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Summer Research Scholars Faculty Information

We invite faculty from across UT Knoxville and UTIA to include their students in the undergraduate Summer Research Scholars Program. This program provides a community for students who elect to sign-up while conducting research at UT during the summer months. Students may be part of a larger program or working individually with a faculty member on a summer project. The program is open to any undergraduate student from any school.


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UT and non-UT students who conduct undergraduate research on-campus during the summer months have the option of participating in the Summer Research Scholars program, a coordinated offering of housing, parking, dining, transportation, student activities, health services, and compliance to ensure these students have a great experience while on our campus. The Office of Undergraduate Research (OUR) established the Summer Research Scholars program to provide centralized professional development and networking activities for students conducting on-campus research during the summer months. All summer research participants have the opportunity to participate in activities that include a welcome and orientation lunch, campus facility tours (such as Neyland Stadium and the University of Tennessee Earth and Space Sciences Theater), responsible conduct of research training, biomedical safety training, GRE-success seminar; understanding the NSF GRFP seminar, and faculty guest lectures. Additionally group social activities (such as movie groups, farmers market trips, basketball, and other shared interests) will be planned and optional for students to participate in at their expense. Through the Scholars program, participating programs have the option to house students on-campus in a residence hall designated for summer research participants, and thus will have the opportunity to participate in activities planned through their complex. These benefits will allow the summer research students to further to connect with each other outside of the laboratory. Facilitating these interactions will contribute to their success during their time on-campus.

Student Payments – In addition to the information below, please refer to the Summer Research Stipend FAQ from our office.

Due to IRS rules, faculty with external grants where the student costs are listed as ‘Participant Support Costs’ must pay these students through stipend payments (and not through employee payroll). Please work with your business manager or Sponsored Projects Accounting to ensure you are following proper procedures.

Due to recent changes in guidelines, the Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships has informed us that in addition to reporting stipends to their office, all participant support costs must be reported. This includes stipends, parking fees, housing fees, and meal funds. (Sponsored Projects Accounting is currently updating their informational materials to reflect this change.)

In order to keep UT applicants informed about this issue, we suggest that you include the following language on your program’s page and/or application:

“If you are a UT student, all payments for this program – stipends, housing costs, parking fees, and meals– will be counted towards your financial aid package for the upcoming academic year. We strongly recommend that you meet with the Office of Financial Aid prior to accepting this award.”

Before you begin accepting students for your program, you are welcome to send a list of UT students you are considering to our office (ugresearch@utk.edu) so we can review them with OFA to determine if they are at risk for hitting their financial aid ceiling.

Housing – We will coordinate shared housing in Laurel Hall with UT Housing. The available dates are May 17 – August 1, 2020. The 2020 rate is $159.12 per week per student when billed to the department. Students on self-pay will also be responsible for sales tax (9.25%) on the weekly rate. The deadline for submitting your bed count is April 1. The deadline for names and genders is May 1.

Parking – A list of students residing in Laurel Hall will be sent to parking services. Students will need to purchase a pass from their office. Cost is approximately $105 for the summer. Students should retrieve their parking passes on their move-in day to avoid ticketing by UT Parking.

If you plan to pay for your student’s parking pass, you are responsible for sending a list of their names with a departmental charge code to Parking. You should send this list to Jill Brown at jbrown10@utk.edu. Please also let Undergraduate Research know if you are paying for your students’ parking so we can omit them from the list we send over.

Unique TNID – If the visitor doesn’t already have a Unique TN ID number you will need to follow these instructions in order to get it. To get the Unique TN ID number for visitors that have SSNs go to vault.utk.edu secure courier system and send Melissa Wauford an email (mwauford@utk.edu), copying Sarah Boatman (sboatman@utk.edu). You will need the Names & Social Security Numbers for each individual. The list will need to be last name, first name, middle name, then SSN in separate columns. It may take up to one week for you to receive the Unique TN ID number back from Melissa thru vault.utk.edu secure courier system.

NetID – NetIDS can be requested and received prior to the student coming on campus. Complete this form once and attach a list of students in an excel or word document with the requested information about each user. Please send the NetID request via vault.utk.edu, as they also require a Social Security Number and birth date for each student.

Campus IDs – Submit list of students by email (using two attached forms below) to Cathy Forester (cathy1@utk.edu) in the Dean of Students Office requesting for Special Function Card. Specify that the students are staying on campus and need access to Laurel Hall. Cost per card is $6.50. They must have a Unique TNID first. Cathy can work with you to have their cards ready for their first day on campus. If you plan to include Vol Card Debit funds for meals, see Dining below before submitting these forms.  Special Function ID Page 1 & Special Function ID Page 2

Dining – Rather than a dining plan due to limited full service options, we suggest adding the funds as Vol Card Debit funds which allows the student to eat on campus or any merchant on Cumberland Avenue (or elsewhere) who accepts the Vol Card as payment. The structure of the program prohibits the purchasing of alcohol, tobacco, and lottery tickets with the funds on the Vol Card. When you submit your completed Campus ID forms to Cathy, include how much your department wants to add onto each card for Debit Funds. These funds can also be used to access campus vending machines and printers. You do not want the Flex Dollars or Dining Dollars since they cannot be used off campus.

TRECS Access – Student signs up individually at TRECS during regular business hours. If they are UT students and were enrolled in classes in the Spring, they have the ability to purchase a student summer membership for $75 which covers the entire summer. If they are not UT students, you must indicate they want TRECS access on their Special Function ID Request Form. They may then go to TRECS and pay the rate for the amount of time requested. TRECS stated the 2019 cost would be $30 for one month, $57 for two months, $84 for three months (2020 rates TBD).

Shared Post-Survey – The ROLE survey, administered by David Lopatto at Grinnell College. We would like to use the ROLE survey for all summer research students at UT and to have a comparable dataset across all majors. The SURE survey provides more data, but not all of our summer participants are in STEM fields. (http://web.grinnell.edu/science/ROLE/) Grinnell would provide UT with a unique link for distribution at the end of the experience. Grinnell tracks the data in building larger dataset and will write a report and provide it free of charge to UT. UT raw data can be obtained with IRB approval. You may be able to request a unique survey link for your program.

Summer Dates  Events Notes
Tuesday, June 2, 1-1:30pm ET Summer Kickoff & Welcome!
Wednesday, June 10, 12-1pm ET Responsible Conduct in Research Dr. Sarah Pruett, Assistant Vice Chancellor for the Responsible Conduct of Research
and Institutional Research Integrity Officer
Wednesday, June 17, 1-2pm ET Cross-Cultural Mentoring Seminar Dr. Ernest Brothers, Associate Dean, The Graduate School
Thursday, June 18, 5:30-6:30pm ET House Cup Challenge: Escape Room
Tuesday, June 23, 2-3pm ET How to Create an Effective Research Poster Seminar Dr. Virginia Stormer, Assistant Director for Experiential Learning in Teaching and Learning Innovation
Tuesday, June 30, 1-2pm ET Apply for the National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowships Program (NSF GRFP) Dr. Andrew Seidler, Director, Office of National Scholarships and Fellowships
Tuesday, July 7, 1-2pm ET Showcasing Your Research on Resumes and in Interviews Seminar Center for Career Development
Thursday, July 9, 5:30-6:30pm ET House Cup Challenge: Puzzle Race
Wednesday, July 15, 1-2pm ET Graduate School Applications and Funding Seminar Dr. Ernest Brothers, Associate Dean, The Graduate School
Thursday, July 23 (TBD) Summer Research Poster Symposium (TBD)