The College Summer Institute (CSI) in the Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences

Opportunity Description:

The College Summer Institute in the Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences provides selected undergraduates the opportunity to undertake intensive intellectual training and research with accomplished scholars and peers at the University of Chicago. Summer Institute Scholars will collaborate closely with a small cohort of faculty across humanistic disciplines in an environment that encourages creative academic inquiry, rigorous discourse, and helps them to develop the research tools necessary for further engagement with their own disciplines. The Summer Institute will allow students to develop original research projects centered on the interdisciplinary theme of the Institute and collaborate with one another and their faculty mentors.

The Summer Institute is aimed at rising 3rd- and 4th-year College students. While the primary audience are majors and minors in the arts, humanities and the humanistic social sciences (e.g., History, Anthropology, Political Science, etc.), it is open to all students interested in pursuing original humanistic inquiry with a demonstrated ability to fulfill the objectives of the program. Building on the critical reading and writing skills that students have acquired in their coursework, the Summer Institute will introduce participants to conducting archival research, acquiring the essential philological tools, engaging with material artefacts, learning to assess and apply different theoretical and methodological approaches, and using bibliographical and textual databases and other digital tools, to name only a few practices and techniques of humanistic inquiry. The Summer Institute will help prepare students conduct original research toward their BA theses, generating new projects and honing existing ones. 

Three faculty and fifteen students will come together at the Neubauer Collegium in plenary and seminar-style sessions to discuss issues around the theme of the Institute, and work in smaller break-out sessions under the guidance of one faculty director. The Summer Institute will conclude at the end of the summer with a celebratory symposium, providing students with the opportunity to present their research to the University community. 

Read more about the 2019 CSI Theme and Faculty Mentors

2019 Program Dates: June 19 - June 28; and, September 9 - 26, 2019

Summer Institute Scholars can anticipate participating in the Institute full-time - Monday through Friday, 9-5 - while the Institute is in session for the above dates. Students must be in residence in Chicago for the entirety of the program (all of the above dates). Scholars will also work independently throughout the summer on their Institute projects but can hold other research fellowships and participate in other activities. Faculty mentors will be available to students throughout the summer, not just during the formal dates of the program. All CSI scholars are expected to participate in a limited number of pre-orientation events in Spring Quarter and in the closing symposium on Thursday, September 26, 2019.

Summer Institute Scholars Grant: $3000.00 

This is a selective program; only 15 undergraduates will be invited to participate.

Minimum Qualifications and/or Eligibility Requirements: 

  • Must be a full-time, rising 3rd or 4th-year College student in good standing; 
  • Must demonstrate the ability to engage fully with the learning objectives of the College Summer Institute; 
  • Ability to articulate the value of undertaking research and scholarly work with a small community of faculty and peers; 
  • Can provide evidence of previous preparation for a rigorous research experience (strong writing skills, previous experience with methodological tools a plus); 
  • No minimum GPA but evidence of academic success is imperative; 
  • Ideally suited to students in the arts, humanities, and humanistic social sciences (eg History, Anthropology, Political Science), but is open to all students interested in pursuing original humanistic inquiry. 

Knowledge or skills gained from the experience: 

Students will learn how to conduct original research on a wide array of primary, secondary and reference materials, using tools humanists employ across disciplines. They will acquire expertise in assessing sources, developing robust research questions and topics, and building scholarly arguments and other persuasive works of disciplined imagination out of evidence provided by primary and secondary material. They will hone the skills required to act as contributing partners in collaborative research enterprises, and as independent investigators pursuing original projects. At the conclusion of the 2019 Summer Institute, students will have completed a substantive project that showcases their engagement with primary and secondary materials, and their critical thinking and writing around the theme of the Institute. A closing symposium and exhibition will afford students the opportunity to present their work publicly.

Application Process: 

You may learn more about the CSI application process and apply for the program here:

Application Deadline: 

Monday, February 4, 2019
For more information on this opportunity, please contact: