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Center for High Achievement & Scholarly Engagement

Butler Summer Institute

Butler Summer Institute2018 Butler Summer Institute Dates: May 14 - July 14

The Butler Summer Institute (BSI) is designed to allow a student 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, scholars, and artists.

Those accepted into the Butler Summer Institute will:

  • Work closely with a faculty mentor to create original scholarship or creative endeavor
  • Work and live with other Butler students who are equally engaged in scholarship or creative endeavor
  • Produce work worthy of acceptance at a professional conference or in a professional publication
  • Engage in a transformational learning experience
  • Receive a $2,500 stipend, a housing allowance for campus accommodations, and free admission to cultural events scheduled throughout the summer

Important BSI Dates & Deadlines

  • October 6, 2:00 - 3:00 PM (JH 141): BSI Information Session.
  • November 15: Statement of Intent deadline (Note: this statement is optional—students may still apply for BSI if they do not submit this form).
  • December 1: 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)
  • February 2, 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. No late proposals will be considered.
  • March: BSI Scholars Announced.
  • March 30, 2:00-3:00 PM (AU 326): Mandatory Meeting for BSI Scholars.
  • 2018 BSI: May 14-July 14 

BSI Information Packet, Proposal Cover Page, and Evaluation Rubric

The BSI Information Packet will provide you with 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 document. You may access the fillable form below, save it, and then merge it with your final proposal.

To assist applicants understand how their proposals will be evaluated by the Programs for Undergraduate Research Committee, the rubric used to evaluate BSI proposals is listed below.

BSI Information Packet

BSI Proposal Cover Page

BSI Proposal Evaluation Rubric

Should I Apply for BSI?

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 on May 15 and concludes July 15. 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.

BSI Sample Proposals

Students: Please refer to the BSI Proposal Guidelines for detailed information about completing your BSI Proposal (access the Cover Page that must accompany each proposal). As a reminder, all proposals are due February 2 at noon via e-mail. 

Mentors: You will need to complete a Faculty Mentor Recommendation Form that must be submitted no later than noon on February 2.

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.

Sample Proposals:

Congratulations to our 2017 BSI Scholars & Faculty Mentors!

Rachel Burke, Mathematics/Computer Science (Faculty Mentors: Dr. Ankur Gupta & Dr. Jonathan Webster)

Azhar Dalal, Biology (Faculty Mentor: Dr. Lindsay Lewellyn)

Sarah Dale, Computer Science (Faculty Mentor: Dr. Zhihong Chen)

Darby DeFord, Biology (Faculty Mentor: Dr. Christopher Stobart)

Brett DeWitt, Psychology (Faculty Mentor: Dr. Brynnar Swenson)

Natalie Farrell, Music/English (Faculty Mentor: Dr. Brynnar Swenson)

Jordan Finch, Chemistry (Faculty Mentor: Dr. Elizabeth Davis)

John Harbaugh, Computer Engineering/Physics (Faculty Mentor: Dr. Gonzolo Ordonez)

Kent Hickey, Music Performance (Faculty Mentor: Dr. Matthew Pivec)

Jackson Holler, Music Composition (Faculty Mentor: Dr. Frank Felice)

Adam Kessler, Computer Science (Faculty Mentor: Dr. Ankur Gupta)

Kasey Kirchner, English, Creative Writing (Faculty Mentor: Professor Dan Barden)

Elly Mawi, Biology (Faculty Mentor: Dr. Jennifer Kowalski)

Joshua Murdock, Pharmacy (Faculty Mentor: Dr. David Reeves)

Emily Pool, Chemistry/Spanish (Faculty Mentor: Dr. Geoff Hoops)

Taylor Prechtel, Biology (Faculty Mentor: Dr. Jennifer Kowalski)

Courtney Raab, Health Sciences (Faculty Mentor: Dr. Amy Peak)

Jacob Reeves, Biology (Faculty Mentor: Dr. Julia Angstmann)

Mary Kate Richards, Communication Sciences & Disorders (Faculty Mentor: Dr. Tonya Bergeson-Dana)

Abdul Saltagi, Biology (Faculty Mentor: Dr. Nat Hauck)

Alexis Schmidt, English (Faculty Mentor: Dr. Ania Spyra)

Kara Stark, Biology (Faculty Mentor: Dr. Lindsay Lewellyn)

Basil Strock, Music (Faculty Mentor: Professor Scott Bridge)

Earl Townsend, English: Creative Writing (Faculty Mentor: Professor Alessandra Lynch)

Megan True, Art + Design/English (Faculty Mentor: Dr. Steve Nyktas)

Natalie VanOchten, Biology (Faculty Mentor: Dr. Phil Villani)

Amanda Wallace, Psychology (Faculty Mentor: Dr. Neil Bohannon)

Kylene Warne, Theatre/Elementary Education (Faculty Mentors: Dr. Wendy Meaden and Dr. Christopher Bungard)

Sedrick Weinschenk, Astronomy and Astrophysics/Physics (Faculty Mentor: Dr. Brian Murphy)

Cameron Wright, Chemistry (Faculty Mentor: Dr. Todd Hopkins)

2017 BSI Final Presentation Schedule

BSI Scholars' Final Presentations are open to the Butler community and the public. Save the date to come and learn about the outstanding research and creative endeavor our participants have completed!