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Hamilton offers its students outstanding opportunities to conduct hands-on collaborative research in the sciences.

To get an idea of the scope, in the 2020-21 academic year, 71 students conducted research, both virtually and on campus, collaborating with faculty on projects in archaeology, biology, chemistry, computer science, environmental studies, geosciences, mathematics, neuroscience, physics, and psychology.  Many of these projects resulted in student presentations at professional meetings and papers co-authored by students.

Any Hamilton student with a serious interest in science research who can meet the following requirements is encouraged to explore the Summer Science Research Fellowship (SSRF).

Students are required to:

  • Self-select their discipline of research;
  • Complete at least one credit bearing course before the date the SSRF is scheduled to begin;
  • Be enrolled as a full-time student during the Spring term before the SSRF begins and be expected to return as a full-time student during the Fall term upon completion of a SSRF;
  • Participate in authoring and presenting a poster at the Summer Science Research Poster Session.

PLEASE NOTE: Competition becomes more intense each year, and no student can be assured that they will be awarded a Fellowship. We encourage all students to back up their applications by applying for off-campus research positions and by pursuing other summer employment opportunities.

Faculty Sponsorship

The first step of the application process is to attend a departmental information session and/or contact the department’s Summer Science Research Coordinator (contact information is listed below). Students will go through the application process to seek the support of a faculty sponsor to identify and commit to a single research project. Although atypical, in some cases, students may be permitted to work with more than one supervisor.

Applications

Once a member of the faculty has agreed to serve as a student’s faculty sponsor, the student will be asked to complete a departmental application (available links provided below).  Accepted and alternate candidates will then receive a second application, via email, for the Dean of Faculty’s office. This application requires each candidate to specify their faculty supervisor and is due this year by Sunday, March 13, 2022, at 11:59 p.m. Grant decisions will be announced in April.

About the Program

Research appointments of eight- to 10-weeks are typical, but applications for both longer and shorter projects will be considered. Research usually begins in late May or early June, but the time frame is flexible and will be determined by the goals of the project and the research supervisor’s schedule.

Students accepting an SSRF agree to abide by the Hamilton College Standards of Conduct as outlined in the Student Handbook. Students should understand that research will be the primary focus of their summer work for the duration of their project. As previously noted, students receiving an SSRF are required to write an abstract at the end of the project and present a poster at the annual Science Research Poster Session during the fall semester.

Funding

Substantial funding for the SSRF is provided by Hamilton College. Additional support for student research comes from grants received by individual faculty members from the National Science Foundation, National Institutes of Health, the Petroleum Research Fund of the American Chemical Society, and the Research Corporation. Generous funding also comes from:

  • The Ralph E. Hansmann Science Student Support Fund
  • The Edward and Virginia Taylor Fund for Student/Faculty Research in Chemistry
  • The Sergei S. Zlinkoff Student Medical Research Fund
  • The Bonnie A. Urciuoli Student Research Fund in Anthropology

Housing

On-campus housing is available at the College at a reasonable cost to students who are employed on campus. Additional information concerning summer housing is available from the Residential Life office. Students can expect to receive an all-campus email in the spring that will outline updated summer housing details.

Contact Information

If you have questions, please contact the Summer Science Research Coordinator of the department in which you are interested in working:

Archaeology, Colin Quinn (cpquinn@hamilton.edu)
Biology, Andrea Townsend (aktownse@hamilton.edu)
Chemistry, Karen Brewer (kbrewer@hamilton.edu)
Computer Science, Alistair Campbell (acampbel@hamilton.edu)
Environmental Studies, Heather Kropp (hkropp@hamilton.edu)
Geosciences, Catherine (Cat) Beck (ccbeck@hamilton.edu)
Neuroscience, Siobhan Robinson (sxrobins@hamilton.edu)
Physics, Katherine (Kate) Brown (kjonessm@hamilton.edu)
Psychology, Tara McKee (tmckee@hamilton.edu)

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