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Berry Summer Thesis Institute FAQs

For Students

Yes. Students who are eligible to apply for the Berry Summer Thesis Institute must be a 2nd-year Honors student in good standing.

Yes. Participants must be on campus the full summer term. The BSTI runs for the full third summer term.

For Faculty

BSTI faculty mentors are expected to:

  • Work closely with the BSTI fellow to develop the proposal and budget request due February 9.
  • Be available to provide thesis mentorship throughout the full summer program.
  • Attend the Midterm Progress Report and Berry Summer Thesis Institute Symposium. (A conference or vacation on these dates will not disqualify a mentor.)
  • 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.

There is no compensation for the faculty. There is, however, funding available for research materials related to the project available to the student to help with costs incurred ($1500). Please note that all equipment, supplies, texts, etc., become the property of the mentor's academic department or program at the conclusion of the Institute and/or thesis process.

The type of research the student pursues, and how the time devoted to research is structured (students are expected to pursue their research project about 25 hours per week), is completely dependent upon the project, student and mentor. The summer research experience is an opportunity for the student to initiate an Honors thesis a year earlier than usual. The same type of mentorship that occurs in supervising a thesis project is what should happen over the summer, but is likely to be a bit more intensive, since the commitment to research activity is greater than during the academic year. There is a great deal of flexibility on how mentors and students pursue the research component of the Institute. The overarching goal is to provide students an opportunity to pursue a research project in depth, and in a way that will prepare them for the pursuit of an undergraduate Honors thesis.

 The nature of the research project, and how it is conducted, is determined by the faculty mentor and the student. It will likely be an extension of the faculty mentor’s own research interests/scholarship. In some cases a student may contribute to an on-going research project defined by the mentor. In other cases the student may engage in a separate but synergistic question related to the mentor's main area of scholarship, while others may have the preparation and insight to clearly define a novel question or project which will be pursued under the mentor's guidance. The process could be thought of as a way to cultivate a new generation of scholars/artists in a specific discipline.

Students can meaningfully contribute to a faculty mentor's scholarship in numerous ways. A student at the mid-career stage often has a sufficient understanding of the nature of a problem, but has not yet developed a purely disciplinary perspective. This enables the students to bring fresh ideas to the process. Students bring energy and spark to the discussion and can rejuvenate and motivate faculty in their own research. In addition, research projects can be carefully designed so that student contributions complement and actually further the scholarship of the mentor, leading to student co-authorship on publications and manuscripts. Mentoring students is also part of the UD mission as faculty, and as academics, to prepare future scholars in mentor disciplines. It is also a way to "pay it forward" in recognition of previous mentors who helped guide and develop current academics and scholars.


Honors Program

Alumni Hall
300 College Park
Dayton, Ohio 45469 - 0311