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Drexel Research Co-op Program Funding

Increasing research opportunities for undergraduates was identified as a high priority as part of the University strategic plan. The introduction of the Research Co-op Program represented a novel initiative to address this goal. An effort between the Office of the Provost and the Steinbright Career Development Center provides funding that makes it possible for students to work with faculty on projects involving scholarship, creative work, and/or research, on campus, nationally and even internationally. The focus of this initiative is to provide experiences for students interested in research across a wide range of disciplines and eventual progression to graduate school and a research career. Faculty with an interest in mentoring an undergraduate co-op student are encouraged to submit project proposals that provide students an opportunity to begin building a research portfolio, including publications, poster presentations, and conference participation.

Since its inception, over 120 awards have been distributed to over 90 faculty members to hire students for projects from over 35 disciplines at Drexel University, the Drexel University College of Medicine, and the Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University. Last year 15 faculty proposals were selected for funding ranging from fashion design to robotics to community outreach.

Proposal Overview

Faculty applicants are required to submit a proposal detailing the project the student will be working on, the job duties and responsibilities for the hired student, the supervision and mentorship of the student, expected project deliverables, and available funding sources, to provide the remaining salary support for the student. Priority will be given to faculty applicants who have not previously had research co-ops. Additionally, priority will be given to faculty who have identified a co-op student entering his/her last or only co-op cycle during the junior year and those who have achieved a 3.5 or higher cumulative grade point average.

Selected faculty will receive $7,250 (includes fringe) towards a research co-op student salary. The cost of a research co-op salary is shared by the faculty and the University. Faculty budget for the research co-op salary must match at least $7,250 to receive Research Co-op Program funding. In certain disciplines where external funding is not the norm, the University may fully fund the research co-op student salary.

Proposals are accepted twice annually for the Research Co-op Program via an online application.

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Co-op Cycle Applications Open Applications Close
Fall/Winter 2018-2019 March 2, 2018 April 1, 2018
Spring/Summer 2018 October 2, 2017 November 5, 2017

Proposal Requirements

  • Positions must be full-time and for the full six month co-op cycle in support of the proposed research project.
  • Projects must involve scholarship, creative work, and/or research.
  • Students must be full-time undergraduate co-op students eligible for co-op during the same co-op cycle that an application is submitted for.
    • For example: For the fall/winter 2015-2016 co-op cycle, only students scheduled for co-op during the fall/winter 2015-2016 co-op cycle can be hired.
    • Priority should be given to students entering their last co-op cycle during the junior year and for students who have achieved a 3.5 or higher grade point average.
  • Students must be mentored by the faculty sponsor, postdoctoral fellow, or a senior PhD graduate student of the sponsoring faculty member.
  • The student's research co-op must culminate in deliverable materials, including (but not limited to) published papers or articles, conference presentations, and/or poster presentations or other exhibitions.
  • Faculty will be required to complete an online evaluation of the student within the last 30 days of the co-op cycle. The assigned co-op coordinator will alert the faculty member when the evaluation is available for completion.
    • Please note: The co-op student will also complete an online evaluation of the research co-op experience within the last 30 days of the co-op cycle.
  • Students are encouraged to participate in the poster session of the University's annual Research Day.

Program Support from Steinbright

Steinbright staff provides support for faculty selected for Research Co-op program funding in two key ways:

  • Communications regarding funding transfers and student hiring paperwork
  • An assigned Steinbright co-op coordinator to assist with recruiting, employing, and mentoring a student for your research co-op opportunity

All selected faculty members will be contacted by a representative from the Steinbright Career Development Center regarding the necessary paperwork to transfer the awarded funds. This outreach also details what information needs to be submitted to Steinbright if a faculty member has already identified a co-op student they intend to hire.

Each selected faculty member is also assigned a co-op coordinator. The co-op coordinator can assist faculty members in posting their available research co-op positions to the co-op job search website, SCDConline, if a student has not been identified. The co-op coordinator can work with the selected faculty member to develop and refine an approved co-op job description that emphasizes the research project, projected responsibilities, and project deliverables, for the recruiting process.

Once a faculty member has hired a student, the co-op coordinator works with the faculty member and student to collect all Steinbright required paperwork so the student can receive co-op credit for their research experience. Additionally, the co-op coordinator is an excellent resource throughout the co-op experience, providing resources and tips for successful co-op experiences.

Faculty who are not selected for the Research Co-op Program funding but still interested in hiring a co-op student are encouraged to contact the Steinbright Career Development Center to learn more about how to advertise their position to undergraduate co-op students.