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Berry Summer Thesis Institute

Berry Summer Thesis Institute

The Berry Summer Thesis Institute engages a cohort of  Honors students (between sophomore and junior year) from different disciplines/majors in a full-summer, on-campus program, including a mini-course, that provides them with intensive disciplinary research and scholarship opportunities. In addition, students take part in professional development workshops, community engagement opportunities, public presentation forums and cohorted social activities.

Program Goals and Outcomes

The Berry Summer Thesis Institute is designed to:

  • Introduce high-achieving students from all majors to scholarly research before their junior year.
  • Provide additional training and support for students in the research and writing process.
  • Provide additional opportunities for students to publish and present honors thesis research.
  • Enrich the intellectual and creative climate for undergraduate research and faculty mentorship on campus.
  • Enhance a sense of scholarly community among undergraduate researchers.

Program Components and Expectations

Each Berry Summer Thesis Fellow are expected to:

  • Engage in research/scholarship in the student's major under the guidance of a faculty mentor.
  • Participate in professional development workshops and activities.
  • Participate in a mini-course on research ethics.
  • Participate in community engagement with a Dayton Community Partner (5 to 6 hours per week).
  • Orally present a Midterm Research Progress Report.
  • Orally present a research report at the end of summer Berry Summer Thesis Institute Symposium (professional dress).
  • Prepare and submit a preliminary and final draft of an original creative manuscript or topic literature review, to be published in the Proceedings of the Berry Summer Thesis Institute. (Click here to see the last published Proceedings.)
  • Coordinate one lunch event and one social activity for the cohort during the summer.

Program View from Past Participants

To view a video of past participants discussing the Berry Summer Thesis Institute, please click here.

Program Benefits

Berry Summer Thesis Institute Fellows will receive:

  • Full third-term on-campus housing for the summer
  • $2,000 summer fellowship
  • Research Funding (maximum $1,500)

Berry Summer Thesis Institute Research Symposium

The Berry Summer Thesis Institute cohort presents their work at the Berry Summer Thesis Institute Symposium, held at the program's completion. All are welcome to attend one or several of the presentations made by the cohort members.

To read the abstracts of the 2019 presentations, click here:  BSTI Symposium Program (pdf)



Fourth semester (sophomore) Honors students in good UHP standing with a strong interest in conducting an Honors thesis research project.

Faculty Mentors

Students are required to work closely with a faculty mentor willing to guide their research over the full summer program and potential Honors thesis. The faculty mentor must be full-time faculty at UD. The faculty mentor should work closely with the Berry Summer Thesis Institute applicant to develop the Institute proposal and budget request.

Berry Summer Thesis Institute mentors should:

  • Be available to provide thesis mentorship throughout the full summer program.
  • Attend the Midterm Presentations and the Berry Summer Thesis Institute Symposium at the end of the summer program. The UHP recognizes that professional and/or family commitments of faculty may conflict with the dates of the events.  Please let the Associate Director of Research know if you will be unable to attend either of these events.
  • Provide guidance and critical review of the original manuscript or literature review that the student will prepare for publication in the Proceedings of the Berry Summer Thesis Institute.

How to Apply

The application portal opens in December of each year, and the final applications are due February 9 by 11:59 pm. Application materials and instructions can be found on the UHP tab in Porches.

Visit Berry Summer Thesis Institute FAQs if you are interested in learning more.

UHP Contact

Please direct your questions to: 

Dr. Nancy Miller
Associate Director of Research
University Honors Program


Honors Program

Alumni Hall
300 College Park
Dayton, Ohio 45469 - 0311