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Engaged Learning Center

Butler Summer Institute

Butler Summer Institute2022 Butler Summer Institute
Information about the 2022 Butler Summer Institute is now available! Please refer to the 2022 BSI Information Packet for the complete list of deadlines and application information.

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.

*Pharmacy majors are encouraged to apply to the BSI as rising P2s.  

Important BSI Dates & Deadlines

December 1 at noon:  BSI Information Session, Jordan Hall, Room 141

January 28 at noon: Proposals and Mentor Recommendation Forms are due

First Week of March: 2021 Scholars Announced

Butler Summer Institute: May 9 - July 8, 2022.

BSI Information Packet, Proposal Cover Page, Faculty Mentor Recommendation, and Evaluation Rubric

BSI Information Packet

The 2022 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. 

BSI Proposal Cover Page

All applicants must include the BSI 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 by March 19 at noon. To access the recommendation form, click here

BSI Proposal Evaluation Rubric

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

Should I Apply to the 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 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.

BSI Sample Proposals

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 by March 19 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 March 19.

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 Engaged Learning Center in JH 109 to see if we have one on file for you to review.

Sample Proposals: