Summer Research Institute

Summer Research Institute

The McNair program includes a Summer Research Program. During the session Scholars:

  • Conduct supervised research and Write a research report 
  • Investigate graduate programs of interest
  • Prepare to take the Graduate Record Examination (GRE)
  • Attend various seminars aimed toward preparing for the graduate school application process and enhancing writing/communication skills
  • Recieve a research stipend for completing the research and travel to conferences to present project
  • Submit a literature review and regular progress reports from both the scholar and their research mentor


    Scholars average about 20 hours per week or more working on their research. It is recommended that they not take any classes or work more than 10 hours per week at an outside job during the entire summer.

Before Engaging in Summer Research Program

The semester before the Summer Research Program all McNair Scholars are required to select a research mentor.  Please note that the McNair Scholar's research project not only advances the scholar's learning but also the research of the faculty mentor. In fact, the research project is to be a collaborative effort. Scholars tend to join a research project that the faculty member has initiated or identify a topic for a senior thesis and seek a faculty mentor whose research interests mesh with their own research goals.  Some McNair Scholars have also had the opportunity to travel out of the state or country to conduct their research and these options may be discussed with your prospective mentor depending on its relevance to your data collection.  Previous McNair scholars have conducted part of their research project abroad in places such as Ghana, Bilan, Croatia and Mexico.

After choosing a prospective faculty mentor, McNair Scholars then perform a faculty shadow.  Faculty shadows involve an intereview of the faculty member and sometimes sitting in on one of their graduate classes.  This activity works to acquaint scholars with the life of a university professor while helping create a relationship with the prospective research mentor.  It is during these early meetings that ideas for a research project are discussed and work on the research proposal will begin. After choosing a research direction, each scholar then submitts a research proposal one to two pages in length that must include the following:

  • The general question(s) under investigation
  • Methods used to address these questions
  • A short, working bibliography of readings
  • An explanation of how the scholar's work will relate to the faculty mentor's own research program.