Summer Collaborative Research

If you’re looking for a unique research experience and your semester schedules are already full, Summer Collaborative Research (SCR) might be for you.

Charlie Peck, Professor of Computer Science, teaches students about drone repair and maintenance.

What is SCR?

As part of Earlham’s student-faculty research emphasis, SCR is a paid opportunity to immerse yourself in cutting-edge scholarship opportunities with like-minded students—all while under the mentorship of a faculty expert.

While many SCR projects take place on campus, some are offered at sites throughout the country and even overseas. Students often present their research at Earlham’s annual Epic Expo and have accompanied faculty mentors to regional and national professional conferences.

Earlham has a rich history of providing SCR experiences for students. Through the generosity of donors, we fund roughly 50 students in 20 projects per year.

What can you expect?

Working and learning side-by-side with peers and faculty mentors enhances the experience for all—and not only in terms of stronger project results. SCR student participants also increase their comfort with collaboration and teamwork.

In addition, more than 90 percent of student participants have stated they gained the following:

  • Increased career discernment
  • Preparation for graduate school or a future career
  • Knowledge of new technological tools or techniques
  • Better problem-solving and critical thinking skills
  • Tolerance for facing obstacles
Andy Moore, Professor of Earth and Environmental Science, conducting research with his team of students.

Our faculty

Chris Smith classroom lab

Chris Smith

Associate professor of biology

Chris has worked with students for Summer Collaborative Research almost every year since he started with Earlham in 2009. He considers collaboration with students his favorite way of teaching. He’s drawn to growing, nurturing and developing new scientists.

“It is important that our students become well versed in the ways of science—while not all will go on to do research, having some grounding in how research and science is done will make them better able to engage in a world built on the accumulation of scientific knowledge.”

Lindsey McGee working with students in the lab

Lindsey McGee

Associate professor of biology

Lindsey ran summer collaborative research programs in 2022 and 2023. She enjoys teaching students what it is like to be scientists in the classroom and the laboratory. Her research looks at how bacteria evolve and form antibiotic resistance, a critical issue for medicine today.

 “I want to give students the opportunity to learn valuable skills and techniques, experience possible future career options, and make themselves more attractive to graduate school, medical school, or any other profession after Earlham.”

Past projects

While many SCR projects are developed by faculty in the natural and social sciences, projects in recent years have been undertaken in the areas of computer science, environmental sustainability, politics, economics, the fine arts, history, and math.

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. 

Removing Weir Dam

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?

Meredith Edwards

Associate director of grants and sponsored research

For questions about the Summer Collaborative Research program, contact Meredith Edwards.

We continue to monitor the effects of an industrial fire 1.1 miles from campus.
We continue to monitor the effects of an industrial fire 1.1 miles from campus.