Collaborative Research Guidelines

Collaboration is the key to much of the research and scholarly activity at Earlham. Each year members of the Earlham teaching faculty apply for Collaborative Research grants to support student/faculty research teams.

Since the College has officially committed itself to a Quality Initiative Project for re-accreditation focused on “Diversity,” we particularly encourage applications that inspire Earlham’s active pursuit of diversity and inclusion across the disciplines. With broad considerations of compositional and thematic diversity and inclusion in mind, we invite teaching faculty to pursue analytical, creative, imaginative and constructive research that embraces the challenge of inclusive collaboration within the context of Earlham’s significant national, international and transnational diversity.

Proposals for the 2020-21 academic year:

If you are interested in applying for a Collaborative Research project, there are two deadlines to observe (both are on the first Wednesday of the month).

  • Wednesday, November 6, 2019: for submitting a preliminary statement. The committee needs approximately two paragraphs describing your project (topic, projected research and outcomes, plans for sharing your research with the Earlham community) AND a close estimate of dollar costs.
  • Wednesday, December 4, 2019: for submitting the final proposal.


Please send your application via email (in a PDF or MS Word file) to Maggie Thomas at [email protected] and Donna Sykes at [email protected].

Here are some sample proposals from:

You are encouraged to discuss your plans with a member of the Collaborative Committee before you apply. Committee members are Neal Baker and Maggie Thomas. The Administrative Associate for the Collaborative Research Program is Donna Sykes.

Note: Final reports on Collaborative Research projects are due by last Monday of June of the academic year in which the project occurred. You must submit a final report in order to be considered for future grants.

  • A complete account of expenses, with receipts, should accompany your final report. It is expected that any unused portion of an expense award will be returned to the College when you submit your final report.
  • Individuals who submit proposals that are not funded by the Collaborative Research Committee may appeal the Committee’s decisions to the Academic Dean.

Final statement questions

The final statement for a Collaborative Research project should include the components outlined in referenced the word document.

Final Report Form

Final Reports should be filed with Maggie Thomas and Donna Sykes by June 30 of the academic year in which the project occurred. Please use the format and questions listed below, and send by email attachment to Maggie and Donna.

Financial Expense Form

Please use this form or one similar each time you file for reimbursement or submit a bill.


For 2018-19, the Collaborative Research Committee approved eight projects involving nine faculty members. These projects are:

  • Jennifer Cardinal (Sociology/Anthropology), Earlham and Richmond: The Sociocultural Geography of Community
  • Eric Cunningham (Japanese Studies), Japan at Earlham, a Research and Historical Preservation Practicum
  • Tom Hamm (History), Quakers and the American Civil War
  • Ahmed Khanani (Politics), Rethinking “Islam” in Political Islam
  • Michael Lerner (Environmental Sustainability), Modeling Climate Change in New Zealand
  • Lynne Perkins Socey (Theatre Arts), New Play Project for Edinburgh Fringe Festival
  • Honghong Tinn (History), History of Science and Technology in Modern East Asia
  • Betsy Schlabach (History) and Amy Bryant (Library), Intersections of Race and Language in New Orleans: Colonial Era to Katrina

For 2017-18, the Collaborative Research Committee approved eight projects involving eight faculty members. These projects were:

  • Becky Justice (Global Management), Virtual Experiences in Diversity & Inclusion Education
  • Sandra Lara (History), Gender, Law, and Popular Culture in Coahuila:  1821-1910
  • Ann-Eliza Lewis (Museum Studies), (Re) interpretive Analysis of the JMM’s Adena and Hopewell Collections
  • Katharine Milar (Psychology), Psychology Curriculum at Historically Black Colleges
  • Jana Schroeder (Community Engagement), Oral Histories of Place and Identity in Richmond, Indiana
  • Tian Tian (Chemistry), Testing the Efficiency of Solar Cell
  • Michelle Tong (Psychology), The Molecular Mechanisms of Olfactory Representation Specificity, and Other Untold Stories
  • Chris Smith (Biology), The Role of Nutrition in Ant Caste Determination and Ecology

For 2016-17, the Collaborative Research Committee approved seven projects involving eight faculty members. These projects were:

  • Michael Birkel (Religion) & Tom Hamm (History), The Young Friends of North America Movement
  • Michael Lerner (Physics), Watching Molecules Move
  • Demian Riccardi (Chemistry), In Silico Drug Design of Molecular Antagonists to the Biological Activities of Carbonic Anhydrase
  • Rachael Reavis (Psychology), Birth to Five
  • Jennifer Seely (Politics), Politics and Community Research: Voting in Richmond, Indiana
  • Kelly Tuttle (Arabic), The Arabic Manuscript in the Digital Age
  • Mickey White (Theatre Arts), Solving Sustainability Issues in the Field of Dramatic Arts

For 2015-16, the Collaborative Research Committee approved 10 projects involving 10 faculty members. These projects were:

  • Michael Birkel (Religion), Quakers and Post-Theism
  • Michael Birkel (Religion), Buddhism and Film
  • Ellen Keister (Physics), Science Time: Photographic Investigation of the Timescales of Natural Processes
  • Sungyeoul Lee (Art), Digital Craft
  • Karen Mager (Biology), Biodiversity in the Bicentennial Legacy Conservation Area
  • JoAnn Martin (Sociology/Anthropology), Compulsory Heterosexuality and the State
  • Carmen Moseley (Museum Studies), A Human Skeletal Curation Practicum in the Joseph Moore Museum
  • Mark Van Buskirk (Art), Big Bodies: Life Size Figurative Sculpture and Life Casting
  • Alice Shrock (History), Uppity Women: Quaker Women as Agents of Advancement Abroad
  • Lyn Miller (Religion), Mystics, Dreamers, Geniuses, Soul-Travelers: The Psychology and Science of Extraordinary Experience