Divisional grants within the Social Sciences provide students the opportunity to pursue research or other scholarly engagement designed to enhance the student’s overall exposure to intellectual inquiry and research. Grants are most typically awarded for the pursuit of scholarly research both independently or in collaboration with faculty members. Grants have also been awarded to support students interested in gaining practical exposure to applied research, or to support students whose projects include practical engagement within their field of interest. In recent years, students have explored the privatization in health services within Costa Rica, have participated in faculty research within developmental psychology laboratories, and have researched the impacts of advocacy and policy within the LGBTQ+ community, for example. These projects allow students to gain valuable research, cultural, or other professional exposure during the summer months.
When developing a research topic within the Social Science Division, students should identify the question or area that most interests them and consider the scholarly base of work that exists related to this topic. Consultation with a faculty member on a research idea is an invaluable component of developing a sound proposal for independent research. Faculty members may help to guide a student through the initial phase of project development, and students should draw upon their expertise whenever possible.
Interested must submit a detailed proposal outlining the proposed project, a detailed budget, explanation of how the project enhances their overall academic program. Students are also highly encouraged to consult with a faculty member about their project design and proposal prior to submission. All applications require a letter of recommendation from a Swarthmore faculty member in order to be considered complete. Students should contact the faculty member directly to discuss their project and ask for a letter of recommendation. This request should come well in advance of the application period. During the application process, students will submit the faculty member’s name as part of their online application which will then prompt the faculty member to upload the recommendation letter.
For more information regarding the application process and the program, students should familiarize themselves with the Frequently Asked Questions.