To Apply

The seminar residency in Boston, June 6 – 23, 2016, will center on primary source research.  Participants will be expected to spend 35 hours per week engaged in activities relevant to their research, primarily working with collections at one of the five partner institutions or other Boston repositories subject to arrangement. All team members are expected to be in residence for the duration of the program.

Application Process

Faculty members are strongly encouraged to contact the Seminar Director during the development of the application packet to discuss the project theme and the resources the team members hope to consult during their residency.

A Proposal Consists Of:

  • A cover page with a project title, contact information for each group member, and a brief abstract describing the research theme (no more than 300 words).
  • A research statement by the faculty leader that outlines the project as a whole and the faculty member’s own expected contribution (no more than 1500 words).
  • A current CV of the faculty leader and a one-page bibliography of archival collections to be consulted.
  • Research statements by each of the two student participants (no more than 750 words).
  • A separate one-page statement from each student that
    • outlines previous research experience and relevant coursework;
    • articulates his or her learning goals for the program;
    • details which partner institutions are best suited to the project.

Proposals for the June 2016 seminar are due Monday, February 15, 2016.  Participants will be notified of their acceptance by Monday, March 7.  The Seminar Director is happy to review any part or all of a draft proposal packet for comment and revision prior to the submission date.  Feedback will be provided on a rolling basis and drafts will be accepted for review up through February 1.

Email applications are required; attached documents should be in PDF format. Please submit your team’s application documents in a single email to Natalie Dykstra,, Department of English, Hope College.

Admission to the Boston Summer Seminar is limited to three research teams, each consisting of one faculty leader and two undergraduate students of a GLCA member college.  A cohort of this size helps ensure the character of the program as a seminar of faculty and students engaged in a program of substantive archival research.

Selection Criteria

Proposals will be assessed by a six-person selection committee based on the following criteria:

  • Strength of the research project, including the overall theme and the strength of each team member’s proposed topic;
  • The suitability of the research project as an avenue of inquiry supported by the collections of the host and partner institutions;
  • The demonstrated interest of faculty team leaders to work productively in collaboration with students and colleagues as partners in research;
  • The research experience and promise of student members of the team;
  • The potential for interaction among different teams participating in the seminar, including the possibility of pre- and post-seminar digital and face-to-face engagement through web postings, conference presentations, and other forms of collaboration.


The program reimburses for the travel, lodging, and food costs of the faculty leader during the eighteen days in Boston. For the students, the program will provide an $800 voucher for housing costs and an additional $1,000 stipend on completion of the seminar.  Each faculty team leader will be responsible for making arrangements (with the help of the seminar director) for the distribution of student funds through the business office at their home institution.


Though we will provide ideas/options for lodging in Boston, all travel and accommodation during the program will be made independently by the program participants. Team members should plan to arrive in Boston in time for a program orientation on Monday, June 6, 9:00am-12:00pm, with lunch following.

More Seminar Details

The seminar will include evening meetings for guest lectures/discussions/social gatherings, as well as a day-one orientation and a closing celebration. There will also be time for participants to meet one-on-one with their mentor and the Seminar Director to discuss their research.  Weekends will be unscheduled, leaving attendees free to explore Boston or to take advantage of regional transit to visit points of interest further afield. The program will end with a celebration of research accomplished, where participants will be expected to briefly share their findings and sketch out the shape of their anticipated final product.

As experienced researchers, faculty members will know that a successful on-site residency requires advance preparation. This preparation begins with the development of the project proposal and will continue following acceptance to the seminar.  Once a team has been accepted into the program, each team will be paired with a library/archives professional within one of the partner institutions to help its members prepare for their research in Boston, providing assistance in navigating search tools, identifying relevant collections, understanding policies and procedures, and refining their research question(s). Mentors will continue to advise their students’ research during the program and to provide support after the participants have returned to their home campuses. We hope that the on-site research in Boston will serve as raw material for the development of future work — articles, theses, databases, websites, exhibitions, documentary films, podcasts, creative writing, and visual art pieces, and so forth.  By the time the fall semester begins, when faculty and students are back on their home campuses, we expect research, writing, and shaping of the projects to continue.  Final papers/digital projects will be collected from participants to post on the seminar website.


A final note:  In accordance with GLCA policy, faculty team leaders should regard themselves as the representative of their home institution and should consult the procedures stated by their home institution for leading students on study trips.  All liability forms must be administered by the team’s home institution(s).  There will be an additional liability form for all participants to sign at orientation.

One thought on “To Apply

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s