The Student/Faculty Collaborative Research Fund, created through the Fleming Estate, supports collaborative research projects between students and faculty. Students and faculty work together to build project proposals that advance the students’ research interests. They compete for funds, and selected students present their research findings at the end of the year.
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On 22 November 2005, the Finance & Audit Committee of the Nebraska Wesleyan University Board of Governors approved the establishment of The Student-Faculty Collaborative Research Fund (SFCRF). The approval carried these expectations:
- the program is open to student and faculty collaborators or to students and faculty mentors across academic disciplines, and
- funded projects should show direct educational benefits to students and faculty, should be discipline appropriate, and should be subjected to discipline appropriate peer review such as journal publications, poster presentations, or juried competitions and exhibitions.
A Faculty Collaborator is defined as a NWU faculty member who works jointly with a student on a project. A Faculty Mentor is defined as a NWU faculty member who acts as a consultant to the student: providing advice or training.
The purpose of The Student-Faculty Collaborative Research Fund is to:
- fund student scholarship or research in collaboration with, or mentored by, faculty and
- assist students and faculty in carrying out active, experiential learning appropriate to each discipline.
The definition of scholarship used by this committee is derived from Ernest Boyer’s (1990) book Scholarship Reconsidered and includes “a variety of creative work carried on in a variety of places, and its integrity is measured by the ability to think, communicate, and learn” (p. 15). According to Boyer’s Four Areas of Scholarship Intent (p. 1), these activities may be pursued on the context of:
- the scholarship of discovery, which contributes to the stock of human knowledge
- the scholarship of integration, which makes connections across disciplines and contexts and interprets findings in a more comprehensive understanding
- the scholarship of application, in which theory and practice come together in scholarly service; and
- the scholarship of teaching, which requires the highest form of understanding.
Student-faculty research and scholarship should result in productive collaboration between students and faculty, and the dissemination of the scholarship or research on campus and in other discipline-appropriate venues. Funding recipients are expected to present their scholarship or research at the Nebraska Wesleyan Research Symposium, as well as to pursue opportunities to present their projects outside the Wesleyan community. It is hoped these efforts will further promote Wesleyan’s mission of intellectual and personal growth, as well as enhance Wesleyan’s reputation.