Butler Summer Institute
2020 Butler Summer Institute
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the 2020 Butler Summer Institute is canceled. We hope to return in 2021.
The Butler Summer Institute (BSI) is the university's preeminent undergraduate research program that allows students to pursue a significant research question, contribute to a scholarly conversation, or produce creative work while being mentored by a faculty member and supported by a peer community comprised of equally enthusiastic student researchers and artists. All full-time Butler University students who have not yet earned a baccalaureate or PharmD* degree are eligible to apply for the BSI.
Those accepted into the Butler Summer Institute will:
- Receive a $4,500 award and free on-campus accommodations
- Participate in professional development opportunities throughout the Institute
- Engage in a transformational learning experience
- Produce work worthy of publication or presentation at international, national, or regional conferences
Due to limited funding and the Program for Undergraduate Research Committee's desire to fund as many projects as possible, students may only participate in the BSI program once during their tenure at Butler University. A student selected as a CHASE Scholar may apply for the BSI only if the proposed BSI project is significantly different from the student's CHASE Scholars project.
*Pharmacy majors are encouraged to apply to the BSI as rising P2s.
- October 4, 2:00 - 3:00 PM (GH 108): BSI Information Session
- November 1: Statement of Intent deadline (Note: this statement is optional—students may still apply for BSI if they do not submit this form)
- December 6: Prospective Faculty Mentor luncheon--Invitation only (Invitations to the luncheon will be emailed to prospective faculty mentors whose students submitted Statements of Intent to Apply)
- January 31, noon: Completed proposal deadline (including Faculty Mentor Recommendation). All proposals must be submitted no later than noon via email. Be sure each proposal includes the BSI Proposal Cover Page. Proposals submitted after the deadline will not be reviewed.
- March: BSI Scholars Announced
- March 27, 2:00-3:00 PM (AU 326): Mandatory Meeting for BSI Scholars
- 2020 BSI: May 18 - July 18
The BSI Information Packet provides an overview of the program (including the responsibilities for both BSI Scholars and Faculty Mentors) as well as the project proposal guidelines, checklist, cover page, and evaluation rubric the Programs for Undergraduate Research Committee will be using to evaluate the BSI Proposals.
All applicants must include the Proposal Cover Page as the first page of their application. You may access the fillable form via the link above, save it, and then merge it with your final proposal.
BSI Faculty Mentor Recommendation
All applicants must have their proposed faculty mentor complete a recommendation form. To access the recommendation form, click here. To view the questions on the Faculty Recommendation Form, click here.
To assist applicants understand how their proposals will be evaluated by the Programs for Undergraduate Research Committee, the rubric used to evaluate BSI proposals may be found on the last page of the BSI Information Packet.
Do you have a research question you would like to pursue? Have you identified a specific contribution you can make to a scholarly conversation? Are you prepared to produce a creative work? If so, then BSI is a program you should definitely consider.
BSI Scholars are typically sophomores or juniors who have completed multiple courses related to the project topic, conducted research in one or more courses, and intend (or are required) to write a thesis.
BSI Scholars do not act independently; thus, consider applying for BSI if you have the time to commit to your own research as well as being an active member in a community of scholars. The program begins mid-May and concludes mid-July. During those weeks, you will live in campus housing, share many meals with BSI students and mentors, participate in a service project, attend events around Indianapolis, work intensely on your project, present your project, and feel an amazing sense of accomplishment at the completion of the Institute. A key component, one you should not overlook, is that we expect you to show interest in the work of your colleagues, listen attentively when they talk about the trials and tribulations of their research, and speak as clearly and simply as possible about your own project that fascinates you but may be quite unfamiliar to others. In other words, be present, be engaged, and be open to all that BSI has to offer. Your participation in BSI is considered to be a full-time job; thus, you may not participate in outside work or take classes during the BSI dates without prior agreement from the Director of the Summer Institute.
If you are confident there is a project you want to pursue and are certain you can devote the time to the Institute, then it's time to ask: Who among the faculty is the best person to serve as my mentor on this project? For some, a faculty member may have already encouraged you to pursue BSI and so your question has been answered. For others, you may wish to consider metnors who have taught courses relevant to the project you plan to pursue; consider faculty who teach a research methods course, courses that have provided the historical background of your topic, or courses that provide the latest thinking on your topic. Given the nature of the solo project, it is essential that you have completed some combination of courses that focus on research methods, historical overviews, and contemporary perspectives related to your topic. In addition, those courses connect you to faculty who have the expertise you need from a mentor and, just as important, who share your interest in a particular area of inquiry. Those are the faculty you should meet with and talk to about the project you are considering. Ask them for feedback, let them steer you in the direction of a solid question, the right background material, and ultimately a feasible plan for your project. If you feel there is a shared interest in your project, ask them about their interest in and availability to serve as your BSI mentor.
Please note: Students are only eligible to participate in the Butler Summer Institute once during their academic tenure at Butler.
Applicants: Please refer to the BSI Information Packet for detailed information about completing your BSI Proposal and to access the Cover Page that must accompany each application (this information is found in the above tab titled "BSI Information Packet, Proposal Cover Page, and Evaluation Rubric."
As a reminder, all proposals are due February 1 at noon via e-mail (applications received after the deadline will not be reviewed).
Mentors: You will need to complete a Faculty Mentor Recommendation Form that must be submitted no later than noon on February 1.
To assist students and mentors in developing projects suitable for BSI, we invite you to review the proposals of past BSI participants. Given that we encourage students from all disciplines to apply to the BSI, we have included as many subject areas as possible. If your discipline is not represented here, please feel free to contact the CHASE Office to see if we have one on file for you to review.
- Astronomy/Physics--Adam Hibshman
- Biology--Julie Kolnik
- Chemistry--Daniel Kroupa
- Communication Studies--Kate Siegfried
- Creative Writing--Andrew Erlandson
- Dance--Morgan Sicklick
- History--Katie Hammit
- History--Abby Neuman
- Music Theory--Marcella Columbus
- Pharmacy--AJ Teare
- Psychology--Karina Hamamouche
- Sociology--Brad Vogelsmeier
One incredible benefit of participating in the Butler Summer Institute is the opportunity to apply for the BSI Travel to Present Grant. Each BSI Scholar may be awarded up to $500 to present their competitively-reviewed research produced from their BSI project at an international, national, or regional conference.
The grant proposal is a fillable form. As such, it just needs to be opened, filled in, saved, and emailed as an attachment to the BSI e-mail account at least 2 weeks prior to your travel. Once the application is received, the BSI Director will review the application, verify that the Scholar's work was competitively selected, and will alert you to the amount of funding you will receive from CHASE. Once grant recipients return from the conference, they must submit their receipts within seven (7) days to the CHASE office to begin the reimbursement process.
Due to Butler University's reimbursement policies, all expenses covered by the grant (e.g., airfare, conference registration, meals) must be paid for by the student. In addition, the BSI Director is happy to assist BSI Scholars who have received the TTP grant by purchasing airline tickets on her procurement card; therefore, it is best to complete the BSI TTP grant as soon as you receive confirmation that your paper/poster has been accepted.
Remember, the opportunity for BSI Scholars to apply for this grant remains with them throughout their time at Butler; that is, if Scholars don’t present at a conference during the academic year in which they participated in the BSI, they may still submit their BSI research to a conference the following academic year and apply for the travel grant at that time.
Please note: Due to limited funding, BSI Scholars who receive the BSI Travel to Present Grant are not eligible to apply for the university-wide Travel to Present Grant.
Catherine Bain, Psychology Major, Criminology
Faculty Mentor: Dr. Krista Cline
Project Title: Evaluating the Stratification of Justice: The Relationships between Race, Gender, and Sentencing Length
Courtney Brown, Chemistry Major
Faculty Mentor: Dr. Mark Macbeth
Project Title: Comparison of Double-Stranded RNA Binding Motifs between Different Organisms
Morgan Buckley, Health Sciences Major
Faculty Mentor: Dr. Jennifer Kowalski
Project Title: Investigation of the Role of the FSHR-1 protein in Regulating Neuromuscular Synapse Structure in C. elegans
Meg Caesar, Communication Sciences & Disorders Major
Faculty Mentor: Dr. Tonya Bergeson-Dana
Project Title: Language Deprived Environments: The Effects of Neonatal Intensive Care Unit Exposure and Hearing Loss on Speech-Language Development
Ashleigh Doub, Communication Sciences & Disorders Major
Faculty Mentor: Dr. Mary Gospel
Project Title: Comparison of Language Coherence Measures in English and American Sign Language
Melissa Evans, Psychology & Critical Communication Major
Faculty Mentor: Dr. Jennifer Berry
Project Title: Anxiety Inducing Effects of Alcohol and Caffeine in C57BL/6J Mice
Brittany Head, Political Science & Religion Major
Faculty Mentor: Dr. Greg Shufeldt
Project Title: Revolving Door Practices and Access to Policy Making
Andrew Hesterhagen, Chemistry Major
Faculty Mentor: Dr. Carl DeAmicis
Project Title: Expanding the Use of Cyrene as a Sustainable Solvent for Industry
Abigail Hopkins, Violin Performance Major
Faculty Mentor: Dr. Becky Marsh
Project Title: Early-Career Teacher Perception of Music Teacher Education Programs in Indiana
Nathan Junod, Biology Major
Faculty Mentor: Dr. Christopher Stobart
Project Title: Identifying the Susceptibility of Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV) Strains to Inactivation by Human beta-Defensins
Mahmood Kedo, Biology Major
Faculty Mentor: Dr. Sean Berthrong
Project Title: Prevalence of Aerial Microbiomes in Male, Female, and Gender-Neutral Restrooms
Sarah Knight, Health Sciences Major
Faculty Mentor: Dr. Amy Peak
Project Title: Health Effects, Generational Differences, and Social Determinants of JUULing
Eshaan Lothe, Healthcare & Business Major
Faculty Mentor: Dr. Kristin Nichols
Project Title: Antibiotic Prophylaxis in Pediatric Surgical Patients with Beta-Lactam Allergies
Spencer Lybrook, Biology Major
Faculty Mentor: Dr. Sean Berthrong
Project Title: Determination of Net Nitrogen Mineralization Rates of Urban Farm Soils in Indianapolis
Kyla Maloney, Pharmacy & MBA Major
Faculty Mentor: Dr. John Hertig
Project Title: Patient Harm Associated with Illegal Online Drug Sellers: A Systematic Review
Alex McGrath, Music Composition & Computer Science Major
Faculty Mentor: Dr. Frank Felice
Project Title: Investigating and Applying the Techniques Used in Composing Tone Poems
Elise Merchak, Astrophysics & Astronomy Major
Faculty Mentor: Dr. Brian Murphy
Project Title: A Detailed Analysis of the Variable Stars in Globular Cluster NGC 6402 (M14)
Paul W. Merkamp, Computer Science & Music Performance Major
Faculty Mentor: Dr. Jonathan Sorenson
Project Title: Work Smarter, Not Harder: Creating a Musician’s Companion Application
Benjamin Nick, Biology & Chemistry Major
Faculty Mentor: Dr. Christopher Stobart
Project Title: Characterizing the Conservation and Functionality of the Interdomain Loop (IDL) of Mouse Hepatitis Virus (MHV) Protease nsp5
Tom Pieciak, Jazz Studies Major
Faculty Mentor: Dr. Matt Pivec
Project Title: Songs of the Sinners: Jazz Music and Spirituality
Julia Pomeroy, Chemistry Major
Faculty Mentor: Dr. Stacy O'Reilly
Project Title: Reactivity of Tungsten Tris (1-pyrazolyl)methane Coordination Complexes
Sam Ross, Biology Major
Faculty Mentor: Dr. Julia Angstmann
Project Title: An Urban Flora: Tree, Shrub, and Herbaceous Cover, Frequency and Density of Holcomb Woods
Umayr Shaikh, Spanish & Chemistry Major
Faculty Mentor: Dr. Lindsay Lewellyn
Project Title: Exploring Size Scaling Relationships in the Developing Fruit Fly Egg
Abby Shores, Biology Major
Faculty Mentor: Dr. Jennifer Kowalski
Project Title: Exploring the Role of ACY and PKA Proteins in FSHR-1 Control of Neuromuscular Signaling in C. elegans
Samantha Stanley, Biomedical Engineering & Biology Major
Faculty Mentor: Dr. Michael Samide
Project Title: Development of a Paper Oddy Test
Alex Stark, Chemistry Major
Faculty Mentor: Dr. Anne Wilson
Project Title: The Synthesis of Indigo Using Electrochemitry
Viktor Stjepic, Biology & Philosophy Major
Faculty Mentor: Dr. Phil Villani
Project Title: Antimicrobial Defense Against Bacterial Pathogens within Bryophytes
Madeleine Wilson, Chemistry Major
Faculty Mentor: Dr. John Esteb
Project Title: Synthesis of Fluorescein Derivatives for Bacterial Esterase Characterization
Reagan Wohlford, Biology Major
Faculty Mentor: Dr. Lindsay Lewellyn
Project Title: Assessing the Role of Dock in Follicle Cells of Drosophila melanogaster Egg Chambers
Chris Zeheralis, Pharmacy Major
Faculty Mentor: Dr. Jeremy Johnson
Project Title: Direct Observation of Drug Binding to Acyl Protein Thioesterases Using Tryptophan Fluorescence
BSI Scholars' Final Presentations are open to the Butler community and the public.
Oral Presentation, Session I will occur July 15 (Monday) from 12:30 - 3:30 pm in Pharmacy & Health Sciences Building, Room 150
Poster Presentations will occur July 16 (Tuesday) from 1:00 - 2:30 pm in Irwin Library, Collaborative Space
Oral Presentation, Session II will occur July 17 (Wednesday) from 12:30 - 4:30 pm in Pharmacy & Health Sciences Building, Room 150