Guidelines

Undergraduate Summer Scholars (USS) Guidelines

Miami's nationally recognized USS research program encourages students to develop their capacity to construct knowledge through immersion in Miami faculty mentored summer research projects. USS mentors and students embody Miami’s call for “active, engaged educational experiences for our undergraduates through the fusion of scholarship and teaching.”

I. USS Program Overview

A. Program Administration by Eligible Departments and Programs

The USS program focuses on the individual student/faculty mentor relationship. Faculty participation is voluntary. Students are responsible for finding their own mentor and co-creating the research project. The Office for the Advancement of Research and Scholarship (OARS) sponsors the USS program through the Office of Research for Undergraduates (ORU) which decides how many of the 100 available USS awards are allocated to departments and eligible programs that submit application packets.

Departments/programs are responsible for: selecting student/faculty projects, approving those projects for the required 6 hours of academic credit, assuring the educational value of the student experience and monitoring the student/faculty mentor collaboration. The USS Faculty Mentor MUST submit a final grade by end of summer term. Incomplete grades are not permitted.

B. Program Features

  • a student fellowship award of $2,600
  • a student allowance of $400 for supplies, services and travel
  • a faculty allowance of $600 to support the faculty mentor's scholarly activities
  • a tuition only waiver to conduct a 6 credit hour research project

C. Program Benefits

  • offers a faculty-supervised focus on learning the processes of research and scholarship adds a distinctive educational experience for a significant number of Miami undergraduates
  • engages students as active research agents increases interaction between faculty and students
  • enhances faculty research programs by the participation of talented undergraduates
  • clearly links scholarship and teaching at the university
  • provides an educational opportunity shown to increase student intellectual maturity
  • improves Miami's ability to attract talented students

D. Program Requirements

The USS program requires summer enrollment in 6 hours of extended independent study credit under the designated course number 340U. For departments that permit* students to enroll in senior research capstone independent study credit in conjunction with the USS project, the USS student must register for a minimum of 3 hours under 340U and combine that with the appropriate number of hours under the capstone independent study for a combined total of 6 hours. The senior research independent study capstone course must be in the same department as the USS research project.

*NOTE: senior research independent study capstone course enrollment requires permission from your USS faculty mentor’s department. Many departments do NOT permit participants to combine USS credit hours with senior research independent study capstone hours. In each instance, the USS program covers cost of only the tuition for the required 6 credit hours in which the student enrolls, while the student pays for related general fees of approximately $60.00 per credit hour for the six hours. The USS “tuition-only” waiver applies just to undergraduate summer scholar research conducted under 340U on Miami's Oxford, Hamilton, or Middletown campuses. Study abroad coursework cannot be part of the USS project and will NOT be waived.

E. Award Notification and Required Course Registration Deadlines

USS awards are granted by the department/program through which the student submits an application. 

  • On February 23, 2018, ORU Coordinator will notify the department chair/ program director the number of allocation(s) your unit has to distribute to your applicant pool. The department chair/program director will select and notify students and mentors and ensure they accept the USS award.
  • By March 13, 2018, department chair/program director will notify ALL applicants as to whether they have been selected for a USS award or not.
  • By March 13, 2018, the department chair/ program director will send names of the selected students and mentors to the ORU Undergraduate Research Coordinator.
  • On March 23, 2018, ORU Coordinator will send an official USS award letter to each selected pair (student/faculty mentor). Student award letters will include detailed instructions on the required date by which USS student participants MUST enroll in 6 credit hours of independent study under the designated USS course 340U. (See Student Roles and Responsibilities section IV, part C, Course Registration Requirements for details.)

II. Eligibility

A. Department/ Program Eligibility

Departments and programs on Oxford campus and College of Liberal Arts and Applied Science campuses are eligible for participation in the USS Program. By choosing to participate, these units agree to undertake the administrative burden required of them by the USS program.

Students may create a USS project with any Miami tenured or tenure track faculty mentor in any department or eligible program listed above. Faculty may submit the USS application through their primary academic department or through one of the above eligible programs if the faculty member is an affiliate of that program. However, if selected for a USS award, USS student participants MUST enroll in 6 credit hours of independent study under the designated USS course 340U under the department or program through which the application was submitted.

B. Faculty Eligibility

The USS program is open to all Miami full-time tenured and tenure-track faculty. Each student/ faculty pair should complete an application (as described under Section III. Applications Procedures) and submit the application to the chair of the faculty member's academic department or to the director of the eligible program. To participate in the USS program, a faculty member must be willing and able to supervise and mentor the student with whom he/she has elected to be paired.

C. Student Eligibility

Students may only receive one USS award during their time at Miami and the award must be used for the summer in which it is awarded. Application is open to any Miami undergraduate student who:

  • is in good standing (minimum 2.0 G.P.A., not on probation, etc.),
  • will have completed his/her sophomore year (defined as having a minimum of 60 credit hours) or junior year prior to the beginning of Summer Session,
  • will enroll for at least one semester at Miami University as an undergraduate student after the completion of the USS project,
  • agrees to full-time participation* in the USS program (*as defined by the department or program)
  • and who, during the selected 9-week period of USS participation: agrees NOT to enroll, without WRITTEN permission of the USS faculty mentor and the USS program director, in other courses NOR accept any fellowships, internships, volunteer positions, or employment that would interfere with the student's full-time educational commitment (See Student Roles and Responsibilities section IV, part C for details.) agrees to decline all other tuition waivers from other Miami University sources during the summer they conduct the USS research project.

III. Application Procedures

A. Student/ Mentor APPLICATION DUE DATE FEBRUARY 2, 2018 by 5:00 pm

The student must submit the USS Application to the department chair/ or program director of the Miami faculty member who has agreed to serve as the USS faculty mentor.

We encourage both faculty and students to initiate these research collaborations. Students can submit only one application. A single faculty member can be listed as a prospective mentor on up to four applications. Other than these restrictions, there is no limit on how many applications departments/ programs may submit. The USS program emphasizes the individual student/faculty mentor relationships. Each individual student/faculty pair should jointly prepare the application following instructions on the application form and then submit the completed application to the USS faculty member’s department chair/program director.

The application process is designed to:

  • provide opportunities for students to learn through mentored student/faculty interactions,
  • allow for broad participation across the University,
  • provide a means by which the initial student/faculty interactions occur,
  • lead to discussions about the meaning and implementation of scholarly activity, and
  • emphasize the fundamental role of departments/programs in:
  • establishing the form of student/faculty interactions,
  • determining necessary supervision to help achieve the student's objectives, and
  • monitoring the quality of the student's experience

B. Department/Program APPLICATION PACKET DUE DATE FEBRUARY 9, 2018 (online submission required)

1.     Collection of student applications by Department Chair/Program Director

By Feb 2, 2018 Departments and Programs will collect submitted USS applications
Between Feb 2 – 9, 2017 each Department/Program reviews each USS application to ensure eligibility of the:

  1. undergraduate student
  2. faculty mentor 
  3. USS research project

2.    Online Upload of each student/faculty pair application by Department Chair/Program Director

On Feb 9, 2018 before midnight, the department chair/ program director or delegated staff member should use the online submission form to enter required data and upload a pdf file of each USS application. ORU Coordinator will Email the online link to the department/ program. Contact undergradresearch@MiamiOH.edu with questions about this process.

After students submit their USS application to the unit of their faculty member, the department chair/program director has one week to review the submitted applications. Applications should be reviewed to ensure student eligibility, mentor eligibility, and the eligibility of the proposed research project.

C. Department/ Program Internal Review and Participant Selection Responsibility

Each department/ program will make final decisions concerning the delegation of awards within the department/ program. The awards must be consistent with USS guidelines. The number of awards allocated to each department/program may affect the type of internal review and selection procedure a department/ program chooses to use. Therefore, we suggest departments/ programs postpone their internal ranking or other selection procedure for applications submitted until after ORU announces the number of awards allocated to each unit. Departments/ programs will have at least three weeks after notification from ORU to make final selections.

Departments/ programs will then:

  • notify ALL applicants (selected and NOT selected) of the department/ program decision
  • verify that selected students (who accept) will abide by the award conditions, and then
  • provide the names of selected students by March 13, 2018 to the Undergraduate Research Coordinator 
  • ORU Undergraduate Research Coordinator will email the selected students and mentors an official USS Award on March 23, 2018

IV. Roles and Responsibilities

Responsibility for a successful program will rest with the student scholar, his/her faculty mentor and the faculty member's department or program. Although others may participate in a student project, each award will be to one specific student and one specific faculty mentor as identified by the department/program.

A. Department Chair/ Program Director Roles and Responsibilities

General Oversight and Administration of USS awards

While the Office of Research for Undergraduates (ORU) facilitates the USS program, the department/ program handles the administration. Individual departments/ programs are responsible for:

    • collecting applications,
    • assuring faculty and student eligibility for the program,
    • approving specific student research projects,
    • submitting an original department/program application packet to the ORU by the deadline,
    • assigning allocated awards and notifying awardees and non-selected applicants within the department/program,
    • working with the Registrar's Office to reconcile any differences between the USS program and department/ program course and credit requirements,
    • assuring the educational value of the student experience, and
    • monitoring the student/faculty mentor collaboration.

B. Faculty Mentor Roles and Responsibilities

Faculty Project Participation Required During Specified Period

Faculty members who agree to participate will collaborate with specific students in developing and submitting applications for the USS program. The faculty mentor is then expected to be generally available to the student during the selected 9-week period of mentorship and will be responsible for facilitating a meaningful and appropriate student experience.

Grade Assignment

The faculty mentor will also determine, in consultation with the student participant and with approval of the department chair/program director, whether student participation in this program will be evaluated with a letter grade or on the basis of credit/no credit. Note: some departments or programs only allow participation in this USS program on a credit/no credit basis.

Incomplete grades are not permitted.

USS participants MUST complete the research project between the start of the summer session (May 14, 2018) and the end of summer session (August 3, 2018). The USS Faculty Mentor MUST submit a final grade by end of summer term.

Compliance with University and Federal Research Regulations

The faculty mentor must assure that all required regulatory committee approvals [Institutional Review Board (IRB) - human subjects, Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC) - vertebrate animals, radioisotopes or recombinant DNA] are obtained prior to the start of the student project.

The USS Faculty Mentor MUST ensure Compliance with Miami Independent Travel Policy administered by the Office of Lifelong Learning. Any Miami Student travelling outside the State of Ohio for academic studies or service opportunities MUST use the Miami University Independent Travel Tool to register your travel plans online.

Oversight of $400 Student Project Allowance (for supplies, services, and travel)

Each USS selected student will receive a $400 allowance for supplies, services and travel to be used in direct support of the student’s project. The faculty mentor will supervise spending from this department/ program account using standard University ordering and accounting procedures. The USS program policy prohibits students from purchasing any electronic items with these funds. All charges must be made against this allowance prior to February 1, 2019. This allowance account will be cleared and closed by the University Accounting Office on February 1, 2019. The faculty mentor is responsible for any charges made to that account above the $400 allotted.

Oversight of $600 Faculty Development Allowance

As part of each USS program, a faculty member receives a $600 allowance (for supplies, services and travel) for each award on which he/she is a mentor. A faculty member may mentor up to four USS program students during the summer. The allowance will be available for use in supporting the faculty mentor's own scholarship and professional development and/or, at the discretion of the faculty mentor, for use in supporting the student project. This allowance will be subject to standard University ordering and accounting procedures, and the faculty member is responsible for the appropriate use of these funds.

The project and faculty allowances are not considered income for tax purposes and cannot be used as supplemental pay for either the student participant or the faculty mentor. All charges must be made against this allowance by February 1, 2019. This allowance account will be cleared and closed by the University Accounting Office on February 1, 2019. The faculty mentor is responsible for any charges made to that account above the $600 allotted or after February 1, 2019.

C. Student Roles and Responsibilities

Finding Your Own Mentor

Faculty participation is voluntary; students are responsible for finding their own mentor and co-creating the research project. The USS program focuses on individual student/faculty mentor relationships for Miami University sophomores and juniors. Students may only receive one USS award during their time at Miami and the award must be used for the summer in which it is awarded. The program provides an opportunity for full-time, intensive interaction between a student and his/her faculty mentor.

Project Participation Required During Specified Period

The supervising faculty mentor in consultation with the student and department chair/program director will determine the specific 9 weeks of a student's participation during the dates of the summer session (May 14 - August 3, 2018). Participation time can be divided into two different periods, however both times must be within summer session.

The USS Program staff may ask USS student awardees to complete several questionnaires relating to their educational experiences and activities. At the end of the summer, students may also be requested to provide additional feedback about the USS program.

Course Registration Requirements

Summer term has been designated as the term of enrollment for the USS program. The course number for enrollment will include the acronym of the mentor's department or program, e.g., BIO 340U, PSY 340U, ENG 340U. Each student who receives a USS appointment must either enroll in a total of 6 credit hours of 340U, unless the USS faculty mentor’s department permits the student to combine the USS research project with enrollment in a senior capstone independent study course in that same department. In that instance, the student must combine a USS research project for a minimum of 3 credit hours under 340U with a senior research independent study capstone course for a total of 6 hours.

NOTE: Capstone enrollment requires permission from your USS faculty mentor’s department. Many departments do NOT permit participants to combine USS hours with capstone hours.

Grading - some departments/programs may only allow credit/no credit participation

The Office of the Registrar will only allow grading status changes prior to the start of summer term. Therefore, the selected student is responsible for discussing with his/her mentor and department/ program how the project will be graded prior to registering via the required independent study permit. The credits under 340U can either be for a grade or taken credit/no credit if permitted by the department or program. Incomplete grades are not permitted. USS participants MUST complete the research project during the summer session. The USS Faculty Mentor MUST submit a final grade by end of summer term.

Limits on Employment

The USS program will allow Miami students to accept employment at Miami or elsewhere during the selected 9 weeks of their USS participation, provided the student and faculty mentor agree on a plan to ensure that the employment will not interfere with the student’s full-time program participation. However, participating students are strictly prohibited from incorporating any internships or volunteer positions into their USS research project.

Limits on Other Course Enrollments - Written Permission Required

Due to the nature, duration and intensity of the program, students accepting USS awards MUST seek WRITTEN PERMISSION from both their individual USS Mentor AND from Mrs. Martha Weber, ORU Undergraduate Research Coordinator, to register for any additional course work during the summer term. If permission is granted, the USS participant is then responsible for all other costs associated with taking additional summer credit hours. Students MUST contact Martha Weber to obtain and process the required permission form before registering for any additional summer courses. If permission is granted to take additional courses, USS students are required to dedicate full-time effort [as determined by the department] for a minimum of 9 weeks to the USS research project.

Student Research Presentation Opportunities

Although not required as part of the USS program, students may produce a product (paper, oral presentation, poster, artwork, portfolio, model, etc.) as a result of their USS project. In these cases, the student and faculty mentor should agree on the purpose and form of this product at the beginning of the student's participation. Students will be given the opportunity to present a poster about the results of their research at the annual spring Undergraduate Research Forum.

Electronic Communication

Most communication from the ORU Coordinator to student awardees and their faculty mentors will be done electronically.

V. Financial Matters

A. USS Fellowship Award Payment to Student

In early June 2018, the Office of the Bursar will make a single fellowship payment of $2,600 to the USS participant through the student’s bursar account. The Office of the Bursar will use the USS fellowship funds against any charges on the student bursar bill. The Office of the Bursar will then deposit any remaining funds into a bank account of the student’s choosing (via Banner Web) approximately two weeks later.

The USS fellowship stipend amount may be subject to required Student Financial Aid considerations as explained under paragraph C. Student Costs. As required by the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) the Office of the Bursar and the Office of the Registrar handle student records. USS awardees are encouraged to contact the Bursar’s office staff at 529-8744 with any questions about the E-bill or bursar account and the Office of the Registrar for course registration questions.

B. Tuition-Only Waiver for Required Enrollment in USS 6 Credit Hours Under Designated Course 340U

The USS tuition-only waiver applies just to Miami courses in Oxford and to BIS at Hamilton or Middletown campuses. Study abroad coursework will NOT be waived and cannot be included as part of the USS program.

The USS tuition waiver covers ONLY the instructional fees and tuition for enrollment in the USS required 6 hours of extended independent study credit under course number 340.U. Or, a combined total of 6 hours for departments that permit students to enroll in senior research capstone independent study in conjunction with the USS project. In this instance the USS student must register for a minimum of 3 hours under 340U and combine that with the appropriate number of hours under the capstone independent study.

In each instance, the USS program covers cost of tuition only for the required 6 credit hours in which the student MUST enroll, while the student pays for related general fees of approximately $60.00 per credit hour. In addition, the student pays for any tuition and fees for all course credits exceeding 6 hours taken during the summer terms. Note: the student must seek written permission before enrolling in additional summer session courses as described under (Section IV Student Responsibilities 6. Limits on Other Course Enrollment).

C. Student Costs

Financial Aid Considerations

Miami University policy prohibits students from receiving a tuition waiver from more than one source during the same term. Students are responsible for contacting Miami’s Office of Student Financial Aid to review the affect the USS program participation will have on their financial aid eligibility. Miami is required to report the amounts of USS fellowship amount and the tuition scholarship (described above) to the Internal Revenue Service on Form 1098T. All financial assistance that students are eligible to receive must be taken into consideration when calculating need-based financial aid. Consequently, as soon as the Office of Student Financial Assistance (OSF) is notified that a student has received these USS program amounts, the OSF is required to recalculate the student’s eligibility for aid.

General Fee Payment Requirement

The student is responsible to pay general fee charges (around $60 per hour) for the required 6 credit hours associated with the USS research project. The Office of the Bursar will deduct the total charge (of approximately $360) from the single fellowship payment of $2,600 as described in Section A. Financial Matters above.

Enrollment Fees Charged by Departments, Programs or Divisions Are Not Covered

Students are responsible to pay any additional department, eligible program or divisional fees per credit hour for the USS course 340U enrollment and/or for enrollment in a senior capstone course (only if permitted by the department of the USS faculty mentor working with the USS student). See Student Roles and Responsibilities section IV, part C, Course Registration Requirements for details.

Housing and Meal Costs Are Student’s Responsibility

Students are solely responsible for making arrangements for and paying for their own housing and meals during USS participation. Students are recommended to decide with their faculty mentors whether the student needs to stay in the Oxford area while participating in the USS Program. If agreed to by the faculty mentor, student/faculty pairs may choose to communicate electronically while conducting the research project.

Tax Considerations

Miami is required to report the USS student fellowship award ($2,600) on the student’s 1098T for tax considerations. Income taxes will not be withheld from USS student fellowship award unless the student is an international student whose country does not have a reciprocal tax agreement with the United States. Depending on how the fellowship award money is used by the student, portions of the fellowship payment may be considered taxable income by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). For additional information on Scholarship and Fellowship Grants, refer to IRS Tax Topic 421, and Publication 970, Tax Benefits for Education.

USS 2018 Program Timeline

Weekday Dates Interval Deadline or Schedule Event
Monday September 11, 2017   Undergraduate Summer Scholars (USS) program Announcement and Guidelines are distributed
 

September 11, 2017

to February 2, 2018

20 weeks Students, faculty and departments/ programs arrange appropriate collaborations and complete individual student/faculty application forms
Friday February 2, 2018   Students submit the USS application to the mentor's department chair or to the mentor’s program director by 5:00pm
  February 2-9, 2018 1 week Departments/ programs review individual USS applications for eligibility
Friday February 9, 2018   Departments/ programs MUST use the online process to submit each eligible application. Contact Martha Weber, ORU Undergraduate Research Coordinator for details about the online submission process.
  February 12-16, 2018 1 weeks Departments/ programs rank applications and select which applicants will be offered USS awards [depending on number of allocations to the unit]
 Friday

February 23, 2018

1 week ORU Coordinator notifies departments / programs as to number of allocations
 

February 26, to March 13, 2018

3 weeks Department chairs/program directors have 3 weeks to notify each faculty/student pairs about the status of their application. Department and programs MUST require faculty/student pairs selected for the award to:  1) confirm award acceptance and 2) provide both a project start and [project end date [between 5/14-8/3/2018] the summer session time period during which awardees are required to conduct the USS research project.
Friday March 13, 2018  

By March 13, 2018  Departments/ programs MUST use an online link to upload a pdf file (indicating which student/faculty pairs are selected for the USS award)  Questions? email undergradresearch@MiamiOH.edu

  March 19-25, 2018   Spring Break
  March 23, 2018   Martha Weber, ORU coordinator, sends award letter to selected students/faculty mentors
Monday

March 26 to April 20, 2018

3 weeks

USS Students MUST accept the award and enroll in the required 6 credit hours

1. selected students will be emailed an online survey link to complete their award acceptance

2. selected students MUST submit the required independent study permit to the Office of the Registrar in CAB to enroll in 6 credit hours using the department 3-letter code and 340U as the course number

Monday April 23, 2018   ORU Coordinator verifies (with Miami Office of the Registar) all students are registered for the required 6 credits under 340U
  May 14, 2018 – August 3, 2018 12 weeks

USS student must complete the 9-week research project during summer session.

Faculty mentor MUST provide a final grade by end of summer session. Incomplete grades are NOT permitted

  Early June 2018   Miami Bursar Office will process USS fellowship award to the student
  By August 4, 2018   Faculty mentor MUST provide a final grade by end of summer session. Incomplete grades are NOT permitted
  October 2018   ORU evaluation of USS activities
  Prior to February 1, 2019   USS allowance funds must be spent, including student project and faculty mentor development allowances. USS accounts cleared and closed Feb 1, 2019