and the student ID number. An email with instructions on how to create a portfolio will be sent.

After the Program Completes

Students are expected to present a poster at the Annual Science Research Symposium at Goucher, usually held on one of the Explore Goucher Days in the fall.

Other Research Opportunities
For a more comprehensive list of summer research opportunities, please visit here.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I apply to this program?

Speak directly to the faculty member whose research interests you.  You may learn about research interests of individual faculty members on the departmental websites and/or by contacting professors directly.  The Hoffberger Conversations series is also a good venue for learning about faculty-student research that is going on at Goucher.  Acceptance into a summer research position is done by individual faculty members and depends on the student's qualifications (GPA, course background and other familiarity with the research area), availability (dates compatible with faculty member's summer schedule), and funding.

I don't have any research experience.  Am I eligible?

Yes!  Although rising juniors and seniors are given preference, students may start doing research as early as the summer after freshman year.  Competitive candidates have a minimum GPA of 3.0 in science coursework taken at Goucher.  Likewise, evidence of coursework pertinent to the research topic is important. 

I'll be graduating from Goucher in May.  Am I eligible?

In order to be eligible, students must still be undergraduates during the summer in which they participate in the program.  Therefore, if you will have received a undergraduate degree by the summer, you would ordinarily not be eligible for Goucher Summer Science Program.  A number of other programs are listed in the Other Research Opportunities.

How much time do students spend doing research?

The Goucher Summer Science Program is a full-time program, and students function more like research scientists, rather than hourly employees.  In order for a student to accomplish his or her goals, therefore, some might spend more time doing research at times.  Consult with your faculty mentor. 

Where will I stay?

A block of rooms has been allocated to the science program.  These rooms have window AC units; kitchen facilities are available on this floor and will only be used by students in the Science Research Program.  Student Community will email you your room assignments by the end of May.  Some of the rooms have one bed and some have three.  The charge for the summer is $750-800 per student, and this cannot be prorated if you choose to stay for a shorter period of time.

How do I get paid?

You need to be on Goucher Student payroll.  Go to the Human Resources Office (lower level of Dorsey Center) and complete the appropriate paperwork.  You will need to present a birth certificate or passport or other original document providing US citizenship in order for you to be paid this summer.  You will be paid biweekly.