The ES Program hosts two student research programs, the F. Russell Cole Student Research Fellows Program and the Hollis Grant for Independent Research.


Guidelines for the F. Russell Cole Student Research Fellows Program in Environmental Studies

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Introduction

The F. Russell Cole Student Research Fellows program in Environment Studies at Colby College supports meaningful research experiences for students focused on the environment. Student award winners receive a research grant and are named Cole Student Research Fellows for the academic year of their award. The Cole Fellows program enhances Colby’s commitment to undergraduate environmental education and research, and contributes to Colby’s broader commitment to provide research opportunities for students. The Cole Fellows Program carries the name and legacy of one of Colby’s leading teacher-scholars. Oak Professor of Biological Sciences emeritus F. Russell Cole, a co-founder of Colby’s nationally-recognized Environmental Studies Program, who encouraged generations of students to pursue environmental research. The Cole Fellows program continues this legacy by helping to ensure that Colby environmental studies students have access to environmentally focused research experiences regardless of their financial backgrounds, and strengthen Colby’s reputation as global leader for undergraduate environmental education.

Eligibility

Current Colby students with a demonstrated commitment to environmental studies and engaged in meaningful environmental research are eligible to apply for funding from the F. Russell Cole Student Research Fellows Program. Colby students may elect to pursue a project with a Colby faculty member, with faculty or staff at a partner organization, agency, or firm, or with another faculty at another college or university. If a student elects to pursue an experience at an institution that is not affiliated with Colby, he or she will be required to secure a research sponsor on campus who will mentor and evaluate the student’s experience.

Guidelines

F. Russell Cole Student Research Fellowship grants will be awarded competitively. Award amounts will vary depending on the quality and feasibility of the research proposal, availability of funds, number and quality of applications, student financial need, and any other factors deemed important by the grant committee. Students are encouraged to consult with the Environmental Studies Program Director or Environmental Studies Coordinator to discuss grant guidelines and project ideas before submitting their proposals. Successful candidates will be named F. Russel Cole Student Research Fellows for the academic year in which their awards are granted. [q: how address summer?]

Deadline

Review of applications will begin 5:00pm, Friday October 13 for January term and 5:00pm, Friday, March 2 for the summer.

Submission: Application materials should include a completed Cole Student Research Fellows Grant proposal cover sheet and associated materials as indicated on cover sheet. Please submit applications electronically to [ColeFellows@colby.edu]. Students are responsible for making sure any required reference or supporting letters are submitted by the deadline.

The Research Proposal

Proposals, including a detailed budget, should not exceed five pages in length. Proposals should be formatted using one-inch margins, 12 point Times New Roman font, page numbers, and references that follow honors thesis guidelines. Proposals should be sent as one document with a title that corresponds to this “YourLastName_ColeFellowsApp_Date”. Proposals should include the following information and headings:

  1. Name of applicant, major, and class year
  2. Project title
  3. Name and affiliation of Colby College sponsor and/or name(s) and affiliation(s) of off-campus sponsors
  4. Abstract: A concise (<250 word) description of the proposal. The abstract should summarize for reviewers the environmental problem, research question(s), proposed methods, dates, collaborators and institutions, requested budget, and expected outcome
  5. Introduction: A concise description of the environmental problem, research question(s), location, and relevant background that demonstrates familiarity with important literature in the area. Include a brief statement of how this funding will enable and/or enhance your proposed research.
  6. Research Methods Description: A detailed and informative description of the proposed research plan, including:
  • The expected start and end date of the research project being funded.
  • Location(s) where the proposed research will take place, including a justification explaining why the proposed location(s) are appropriate.
  • Methods that will be used to conduct your research, including any necessary field work, equipment, and necessary data or source materials. Typically, methods should reflect a recognized approach and be supported by appropriate references.
  • Summary of proposed research activities and a tentative schedule of activities. Students proposing to travel to more than one location must include a detailed timeline and include relevant locations, activities, and contacts.
  • Detailed list of people, agencies, or organizations that you intend to collaborate with, interview, or who will otherwise support the proposed research. Note any that you have already contacted.
  • Brief description explaining why the proposed January or summer travel and research activities are necessary for the successful completion of the research project. Defend why your proposed plans are viable within the space of a month (January) or longer period (Summer). Also, address any issues such as safety, cost, or feasibility, which may be of concern to the committee.
  • Confirmation that Colby Institutional Review Board (IRB) approval has been granted or is not needed (including the IRB approval number).
  1. Budget: Provide a detailed budget, including expected costs related to travel, lodging, food, and other expenses. Budget proposals must be presented to the ES Program Coordinator for review and comment before being formally submitted as part of the application materials.
  • Budget should be formatted as a table with columns for item description (organized by category, if necessary, such as “Lodging”), unit cost (e.g., estimated lodging cost per night), number of units (e.g., number of nights), and total cost for each item (e.g., total lodging expenses).
  • It should be clear from the description of the project why you are requesting grant funding for the particular expenses outlined in your budget.
  • Include a description of other funds you intend to use or intend to apply for (e.g., funds from Office of the Provost, Goldfarb Center, Presidential Scholar grants, funds from faculty research grants, and other funding available).
  1. Research Output: A brief description of proposed research outcomes (e.g., theses, papers, posters, talks, other outputs). Please indicate if this is part of independent study, honors thesis research, or other credit.
  2. Relationship to Academic Program, Impacts, and Dissemination: A concise description of (1) how the proposed research is informed by your academic coursework and experiences, (2) how this opportunity will influence your future plans after college, and (3) what you will do upon returning to campus to report on the experience publically (e.g., presentation to Environmental Studies Program, honors thesis, presentation at the Colby Liberal Arts Symposium).

Students must request one letter of support from a Colby sponsor and if the research involves a non-Colby mentor, one letter from the off-campus sponsor. It is the responsibility of the student to make sure the letters are delivered by the appropriate deadline.

Fellows must provide a detailed itinerary and emergency contact information to the Environmental Studies Program prior to travel using Cole Student Research Fellow funds.

Reimbursable Expenses and Budget

The purpose of the grant is to offset research costs, not provide wage compensation. Economy in budget planning is encouraged. Examples of items for reimbursement may include travel to and from the research site(s), lodging, food, transportation, visa expenses, communication, approved equipment and research materials, and other items approved by the committee on a per case basis. The committee may choose to not approve budget requests fully or at all at its discretion based on factors related to the individual proposal, the total number of successful applicants, and other demands on the fund endowment. Students should apply for a grant from the All-College Fund for Special Student Projects managed through the Office of the Provost to help meet proposed research project expenses. Receipts documenting expenditures during the research travel should be submitted to the Environmental Studies Program after return to campus.

Students are responsible for any expenses or liabilities incurred during their research travel that is in excess of the approved Cole Fellows award. Award recipients are solely responsible for ensuring their own safety during the proposed research experience. Students are responsible for checking on any travel warnings (e.g., from the US State Department). Colby College, the Environmental Studies Program, and faculty and staff associated with the grant are not responsible for health or safety issues that may arise as a result of this award. If there is the potential for these issues to arise, a full explanation should be included in the application.


Guidelines for Hollis Grant for Independent Research

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Objectives and Eligibility

The Hollis Grant is designed to support international or domestic travel during the January term or summer to support independent research projects or participate in international internships by Environmental Studies majors.  Applicants should have an overall GPA of 3.5 or higher, but can petition the program if they do not meet this criterion.  An Environmental Studies Program faculty serving as the research project mentor must support Hollis Grant proposals.  Senior ES majors who are participating in year-long honors theses or independent study projects in international locations may apply for January travel.  Sophomore and Junior ES majors pursuing an internship in an international location may apply for January or summer travel.  Students are encouraged to consult the Environmental Studies Program Director or Environmental Studies Coordinator to discuss grant requirements and guidelines before submitting their proposals.

Amount of the Awards and the Grants Cycle

Grants are awarded by, and at the discretion of, the Environmental Studies Program Hollis Grant Committee. Grant proposals will be reviewed based on the quality of the proposal, the feasibility of the project, academic qualifications of the applicant, and any other factors deemed important by the grant committee. Awards typically will not exceed $1,500 per proposal although exceptions for international travel will be considered.  Students may only submit one grant proposal. The application deadline is Friday October 13 for January term and spring semester, and 5:00pm, Friday, March 2 for the summer . Application materials should include a completed Hollis Grant cover sheet and associated materials as indicated on the cover sheet.  Please submit electronically to leslie.lima@colby.edu. Hollis Grant awards will be announced four weeks after the respective deadlines.

The Research Proposal

Proposals, including a detailed budget, should not exceed four pages in length. Proposals should be formatted using one-inch margins, 12 point Times New Roman font, page numbers, and references that follow honors thesis guidelines.  Proposals should be sent as one document with a title that corresponds to this “Hollisapp<your last name>”.  Proposals should include the following information and headings:

  1. Project title or agency name, name of applicant, major, and name of faculty mentor.
  2. Abstract: A concise (<250 word) description of the proposal.
  3. Introduction: A concise description of the research question, location, and relevant background that demonstrates familiarity with important literature in the area.
  4. Research Description: A detailed and informative description of the proposed research plan, including:
  • Location(s) where the proposed research would take place, including a justification explaining why the proposed location(s) are appropriate.
  • Methods that will be used to conduct your research, including any necessary field work, equipment, and necessary data or source materials. Typically, methods should reflect a recognized approach and be supported by appropriate references.
  • Summary of proposed research activities and a tentative travel schedule. This schedule should be organized by week and include relevant location, activities, and contacts.
  • Detailed list of people, agencies, or organizations that you intend to collaborate with, interview, or would otherwise support your research. Note any that you have already contacted.
  • Brief description explaining why the proposed January or summer travel and research activities are necessary for the successful completion of the honors or independent study research project.  Defend why your proposed plans are viable within the space of a month (January) or longer period (Summer). Also, address any issues such as safety, cost, or feasibility, which may be of concern to the committee.
  1. Budget: Provide a detailed budget, including expected costs related to travel, lodging, food, and other expenses. Budget should be formatted as a table with columns for item description (organized by category, if necessary, such as “Lodging”), unit cost (e.g., estimated lodging cost per night), number of units (e.g., number of nights), and total cost for each item (e.g., total lodging expenses). It should be clear from the description of the project why you are requesting grant funding for the particular expenses outlined in your budget. Include a description of other funds you intend to use or intend to apply for (e.g., funds from Office of the Provost, Goldfarb Center, funds from faculty research grants).
  2. Grant impacts: A brief description of how this opportunity may influence your overall research project and future plans after college.

Reimbursable Expenses and Budget

The purpose of the grant is to offset research costs.  Economy in budget planning is encouraged. Items for reimbursement may include travel to and from the research site(s), visa expenses, local travel (taxi, metro), food, lodging, communication, approved equipment and research materials, photocopies, and other items approved by the committee on a per case basis. Stipends are not permitted. The committee may choose to not approve budget requests fully or at all at its discretion based on factors related to the individual proposal, the total number of successful applicants, and other demands on the fund endowment.  Students are expected to apply for a grant from the All-College Fund for Special Student Projects managed through the Office of the Provost (maximum of $500) to help meet proposed research project expenses. Receipts documenting expenditures during the research travel should be submitted to the ES Program after return to campus. Students are responsible for any expenses or liabilities incurred during their research travel that is in excess of the Hollis Grant award.