Scholars-in-Residence Summer Undergraduate Humanities Research Residency

Scholars-in-Residence Summer Undergraduate Humanities Research Residency

Angela Esterhammer, Principal, Victoria College, Faculty of Arts and Science

Abstract

Scholars-in-Residence (SiR) addresses the shortage of undergraduate research opportunities in the humanities at the
University of Toronto. The project offers a full-time, 4-week residency to upper-level undergraduates from any field in FAS at St. George, UTM, or UTSC. Students receive free residence accommodation and meals, and work in 5-person teams on faculty-led research projects; they also attend interdisciplinary workshops on research methodologies, standards, protocol, and professional communication.

Building upon an innovative 20-student pilot project co-sponsored by the Jackman Humanities Institute and Victoria University in 2016, SiR fosters students’ research ability, creates a multidisciplinary community of students and faculty, and pioneers a collaborative, team-based model of experiential learning in the humanities. Together with matching funds from the JHI, all the St. George Colleges, UTM, and UTSC, a LEAF Impact Grant will allow for a significant expansion of SiR, from 50 students in 2017, to 75 students in 2018, to 100 students in 2019, with some research teams hosted at UTM and UTSC in the latter two years.

Through the work of participating faculty, SiR also aims to develop a transferable and self-sustaining model for incorporating teams of undergraduate RAs into humanities projects and grant applications. Thus, students benefit from hands-on training and mentorship while making an authentic contribution to original research; faculty benefit from the work and fresh insight of RAs from a variety of disciplinary backgrounds; and the experience opens up new possibilities for incorporating undergraduate multidisciplinary research teams into humanities research at UofT.