TruScholars Program: Frequently Asked Questions
Here are some of the most common questions students and faculty members have about the TruScholars Program. If the answer to your question does not appear below, please contact the Office of Student Research at firstname.lastname@example.org or use the feedback form.
Yes. Students may receive academic credit for their TruScholars experience with mentor approval. Students and mentors will be responsible for determining the number of credit hours received for their TruScholars academic credit. Students and mentors should contact their department chair in order to get approval for their TruScholars academic credit. Students will be responsible for paying tuition for any academic credits received.
Yes. The Office of Student Research allows one course to be taken by students while they are participating in their TruScholars summer experience. Mentor approval is necessary for students to take a summer course during their TruScholars experience. Students will be responsible for paying tuition.
No. Students do not have to stay in Kirksville for the entire eight-week TruScholars experience. However, if a student’s research, scholarly, or creative activity takes them away from campus for some portion of the eight weeks, they must first receive a waiver from the OSR. Also, regardless of where a TruScholar participant conducts their work, they must still be able to attend at least 2 out of the 3 required summer workshops and the Summer Research Symposium at the beginning of the Fall Semester.
The expectation for TruScholars Program participants is that the research project be the primary focus of your activities during the eight-week summer term. Because of the diverse ways in which research is done across disciplines, it is difficult to place a “one size fits all” requirement on the time spent on the project. You and your mentor may decide that an 8-to 6-daily schedule is appropriate, or you may take a more flexible approach. Keep in mind that thinking about your project is an important part of research process! The hours you work on your project will not be monitored formally; you are responsible for dedicating the time required to successfully complete your project goals.
Your TruScholars research project should be your primary focus during the eight-week summer term. Holding a full-time job would certainly be detrimental to your ability to devote the necessary effort to your research, and so would not be permitted. A part-time job might be acceptable, depending on the time commitment (certainly no more than 15 hours per week) and the job schedule (weekends and evenings would be best). The most important consideration is whether a particular part-time job will interfere with your ability to devote the majority of your attention to your research project. The Office of Student Research recommends you do not have another job during the eight-week session
You may not split a single TruScholars stipend among two or more program participants, and each application must be submitted by only one student. Students may submit individual applications with the intent of working as members of a team, but each application will be considered individually, and there are no guarantees that all potential members of a team will be selected to the TruScholars Program. Your application should not describe a project that depends critically on the participation of other team members who are also applying to the TruScholars Program.
The presentation of the results of your research project at the Truman Student Research Conference
is strongly encouraged but not required. You are required, however, to present your research at the Summer Research Symposium at the beginning of the Fall Semester.
The TruScholars Program is designed to support faculty-student collaborative research over the summer. You should think of the project as an effort undertaken by colleagues, not as strictly a student project. The primary responsibility for the success of the project lies with the student, however. As a mentor to a student in the TruScholars program, you are expected to be available to the student throughout the entire eight-week summer term to provide support and guidance and to work with the student as necessary to advance the project and train the student in the appropriate research methods. You are also expected to attend the required program meetings
including the TruScholars Research Symposium at the beginning of the Fall Semester.
Studies show unambiguously that the availability and involvement of the faculty research mentor is the single most important factor in the success of student research projects and in the overall experience for the student. Therefore, it is expected that you will be present in Kirksville for the majority of the eight-week summer term. Short vacations and trips out of town would be OK, provided that you have worked with the student to ensure that he/she is prepared to continue work on the project in your absence.
Faculty mentors may teach classes or fulfill other responsibilities during the summer in addition to serving as a TruScholars mentor. Each application will be evaluated in part on the availability of the mentor to the student during the eight-week summer term. Teaching one class is certainly reasonable; teaching two or more classes will make it more challenging to be a successful mentor. Faculty teaching in the Joseph Baldwin Academy
make a significant commitment of time and mental effort to that program and may find it difficult to work closely with a student at the same time. There are no absolute requirements for the degree to which faculty mentors can be committed to activities outside the TruScholars Program during the summer; each application will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis.
You should discuss in specific terms how you intend to mentor the TruScholars student participant in a way that will lead to a successful outcome to the project and provide a meaningful experience for the student. This might include steps you will take to prepare for the summer research project; a proposed schedule for meeting with or working alongside the student; a discussion of how you will accommodate any other summer responsibilities you have (teaching, chair duties, etc.); and anything else you think might be relevant to the mentoring relationship. Keep in mind that the entire application will be evaluated in part on your ability to demonstrate that you will be a successful mentor.
Yes, this is possible. However, both mentors are expected to be available to the student for the majority of the summer eight-week term, and both mentors should contribute equally to the success of the research project and to providing a positive experience for the student. If the plan is to have two mentors on the same TruScholars project, you should jointly write the Mentoring Plan.