Location: Bowdoin / Student Fellowships / Bowdoin Research Opportunities / Rusack Coastal Studies

Student Fellowships & Research

Rusack Coastal Studies Fellowships

Application Deadline: Tuesday, February 26, 2013 at noon.

Description. The Rusack Fellowships, made possible through the generous donation of Geoffrey Rusack ('78) and Alison Wrigley Rusack, support students engaged in summer research at the Coastal Studies Center or locations nearby that impact the coastal environment. Marking the boundary between the land and the ocean, the coast is a transitional zone that embodies a complex interplay of forces and human interests. Rusack Fellow conduct research projects or complete artistic works that explore the relationship between the forces affecting this transition zone. These fellowships are open to students of all disciplines and must be carried out under the direction of a faculty member(s) who is independently interested in the area of study.

Just as our liberal-arts curriculum seeks to expose students to different ways of viewing the world and encourages them to forge new connections between them, Coastal Studies explicitly recognizes that a better understanding of our college's location in coastal Maine requires different approaches to, and the formation of new connections between, the complex forces affecting our coastal environment. Toward this end, the Coastal Studies Committee, which makes Rusack Fellowship award recommendations to the Internal Fellowships Committee, seeks each year to support a cohort of Rusack Fellows that encompasses a range of interests and approaches to the study of the coast.

Please visit Recent Bowdoin Fellows to read about projects that have received Rusack funding in the past.

Eligibility. All students, including seniors, may apply.

Application Process. Scholarly mentoring is crucial for a positive research fellowship experience. Interested students are encouraged to talk with faculty early in the process so that they can identify a faculty member who will be available and willing to mentor the student throughout the fellowship period.

Complete application forms for the Rusack Coastal Studies Fellowship must be submitted by noon on the date indicated above, to the Office of Student Fellowships and Research. Late applications will not be accepted, so please plan accordingly. For more detailed information, visit Application/Notification Timeline.

Selection Criteria. Members of the Internal Fellowships Committee review applications and base their award decisions on the following:

  • the quality of the proposed project and the candidate's narrative description,
  • the candidate's academic record, particular interests and competence,
  • the faculty mentor's letter of recommendation,
  • the extent to which the faculty-student mentor relationship is described and appropriate to the project, and
  • the extent to which the proposed project meets the aims of the Rusack Coastal Studies Fellowship.  Please note that preference will be given to applicants who explicitly state in their project description how their proposed project is related to coastal studies as described above under "Description".

The financial need of a candidate does not enter into the awarding of a Rusack Coastal Studies Fellowship.

Stipend/Research Related Expenses. The Rusack Coastal Studies Fellowship carries a $3,200 stipend. Summer fellows agree to commit eight weeks full-time toward the completion of their proposed projects and to refrain from employment during their period of appointment. The Rusack Coastal Studies Fellowship is not offered during the academic year.

If requested and approved during the application process, summer fellows may also be reimbursed for up to $500 for justified research related expenses (e.g., laboratory/art supplies, analytical costs, and travel beyond the local area to conduct field work or to visit an archive).

Should a faculty mentor feel that a fellow is not making sufficient progress toward the research goals set forth in the fellow's proposal, the College reserves the right to discontinue funding.

Housing. Summer Fellows, who are in good disciplinary standing with the College, are eligible to stay in campus housing during the summer. If you elect to live in campus housing over the summer, the College will cover the $600 cost and you will not pay rent. (Please note that for some students this benefit may be taxable.) Summer fellows who live off-campus, whether by choice or due to their standing with the Office of the Dean of Students, will not receive any support for their housing costs. Academic year fellows do not receive any support for housing.

Human/Animal Subjects. Bowdoin College is committed to the proper and humane treatment of all human and animal research subjects. If your research involves animals or human subjects, you must submit a protocol application form to Bowdoin's Research Oversight Committee (ROC). The protocol must be approved by the ROC prior to beginning your research and before you can receive your first stipend payment. You can learn more about this process by visiting the ROC's website and talking with your faculty mentor.