College Summer Institute (CSI)

An immersive full-time VIRTUAL summer research experience for select undergraduates lead by faculty and scholars at the University of Chicago 

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 to conduct original research toward their BA theses, generating new projects and honing existing ones. 

Four faculty and up to twenty undergraduates will come together virtually and/or at the Franke Center for the Humanities 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 2021 VIRTUAL College Summer Institute theme and faculty research mentors here

2021 VIRTUAL Program Dates: June 16 – June 30; September 7 – September 23, 2021 

This is a full-time, 10 week summer research experience. Summer Institute scholars are expected to participate fully in the Institute program while it is in session for the above dates (M-F, ~9:30 am - 4:30 pm CST). Scholars are also expected to devote 5 additional weeks of full-time research to their CSI project outside of the formal dates of the program. While this work will occur independently under the guidance of their faculty mentor(s), it must indicate substantive and rigorous engagement in the topic and research process. All CSI scholars are expected to participate in a pre-orientation event in Spring Quarter and in the closing symposium on Thursday, September 23, 2021.

Summer Institute Scholars Grant: $5500.00* 

  • This is a selective program; up to 20 undergraduates will be invited to participate.
  • *Eligibility for research experience and grant contigent on participation in 10-week, full-time summer research.

Eligibility Informationavailable here

Application Deadline: Monday, February 15, 2021

NOTE: The entire 2021 College Summer Institute will be FULLY REMOTE.  No portion of the institute will occur on campus or in-person.


For general questions about the 2021 College Summer Institute in the Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences, contact Dr. Nichole Fazio, CSI and CCRF Director,

The College Summer Institute in the Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences is a collaborative initiative supported by the Humanities and Social Sciences Collegiate Divisions, The Franke Center for the Humanities, and the College Center for Research and Fellowships.