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2022 Summer Research Institute 

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Program Description

The CUI Summer Research Institute incorporates undergraduate and high school student interns into a multidisciplinary and distinctly liberal arts research experience. Student interns work alongside CUI faculty and peers in the lab and the field while participating in one or more focal areas. The Summer 2022 institute will include research in the fields of

  • molecular biology (Dr. Kane-Barnese),
  • kinesiology (Dr. Meier),
  • marine biology (Dr. Bignami),
  • ecology (Prof. Zarubin, Dr. Soper, Dr. Karam),
  • rhetoric in science (Dr. Karam),
  • rhetorical theory/criticism and communications studies (Dr. Schulz),
  • organic chemistry (Dr. Ikkanda),
  • biochemistry (Dr. Ikkanda, Dr. Kane-Barnese),
  • physics/astrophysics (Dr. Kenney),
  • engineering (Dr. Espinosa), and
  • epistemology (Dr. Soper).

More information about each advisor’s interests for the 2022 SRI can be found here or on the CUI Marine Lab and Heritage Garden pages. Applicants are encouraged to review this information prior to applying.

In addition to traditional research opportunities, all interns also participate in cross-disciplinary exploration of the philosophy, history, epistemology, and disciplinary variations of research in the liberal arts tradition. Examples of past topics include discussions of the foundational logic of the scientific method, the influence of historic philosophers on present day research, and the art of communication and use of rhetoric.

Internship Positions

Summer Research Institute interns typically have one focal area where most of their time is dedicated, but participate in the lab work, field work, and other activities across all participating disciplines, although individuals typically have one focal area where most of their time is dedicated. Interns contribute to existing faculty research projects and have the opportunity to conduct independent summer research projects in some cases.


In addition to the hands-on educational experience and close mentorship that each student intern receives, we strive to provide our interns with additional benefits. The following options are offered:

  1. Course Credit
    Distributed per the guidelines of the student's institution or degree program. The number of units awarded are to follow appropriate Carnegie hour standards and may range from 1-4 credits. (Registration fees may apply.)
  2. CUI Honors Program Points
    Distributed based upon Carnegie hour standards under the advisement of the Honors Program Director.
  3. Additional Paid Employment
    Students who need additional income may apply to work as a student employee. Paid hours are in addition to internship hours.
  4. Housing
    Interns are eligible to receive free or discounted on-campus housing, as available. Details can be provided upon request.

Time Commitment

Summer research interns are expected to dedicate an average of 10 hrs of face-to-face time per week throughout the 10-week program. An additional 5-10 hours of asynchronous reading and research time are expected per week. Activities are primarily scheduled during the morning hours, but may occur at other times, including weekends, nights, and overnight trips (primarily for field research). All interns and faculty participate in group activities and discussions every Wednesday (~10am-2pm). All interns will be expected to read primary literature, contribute to group discussions and projects, assist faculty and peers, and contribute to a presentation about the summer projects/research at the end of the internship.

The summer program will begin the third week of May and last until the last week of July. (Exact dates TBD) Students on other academic schedules may join the program at a later date. We are flexible about scheduling conflicts, but we expect serious commitment to the program and all activities whenever possible.


Please contact Dr. Sean Bignami with any questions ([email protected]).

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