Announcing: 2018 SOL Summer Grants

In 2019 we’ll resume our yearlong, regular SOL program, which includes a preparation course in the spring, community-based research projects in the summer, and a capstone leadership seminar in the fall.

What are SOL Summer Grants?

They are grant awards of $5000 for qualified undergraduates to design and conduct community-based research (CBR) projects collaboratively with partner organizations for 8-12 weeks during the summer of 2018.

Service Opportunities in Leadership (SOL) is a signature program that the Hart Leadership Program has offered Duke undergraduate students since 1994.  To date, 403 students have participated in the yearlong SOL program.

In the summer of 2018 our program director is retiring, and the new director will be on board in July.  Because of our transition, we will not be able to offer the yearlong SOL program in 2018, but we decided to keep the momentum going by still providing SOL summer grants.

We hope to resume the full SOL program in 2019.

In a competitive application process we will award up to 10 SOL summer grants.  Proposals are due February 9, 2018.

Grantees must agree to full participation in a training and preparation process that will take place at Sanford School of Public Policy in March and April 2018.

Requirements and Eligibility

You must be a second or third year Duke undergraduate who has previously had an intensive, full-time, summer service experience through DukeEngage or another similar community-based volunteer opportunity offered by Duke University.

It will be an advantage if you have already had field-based research experience, preferably in collaboration with a community partner organization.

You must find your proposed community partner organization, your proposed faculty mentor, and take care of all the proposed logistics connected to your summer project, including finding suitable options for housing, thinking through travel arrangements, and proposing a reasonable budget for daily expenses.

If you are awarded a SOL Summer Grant, and you accept, you must agree to participate fully—no exceptions—in spring training modules about research methods, reflective writing, and safety and security issues.

You must agree to work full-time on your SOL community-based research project for 8-12 weeks during the summer.

And finally, if you become a SOL Summer Grantee, you must commit to participate in Visible Thinking, the annual forum for undergraduate research that is sponsored by the Duke Office for Undergraduate Research.

The SOL Summer Grant will give you the opportunity to become a part of a nationally recognized leadership program and to design and conduct a research project based on your own interests.  The Hart Leadership Program will provide program support to help you complete a successful summer project.

How to Apply

The deadline to apply for a SOL Summer Grant has passed. Stay tuned later in the spring for when we announce the 2018 SOL Summer Grantees.

Conducting a Community-Based Research Project

The success of a community-based research (CBR) project depends upon the relationships between each of the individuals or groups involved: the student, the faculty mentor or instructor, and the community partner.

CBR projects are collaboratively designed, meaning the project will not be “dropped into” the community; they are developed together with a community partner. These projects will (1) provide a service to the community partner, (2) serve the academic interests and skills of the student, and (3) offer the student an invaluable learning experience. The success of these projects depends on the involvement of students, faculty, and community partners at every step of the way.

Projects are designed to meet a particular need of a community partner organization. The process of determining the research question is shaped by multiple conversations between the student and the staff of the community organization, and in consultation with the student’s faculty mentor at Duke.  The community-based research project is conducted in a community setting, and the completed project should provide findings that are of practical, relevant use to the community partner.

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