Deadline and Submission Guidelines

All application materials, including letters of recommendation, must be received at the Office of Undergraduate Research no later than 11:59 p.m. on Monday, April 1, 2019. Incomplete applications will not be considered.

Student applicants must submit the first four (4) items below, saved as PDF files, in a single email to the Office of Undergraduate Research . Faculty and staff should send letters of recommendation in PDF format directly to the Office of Undergraduate Research at the same address, with the name of the student applicant indicated clearly in the subject line of the email.

Required Materials

1. Application Form. Complete the attached form. You and your proposed faculty mentor must each type your own name in the relevant fields at the bottom of the form as an electronic signature or add and electronic signature.

2. Collaborative Research Agreement (~750 words). This is a research statement that you and your proposed faculty mentor should draft collaboratively. The statement should succinctly address the following: a) the purpose of the project, including what you hope to learn or discover and the faculty member’s brief assessment of its potential contribution to the field; b) why you are interested in this research; c) how the research aligns with your proposed faculty mentor’s academic interests or expertise; d) what role you will play in the research project; e) what your preliminary research questions are; f) what methods you might use and why those methods are appropriate for your research aims; and g) a brief work plan that includes a schedule of how your research could be divided over two summers and what you and your proposed faculty mentor anticipate you will produce during those periods of time.

This statement should be: a) drafted by the student, following one or more conversations with the proposed mentor; then b) sent to the proposed mentor for review; and finally c) signed by the student, mentor, and chair or director of the mentor’s department or program. The student and proposed mentor signatures on the attached form represent the faculty member’s commitment to mentor you during the summer and your commitment to take her or his counsel seriously. The signature of the chair or director represents the department or program’s commitment to identifying an alternative mentor should a situation arise–e.g., a late change in the mentor’s summer plans–that would prevent the selected faculty member from serving as a mentor. Each individual must review the agreement and type her or his own name in the relevant field or add an electronic signature.

3. Personal Statement (~500 words). In this essay, address how you arrived at Oberlin, your academic interests and experiences, your future educational and career plans, and your participation in activities that demonstrate your ability to work both independently and collaboratively. Consider how those things align with your research interests.

4. Unofficial Transcript. Include your current unofficial transcript from PRESTO saved as a PDF.

5. Proposed Mentor Statement. A letter from the proposed OCRF faculty mentor addressing all of the following:

  • the soundness of the proposed research project
  • the field(s) and/or discipline(s) in which the proposed research project is located
  • the fit of the proposed research project with the faculty member's own research and academic interests 
  • what contributions the applicant's research stands to make to the field(s) and/or discipline(s) and to the faculty member's own research and teaching
  • the proposed faculty mentor's travel or leave plans for all of summer 2019 and summer 2020
  • the proposed faculty mentor's plans for ensuring that the student receives uninterrupted mentorship, should the mentor be away from campus or on leave during any portion of that time

6. Two Letters of Recommendation. Recommenders should be members of the Oberlin College or Conservatory faculty or staff. At least one recommendation must be from someone who has taught you in a class. Recommenders should know you and your academic work well enough to comment in an informed way on your potential for summer research and ultimately for a professional or academic career. If the proposed faculty mentor of your research project fits that description, she/he/they should be one of your recommenders. In this case, the proposed faculty mentor can address all of the items in number (5) above in her/his/their recommendation letter and need not submit a separate statement.

7. Personal Interview. As part of the selection process, we may contact you to schedule an interview