Epic Advantage collaborative research

As part of your Epic Journey, every student is offered an Epic Advantage. This is Earlham’s guarantee that you’ll have access to a fully funded, career-discerning experience, such as an internship or faculty-led research experience.

Simply put: You’ll be given $5,000 to do something groundbreaking, game changing, and resumé building.

And using your funding for collaborative research is a good investment in your future career.

Students studied off-campus in Turkey with faculty member Ferit Güven for an Epic Advantage trip.

Researching in partnership

Epic Advantage collaborative research is done in partnership with local scientists and other scholars at universities in the United States and abroad. With these experts, faculty members seek to broaden student’s experiences, knowledge and contributions to the field they are studying. Sometimes multiple research projects are done on one trip, which gives students the chance to engage in multidisciplinary research.

What can you expect?

Epic Advantage research is one great opportunity you are offered through our Epic Journey. You’ll be embarking on a unique experience and testing your ability to practice skills you’ve learned in the classroom. You will also learn to work in a group and navigate different personalities, interests and goals.

You’ll also form close personal bonds with your faculty members and peers, all with amazing scenery as your background.

How do I get involved?

Students apply for the position in the fall. They are interviewed and the trip leaders select the participants. Students then partake in a spring semester orientation. After the trip, students are expected to give a presentation of learning either as a poster or an oral presentation at the Epic Expo.

Students working on drone
Students travelled to Iceland with faculty to work with an international research team.

Our faculty

Iceland 2022

Emmett Smith

Associate professor of biology

Emmett is one of three faculty members who leads the Icelandic Field Studies Epic Advantage trip. Through this program, students participate in multidisciplinary field research in collaboration with an international research team.

“Students were given the opportunity to practice techniques they learned in lab and apply them to real-world problems. Students gained cultural competency by participating in international travel, going grocery shopping, preparing group meals and interacting with Icelandic researchers. Students feel more comfortable traveling abroad after this trip. They can add this trip to their resume as a pivotal experience.”

David Barbella

David Barbella

Associate professor of computer science

David has led summer research projects for a total of five years.  He loves working with students and learning more about their unique approach to problems. David has seen numerous students gain experience from working on real-world research problems—and has even had the privilege of seeing these students move on to graduate research programs.

“I think it is important that students have the opportunity to get research experience as soon as possible. We practice with them on communicating their work and it is wonderful to see students share their research during the Epic Expo.”

Past projects

Epic Advantage trips are lead in all different fields and disciplines. There is something for every student to consider. From studying cross-cultural health psychology in Sweden, to looking at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe and the arts and media that is created, Epic Advantage collaborative research projects are life-changing for students.

Faculty teaching students in Turkey, 2022

Restoring the tall grass prairie

Wendy Tori and Jaime Coon, professors in the biology department, traveled with a team of Earlham students to the Grand River Grasslands in southern Iowa. The team collected data, recorded nesting behaviors in grassland birds and assessed native plant communities. 

Icelandic Field Studies

Shannon Hayes and Andy Moore, geologists in the earth and environmental science department led a team of student researchers to collaborate with the City of Richmond in assessing risks associated with the removal of Weir Dam.  

Representing Women in Wikipedia

Rachael Reavis, associate professor of psychology, led a group of students in a project to add representation of women on Wikipedia. The team added biographies for women in the fields of psychology, computer science, international studies and more.   

Want to learn more?

Jennifer Lewis

Jennifer Lewis

Senior director of off-campus programs

For questions about Epic Advantage collaborative research, contact Jennifer Lewis, senior director of off-campus programs.