First, work closely with your faculty research adviser. If you have not already secured a faculty adviser for your project, start with faculty members in your field of interest, particularly those you have taken classes with already and who know your research and writing skills. If you have in mind some faculty you'd really like to work with, contact them about working with you, and describe your proposed research topic. It is important that you find a faculty adviser early in the process, so you can create the best possible proposal and come up with a plan to work collaboratively over the summer. The faculty letter of support is an important component of your application, and the Levitt Council carefully considers the faculty adviser's interest in and support for your project.
Second, keep your proposal focused. The Levitt Council is interested in research projects that can be accomplished within the 10 week summer time-frame. Your faculty adviser can help you focus your proposal - run a draft by them before you submit it. A well-defined and manageable project is your goal.
Third, address potential roadblocks: Does your proposal hinge on interviews with government officials or population groups that you may not be able to access? Do you have sufficient background in your topic that you can jump right into serious research without too much preliminary work? Will you be able to collaborate closely and regularly with your adviser, even if you are not in the same location? Do you have the tools and resources you need to succeed?
As you put together your research plan, remember that 10 weeks fly by in the summer. Setting up, scheduling and conducting interviews is very time consuming. You need to be sure that your project can be completed from start to finish within that 10 week period. If your project involves travel, you will need to factor that in as well.
Finally, if your topic relates specifically to one of the Levitt Center's programming areas (Inequality and Equity, Security, Sustainability, or Public Health and Well-being) or one of our flagship programs, such as Leadership and Social Innovation, it will catch the eye of the Council. Remember that your project must relate to public affairs.
If you have further questions, please email firstname.lastname@example.org
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If you already have an Interfolio account, you should sign in. If you don't already have an Interfolio account, click on the "Sign up" button (NOT the "sign in through partner institution" link). The application process for the 2015 Levitt Summer Research Fellows will open in December 2014. More details will be announced in due course. If you have any questions or concerns, please email us.