Dr. Jennifer Vitale
Elliott Associate Professor of Psychology
Director of the Honors Program
Chair of the Honors Council
P.O. Box 165
Hampden-Sydney, VA 23943
Office: Bagby 223
Senior Fellowship Application Process
During the Junior year:
A. Determine if you want to apply for a Senior Fellowship:
- What topics interest you? In what field or fields of study? Does the topic of interest cut across disciplinary boundaries?
- What professors are possible supervisors?
- What do current Senior Fellows say about the program?
B. Determine if you are eligible:
- Determine if you meet the grade point average requirements (3.5 overall g.p.a.).
- Check with your advisor to determine what proficiency and distribution requirements remain unsatisfied.
- Confer with possible supervising professors (even if you are sure of a topic, you should consider at least two possible supervising professors) in the applicable departments.Academic Responsibilities and Requirements:
C. Write a proposal:
Write a detailed proposal that describes and justifies your project, provides a preliminary bibliography, and describes your qualifications for the work you wish to undertake. Send the detailed proposal and applicable supporting documents to the Honors Council (see sample proposal outline).
In your proposal be sure to include:
- a detailed description of the research in which you will engage
- a description of the research methodology that will govern your project
- a preliminary bibliography of works that you will consult
- a description of the anticipated product of these activities
- a description of the value and significance of your work
D. Ask your supervising professor(s) to write to the Honors Council endorsing your request to be appointed as a Senior Fellow.
- If your work involves supervision in two or more departments, request a letter of endorsement from a faculty member in each department.
- Be sure that in this letter your supervisor gives his/her judgment of your project in terms of:
- the scholarly significance of the results
- the potential development of the applicant as a scholar
- the applicant's preparation for undertaking the project, as well as information about outside funding being sought and/or having been obtained to underwrite the project.
In the endorsement, the supervisor should also:
- state his or her willingness to assume responsibility for supervising the proposed project
- suggest a means by which the project's results will be evaluated.
*Please note: it is your responsibility to ensure that supervising professors send the necessary endorsements to the Honors Council.
F. If your application is approved by the Honors Council, these events follow:
- The Honors Council recommends to the Dean and the President that you be appointed a Senior Fellow.
- If the Dean and the President concur with the Honors Council, they will send you an official letter of appointment.
- Your appointment as a Senior Fellow is announced publicly at Opening Convocation.
- You will receive from the Honors Council:
- a letter that outlines your responsibilities and the project timetable;
- appoints your supervisory committee:
Each Senior Fellow will be supervised by an advisory committee of at least three and possibly four or more members, constituted as follows:
- the advisor and chair of the committee, an instructor in the student's major who will work closely with the student in the project and who will be responsible for convening regular meetings of the committee
- (possibly) a second instructor or two in the student's major (and/or one or more instructor in a second major)
- an instructor from any discipline pertinent to the student's work
- a member of the Honors Council
The advisory committee will be responsible for guiding and ultimately approving the student's work. The committee will meet as a group with the student once each month during the academic year. The committee will hold Senior Fellows to high standards of research and writing. The committee will evaluate each Fellow's progress at the end of the first semester; if the work is not deemed of sufficiently high quality, the Fellow will not be permitted to continue the project into the second semester. The committee as a whole will discuss grades to be assigned at the end of both semesters, but the advisor will be responsible for submitting final grades in both semesters.