Skip to content

Summer Research at Fisher

Get curious and grow your ideas, Fisher! Spend the summer engaging in a research experience. Multiple opportunities are available!

We offer a competitive summer program for undergraduate students at St. John Fisher College to get involved in faculty-mentored research projects in a variety of disciplines and multidisciplinary collaborations. Explore the Summer Fellows Research Program or the special projects listed to determine which is the right fit for you to get involved or extend your research experience. The full 10-week program begins June 1 and ends August 7, 2020.


Summer Fellows students will:

  • Engage in an intensive summer research experience mentored by a full-time Fisher faculty member
  • Practice goal-setting and critical self-reflection through research
  • Communicate research findings to peers and broader community of scholars on/off the Fisher campus (poster printing fee is covered by this award)

Mentors will:

  • Intellectually engage the next generation of scholars in their discipline
  • Extend their scholarship and research, or mentor in a related area of expertise
  • Be supported (e.g. stipend, mentoring support) by the Center for Student Research & Creative Work


  • Current rising sophomore - rising senior undergraduate who will be continuing their study as a full-time Fisher student in the fall semester following the summer fellowship
  • Any major
  • GPA in Good Standing (at least 2.0)
  • Faculty can mentor a maximum of 2 Summer Fellows students
  • Past Summer Fellows awardees are ineligible (with the exception of the Presidential Research Fellows special project, see below) and are encouraged to explore other opportunities with help from the Center for Student Research & Creative Work.

Additional Program Details

  • Student researchers and mentors will attend a required kick-off orientation meeting at the start of the program.
  • There will be a series of 3 "Coffee Talks" - informal gatherings where we will share our successes and challenges. Also, students will receive support on resume building and mentors will be supported in articulating their work with students into their CVs and evaluation narratives.
  • The Center also provides support for responsible conduct of research training, opportunities for publishing in undergraduate research journals, and a variety of other opportunities related to undergraduate research.
  • EvaluateUR will be used to facilitate the mentor-student relationship and to provide necessary program evaluation data
  • Students will be required to present their research at the 2021 Student Research and Creative Work Symposium.

Support Options

Options for Student Support (students and mentors decide and provide justification):

  • Tuition waiver (for 1-3 credits; 1 credit = 35 hours total for the 10 weeks) OR summer stipend of up to $4,130 (depending on the number of hours per week for 10 weeks)

Request for Supplemental Project Support (justification required):

  • Up to $450 for research supplies or project-related expenses (requests for travel support to conferences cannot be included here but instead can be made using the form under Travel Support)

News & Special Projects for 2020

Housing on campus will not be available for Summer 2020.

Special projects will include:

Radiation and its Impact on Human Health

  • Up to 3 students will be awarded stipends and research supply funds to investigate radiation medicine-related projects. Students in any major can propose work under this special project. 
  • Mentors can be from any department as long as the project focuses on how radiation impacts human health
  • Funding for this special project has been made available by Fisher alum Dr. Timothy Kinsella and the University Radiation Medicine Foundation.

Oneida Folklore and History

  • Open to 1 Education (INAD or INCH) major who has a vested interest in American Studies and Native American cultures
  • Commit to 35 hours per week over the 10-week fellowship period and will be compensated at an hourly rate as all Summer Fellows are paid (this Fellowship is not eligible for tuition waivers)
  • This Fellowship is funded by the National Endowment for the Humanities 
  • The undergraduate researcher will work with faculty members to learn about Oneida language, folklore, and history, both via readings. The undergraduate researcher will then develop a museum exhibit and/or lesson plans for fourth graders supporting the language and culture game A Strong Fire, currently under development. Find more information about  A Strong Fire here.

Endocrine Disrupting Chemicals and Obesity

  • Rising sophomore (students who will be sophomores in fall 2020) Biology or Biochemistry majors
  • Commit to 35 hours per week over the 10-week fellowship period and will be compensated at an hourly rate as all Summer Fellows are paid
  • Students may have the opportunity to continue work on this project during their time at Fisher and earn academic credit.
  • This Fellowship is funded by the Wyman Potter Foundation and the faculty mentor will be Dr. Ed Freeman, Associate Professor of Biology
  • Summer research will evaluate the impact of Endocrine Disrupting Chemicals (EDCs) on obesity in a vertebrate research model, the zebrafish. Gene expression studies will be performed to determine the impact of EDC exposures on SOX6 and Cyp2R1, two genes with known roles in lipid metabolism in the zebrafish. Note that all necessary laboratory skills to successfully contribute to this project will be taught. Students are expected to bring curiosity and an interest in applying their current knowledge to a real world problem.

Presidential Research Fellows 2020 - Fisher Ready

An assessment of best practices for experience-based learning, career readiness, and the impact on institutional vitality

Prior Summer Fellows are eligible

  • Students must be a rising junior or senior with experience doing research (archival, survey, literature review, etc.) and who have completed some form of experience-based learning while a student at Fisher
  • Prefer scholars who are both independent contributors and also enjoy working with a team as up to 5 students will be selected
  • Must be intellectually curious and self-directed
  • Scholars will work a minimum of 15 hours a week, with a maximum of 25 hours per week at the conclusion phase of the project
  • Fellows will follow the timeline and be paid per the current Summer Fellows pay scale
  • GPA of 3.00 is preferred but a minimum of 2.00 is required
  • This project is specially funded through President Rooney’s Office and the mentor will be Dr. Julia Overton-Healy, Director of Career Services.
  • The 2020 Presidential Research Fellows will help shape Fisher’s approach to experience-based learning (internships, mentored research, co-ops, structured volunteering, student employment, study away, and more).

Application Process

Open March 11 - April 24, 2020 ** Deadline Extended! ** APPLICATIONS ARE NOW CLOSED!

Be sure to include a consideration of how your project, or aspects of the proposed work, can be conducted virtually. All summer research needs to be virtual until August 1 and potentially through the end of the program.


  1. Consult with potential faculty mentors.
  2. Complete the online Summer Fellows Research Program Student Application.
  3. Submit the materials described below (saved as a single PDF file labeled as "Student Last Name_2020_SummerFellows") to: email
    • 1 page summary (12pt font, 1.5 line spacing, normal margins) geared toward a generally educated audience, free of disciplinary jargon, describing the research project and outcomes expected
    • NOTE: 
      • If you are applying under the special project for the University Radiation Medicine Foundation, you should provide additional project details up to 3 pages in length. Articulate how and why your project fits under this special opportunity.
      • If you are applying under the Oneida Language and Culture Fellowship, the 1-page project summary is not required, but you should provide a document up to 2 pages in length to articulate how and why you are interested in this opportunity, including both how you have prepared for it in your studies and how it will support your academic goals. 
      • If you are applying under the Endocrine Disrupting Chemicals and Obesity Fellowship, the 1-page project summary is not required, but you should provide a document up to 2 pages in length to articulate why you are interested in this opportunity. 
      • If you are applying to be a Presidential Research Fellow, the 1-page project summary is not required, but you should provide a document up to 2 pages in length to articulate why you are interested in this opportunity and how you envision your experience can contribute to this project.
    • 1-2 page student personal statement (12 pt font, 1.5 line spacing, normal margins) using the following prompt:
      • Describe two goals you have for yourself through your work as a potential Summer Fellow and identify how working to achieve these goals will help to prepare you for your future.
    • A statement of your support request – choose ONE below and provide justification. Please be sure to consult with your mentor to ensure your request is appropriate for your proposed project.(NOT required for those applying under a special project)
      • Request for a tuition waiver and number of credits up to a 3-credit maximum (keep in mind that a 1 credit hour experience requires 35 hours total over the 10 weeks)
      • Request for a stipend of up to a $4,130 maximum (requires 35 hours per week for 10 weeks). You can also request a reduced stipend and calculate per hour ($11.80 paid per hour for summer 2020).
  4. Request a letter of support from either a professor you have had in past or current coursework in the discipline of the proposed research, or your current academic advisor. Your research mentor should not write this letter unless you are applying to be a Presidential Research Fellow. This letter should be submitted via the online Student Applicant Support form.


Mentors need to prepare the project budget and justification for both the 1) budget and 2) number of student hours per week to be spent working on the project. This should be submitted via the online Summer Fellows Faculty Mentor Information form

Application Deadline

All application components are due by Friday, April 24, 2020 at midnight.


Email Center Director Dr. Kristin Picardo ( or stop by her office, ISHS 203.