Berry Summer Thesis Institute

The 2014 Berry Summer Thesis Institute will engage a cohort of ten mid-career honors students (between sophomore and junior year) from different disciplines/majors in a twelve-week, on-campus program that provides them with intensive disciplinary research and scholarship opportunities, three honors credits, professional development and leadership workshops, community service opportunities, public presentation forums, and cohorted social activities.

The 2014 Berry Summer Thesis Institute is from May 12 through August 1.

Program Goals and Outcomes

The Berry Summer Thesis Institute is designed to:

  • Attract more top performing students from all majors to undergraduate research, exposing them to the need for research and its intellectual rewards.
  • Provide additional training and support for students in the research and writing process.
  • Introduce students to scholarly research in their sophomore year rather than their junior year.
  • Position more students for prestigious national fellowships.
  • Result in additional opportunities for students to publish and present honors thesis research.
  • Enrich the intellectual and creative climate for undergraduate research and faculty mentorship on campus.
  • Continue to create and enhance a sense of scholarly community among undergraduate researchers.

Program Components

Each Berry Summer Thesis Fellow will:

  • Engage high performing mid-career undergraduate honors students in research/scholarship in their major under the guidance of a faculty mentor (approximately 20 hours per week).
  • Actively participate in weekly leadership and professional development workshops and activities (5 to 6 hours per week).
  • Participate in community service with a Dayton Community Partner (5 to 6 hours per week).
  • Orally present a Midterm Thesis Research Progress Report.
  • Orally present a thesis research report at the end of summer Berry Summer Thesis Institute Symposium.
  • Prepare and submit a preliminary and final draft of an original research manuscript or thesis topic literature review, to be peer-reviewed and published in the Proceedings of the Berry Summer Thesis Institute.
  • Actively participate in three Cohort Summer Book Reads and Discussion.
  • Coordinate one lunch event and one social activity for the cohort during the summer.

Program View from Past Participants

To view a video of past participants discussing the Berry Summer Thesis Institute, please click here.

Program Benefits

Berry Summer Thesis Institute Fellows will:

  • Full third-term on-campus housing in an Honors House with other cohort members for the summer
  • $2000 summer fellowship
  • Thesis Research Funding (maximum of $1,500 per year)
  • Students who successfully complete the Berry Summer Thesis Institute will earn 3 Honors Credits.

Tentative Schedule of Events

Week 1: Orientation; Introduction to Research; Fitz Center Tour; Introduction to Community Service

Week 2: Disciplinary Research Methods and Approaches

Week 3: Library Research Tools and Resources Workshop; Book 1 Discussion

Week 4: Prestigious Fellowships and Scholarships

Week 5: How to Prepare a Personal Statement

Week 6: Midterm Research Progress Reports and Presentation

Week 7: Resume and Career Center Resources; Book 2 Discussion

Week 8: July 4 Recess –No Institute Programming

Week 9: Draft of Research Paper Due for Peer Review; Peer review

Week 10: Graduate School Workshop; Book 3 Discussion

Week 11: Community Service Reflection

Week 12: Program Assessment and Berry Summer Thesis Institute Symposium


  • Students must participate in a week-long orientation the first week of the program.
  • Students are expected to attend all weekly programming, beginning in Week 2. Weekly programming will be scheduled on Tuesdays from 9:00 am to 1:00 pm. 
  • Students are expected to attend the weekly cohorted lunches on Thursdays from 12:00 to 1:30 pm.

Berry Thesis Fellows

Students who successfully complete the Berry Summer Thesis Institute and commit to completing an Honors Thesis may apply to become Berry Thesis Fellows.

In addition to their thesis research, Berry Thesis Fellows agree to:

  • Take on leadership roles in the annual Honors Students Symposium
  • Support new cohorts of the Berry Summer Thesis Institute
  • Meet with the Associate Director for Prestigious Fellowships and Scholarships to discuss opportunities available to apply for prestigious national scholarships and fellowships
  • Work together with other Berry Thesis Fellows on a long-term leadership and service project associated with the UHP

Thesis fellows will also receive junior and senior scholarships ($1,500 per semester, up to 4 semesters) and be eligible for a second round of Honors thesis funding. 

BSTI Symposium

The Berry Summer Thesis Institute Symposium is held at the program's completion. All are welcome to attend one or several of the 12-minute presentations made by the cohort members.

The 2014 BSTI Symposium will be held:

Thursday, July 31
1:00 to 5:00 pm
Reception to follow 

To read the abstracts of the 2014 presentations, click here:  BSTI14 Symposium Program (pdf)


Fourth semester (sophomore) Honors student in good standing, with a cumulative 3.75 GPA and a strong interest in conducting a thesis research project.

Faculty Mentors

Students are required to work closed with a faculty Berry Summer Thesis Institute mentor willing to guide their research over the 12-week summer program and potential Honors thesis. The faculty mentor must be full time faculty at UD and agrees to:

  • Work closely with the Berry Summer Thesis Institute fellow to develop the Institute proposal and budget request.
  • Be available to provide thesis mentorship throughout the 12-week summer program.
  • Attend the Midterm Progress Report and Berry Summer Thesis Institute Symposium.
  • Provide guidance and critical review of the original manuscript or literature review that the student will prepare for publication in the Proceedings of the Berry Summer Thesis Institute.

Student Proposals

Students who meet the eligibility criteria and have identified a faculty mentor willing to serve as a summer thesis mentor should submit a completed application online by 12:00 noon, Monday, February 3.

Application materials include:

  • Cover Page
  • Berry Summer Thesis Proposal and Budget Request
  • Faculty mentor letter recommendation and support prepared and submitted online by the faculty mentor. In the letter of recommendation, the faculty mentor should indicate that they are willing to serve as the summer thesis mentor for the student during the 12-week summer program. The letter of recommendation and support should be uploaded by February 3.
  • Students should submit the Cover Page, Application Materials, CV/resume and budget request via email to
  • Mentors should submit letters of recommendation directly to

Selection of Fellows

A committee comprised of the UHP Director, Associate Director for Honors Thesis Research, Associate Director for National Scholarship Advising, and faculty representatives from the College of Arts and, School of Education and Allied Professions, School of Business Administration, and the School of Engineering will evaluate applications.

The 10 Berry Summer Thesis Institute Fellows will be informed of the decision the week of March 1, 2014. Names will be announced formally at the 2014 Honors Student Symposium on March 21, 2014. A pre-program orientation and meet-and-greet will be held for students and mentors in April 2014.

UHP Contact

Please direct your questions to: 

Dr. Carissa Krane
Associate Director for Honors Thesis Research
University Honors Program
125 Alumni Hall