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Duke Kunshan University Undergraduate Summer Research Scholars Program (SRS)

Faculty Application Summer 2024


The Summer Research Scholars (SRS) program supports undergraduate students participating in collaborative research supervised by Duke Kunshan University faculty. Aligned with DKU’s mission to “involve students in innovative scholarship and research programs,” student-faculty collaborative research is particularly well suited to the development of the following four animating principles:

  • Collaborative Problem-Solving: To instill the habits of collaboration and the ability to synthesize disparate insights in solving complex challenges.
  • Research and Practice: To enhance the ability to forge links between theory and practice in the many-sided and rapidly changing world of human need.
  • Lucid Communication: To develop the ability to communicate effectively, both orally and in writing, and to listen attentively to different viewpoints in coming to mature judgments.
  • Independence and Creativity: To nurture free inquiry, deep reflection, and a drive to ask interesting questions and find compelling answers.

For students who intend to do the Signature Work in an area related to their summer research project, this experience can count toward their Experiential Learning requirement. The program is also intended to aid faculty in their research activities by providing undergraduate student researchers for whom the projects must be meaningful as well as educationally valuable.


The application process is competitive for both students and faculty, and funds may not be adequate to fund all proposals.  Faculty are encouraged to request funding for as many positions as they think they can support.  The initial target for this year is to provide funding for up to two SRS students for each faculty applicant; allocations for student research positions greater than this are encouraged, but may be waitlisted pending availability of funding.  The supported work must be carried out during the summer months and is open to any DKU UG student, although students are not eligible for SRS funding if they have significant academic or other commitments during the summer, or if it is the summer after they graduate. Faculty of all disciplines are eligible to apply, including UG, LCC, and graduate faculty.  DKU visiting faculty who teach for one or more sessions in the 2023-24 academic year are also eligible to apply.


Student Recruitment

Faculty are responsible for identifying student researchers and for covering any necessary research expenses. (See section on Funding below.) Approved projects will be advertised to students, who will be encouraged to directly contact faculty with whom they might be interested in working. While it is recognized that many faculty are already working with research students, those faculty who do not already have research students working with them are expected to consult the Duke Kunshan University Student Worker Hiring and Payment Guideline for information on how to recruit student workers. 


It is our expectation that most SRS students and mentors will do their research on the DKU campus in summer 2024, although some projects might be able to accommodate students working remotely with their mentors. On the application, faculty mentors should note whether the mentor and the student(s) will be on the DKU campus or if either will be working remotely. For any case in which either party will be working remotely, please indicate plans for adequate supervision of the student, including ensuring the student’s health and safety if applicable (i.e., experimental sciences).  Preference for SRS grants will be given to students and mentors working in person, mentors who have not previously participated in SRS, and mentors whose previous SRS projects have produced a tangible scholarly outcome.  Newer tenure track faculty are particularly encouraged to apply.


The program provides summer stipends for UG students; it is expected that the amounts will be similar to last year: a 5,600 RMB (taxable) stipend and a 6,200 RMB (non-taxable) meal card credit. The students will engage in full time research for a period of 8 weeks, or an equivalent amount spread out over summer, but the stipend is not to be used for research done while classes are in session. The stipend does not cover work begun before the end of Spring Term nor continuing beyond the first day of Fall Term classes. Students may not receive funding while doing military training or taking the summer Chinese Society and Culture courses. Students also may not receive funding while doing full-time summer coursework at Duke or elsewhere.


It is the responsibility of the faculty member to adequately supervise the student, to ensure that they are working the expected amount of time, to be present during the summer seminar in order to introduce their student and provide feedback on their presentation, and to notify UG studies if a student is no longer participating in their research.


As the SRS program funds students doing collaborative research related to the faculty’s own research projects, no funding for research supplies or expenses is available through the SRS program. Faculty should plan to cover these expenses through their own funding sources. However, some students may be eligible for Signature Work Research Grants, which are covered under a separate application.  Faculty whose research project requires students to travel or do field work will need to cover these costs out of their own research funding, have the student apply for an SWRG towards these costs, or have their students apply to the SELF program instead of applying for an SRS. Students cannot hold both an SRS and a SELF in the same summer.


Students do not receive academic credit for research conducted over the summer. 

Student On-Campus Room Reservations

On-campus rooms will be available in DKU residence halls for student SRS.  The room assignment will likely be different from the student’s assignment in both the preceding and following school year.  It is expected that on-campus rooms for this summer will be available from June 1 to July 31.  For students who only need to stay on campus for a portion of the summer, their room will only be provided during the time of need and participation in SRS.  Students who request a single room may or may not be assigned a single, depending on the supply and demand.  The Office of Undergraduate Studies will cover the cost of a double room and students assigned to a single will be required to pay the difference themselves. Students are responsible for their own meal costs.  More information about requesting an on-campus room during summer will be provided in the spring semester.


The Office of Undergraduate Studies might be able to fund an on-campus room for non-SRS students engaged in on-campus research projects with in-person faculty supervision.  Faculty interested in such arrangements for their independent undergraduate research assistants should communicate this to UG studies by late March, via a Qualtrics form to be circulated in March.


Responsible Conduct of Research (RCR) Training

All summer research students must complete the CITI RCR training prior to beginning research.  Details will be sent to accepted students.

Application Process

The application process involves two stages, both of which are submitted by the faculty mentor. In the first stage, faculty mentors submit project proposals.  If a faculty mentor wishes to divide students up over more than one research project, they should submit a separate application for each project, although the total number of research scholars per faculty will be initially limited to two. Faculty wanting more than two SRS students may indicate that on the application, but allocations greater than this number per faculty may be waitlisted pending availability of funding.


A listing of all summer research scholar positions will be made available to students (access the project list here). Once a project is approved for funding, the faculty mentor will then select their own undergraduate student research scholars and submit the second stage of the application.


Stage 1: Initial SRS Project Application (already completed by a faculty member for approved projects)


Stage 2:  Application for Student Research Scholars (submitted by the faculty mentor):


Note: Faculty who do not already have research students working with them are expected to advertise research positions in accordance with the Duke Kunshan University Student Worker Hiring and Payment Guideline.  The SRS program will also advertise all approved positions to students, who will be encouraged to directly contact faculty with whom they might be interested in working.


Once a faculty member has accepted a student, they must submit the following on behalf of each student using another online form that will be distributed at this stage to those faculty who were awarded SRS funding:

  1. Name of faculty mentor
  2. Name, ID, and class year of student
  3. Student’s major, if declared
  4. Project title
  5. A brief statement in support of the nomination (100-250 words).
  6. A brief description written by the student describing the proposed project and his/her role in carrying out the work (250-500 words). This description must demonstrate the student’s understanding of the research to be undertaken, explaining both the research question and the approach. It should be written in the student’s own words and may include references if applicable.
  7. A brief description written by the student of how the research will contribute to the student’s signature work and/or future plans, if applicable (250 words maximum).
  8. Indicate whether the student will require DKU housing.
  9. Indicate whether the mentor and the student will be expected to be on the DKU campus or if either will be working remotely. For any case in which either party will be working remotely, please indicate plans for adequate supervision of the student, including ensuring the student’s health and safety if applicable (i.e., experimental sciences).

The following considerations should be addressed in the application:

  1. The student’s qualifications and preparation for the proposed work.
  2. The student should be able to demonstrate an understanding of the proposed research project, as well as her/his role in carrying out the work.

Applications will be evaluated according to the following criteria:

  1. Qualifications and motivation of the student participants
  2. Student’s anticipated contributions to the project
  3. Educational value to the student researcher
  4. Applicability to the student’s signature work
  5. Number of students requested per faculty
  6. Graduation year


Research Report and Abstract: Summer Research Scholars must write a brief final research report (no more than two pages), due the day before the first day of Fall Term classes (Sunday, August 18, 2024). If there is more than one student working on the same research project, the team may submit one report. The student researchers, not the supervising faculty member, should write the report. The report will provide an accurate and complete account of all work done on the project, including figures, diagrams, and references if appropriate, and information on publication or presentation plans. Students must also prepare an abstract suitable for sharing with the DKU community, as well as prospective students or donors. The report and abstract should be submitted to the faculty mentor, who will review it and submit it to DKU Undergraduate Studies Faculty may set their own internal due dates for the report and abstract, but both must be approved by the faculty and submitted to UG Studies no later than 11:59 pm China time on the day before the fall term classes begin. Mentors should note that by submitting the abstract, they are granting approval for the abstract to be shared.   


Poster Session: All UG Summer Research Scholars will be expected to present their research at a UG Student Summer Research Scholars Poster Session in the Fall, tentatively scheduled for the Family Weekend. All posters should be approved and submitted by the sponsoring faculty mentor. More details will be provided during the Fall term. Mentors should note that by submitting the poster, they are granting approval for the poster to be presented publicly.  The faculty research mentor is expected to be present during the poster session, and provide feedback to their research students.


Summer Seminar Series: Summer Research Scholars will be invited to present progress reports to their peers, other SRS faculty, and the general DKU community during the twice-weekly summer seminar series.  The faculty research mentor must be present to introduce their SRS student(s) during these seminars.


Note that mentors whose SRS students fail to submit their research report, abstract and/or poster by the stated deadlines might be ineligible to receive SRS funding in the future.

Dates and Deadlines

January 15: Stage 1 Application Deadline

February 9: Announcement of projects funded, student recruitment period begins

February 21: Stage 2 Application opens on a rolling basis and remains open until all SRS positions are filled

March 31: Deadline for faculty to submit student nominees for SRS positions

April 15: Deadline for students to accept funding

Mid to Late April: Deadline for student to apply for DKU housing

May 20: Earliest date funded research can begin

June 1: Summer SRS housing available

July 31: Last day of Summer SRS housing

August 16: Last date funded work can be carried out

August 28: Final SRS Report and Abstract Due to UG Studies

Fall 2024 (date TBD): UG Student Summer Research Scholars Poster Sessi

Application Review

Applications will be reviewed by a committee consisting of one faculty member each from AH, NS, SS, and LCC, designated by the appropriate division chair or director of the LCC.


Contact DKU Undergraduate Studies