Summer Graduate Student Research Assistantship

The James H. Oliver, Jr. Institute for Coastal Plain Science (ICPS) invites Georgia Southern University graduate students in any scientific discipline to apply for a $4,000 summer research assistantship to support his/her thesis research efforts. Two such awards will be made on a competitive basis in summer 2015 with priority given to projects of high quality that fulfill the mission of the ICPS.

Mission of the ICPS

The mission of the (ICPS) is to support Georgia Southern’s pursuit of academic distinction in teaching, scholarship, and service by advancing a culture of engagement that bridges theory with practice and extends the learning environment beyond the classroom.  The ICPS furthers the College of Science and Mathematics’ mission of transforming scientific knowledge into opportunities for economic development which are protective of our natural resources by 1) promoting, in coordination with public and private partnerships, interdisciplinary research and education directed toward understanding the physical and biological resources occurring below the Fall Line and their sustainable use and management and 2) enhancing curation of the extensive natural history collections and promoting their use as research and educations tools.

For the purposes of this application, the key aspects of the mission statement that must be addressed in the research are 1) a focus on obtaining a better understanding of the physical or biological resources occurring below the Fall Line, and 2) a demonstrated interdisciplinary component.


Students in scientific disciplines who are in good academic standing in the master’s program in the Jack N. Averitt College of Graduate Studies are eligible. BS or BA students who have been accepted into the Master of Science program at Georgia Southern and will clearly be in the graduate portion of their degree program during the summer of support are also eligible. The research proposed should be directly related to the applicant’s completion of degree requirements and a student may receive this form of support only once.

Applications will be evaluated by a committee of ICPS affiliated faculty according to the following criteria:

  • Compatibility with the mission of the ICPS
  • Feasibility of the project.
  • Whether the proposed project can be completed or a significant amount of progress can be made in one summer.
  • Clarity and persuasiveness of the proposal (applicants should keep in mind that the proposals will be evaluated by faculty from outside the applicant’s discipline).
  • Plans for disseminating the results of the research.
  • The importance of the support for the applicant’s completion of his/her degree.

How to Apply

The application should consist of the following three items.  Proposals that do not follow these guidelines will not be reviewed.

1. ) Cover Page (download at the bottom of this page)

2. ) Formal Proposal. The project proposal, for which there is no form, should consist of

a.       A three-page maximum, double-spaced (minimum 12 pt. type with 1 inch margins) narrative description of the project that details:

                        i.      The applicant’s name, graduate program, and project title.

ii.      The background/rationale for the proposed work, including its applicability to the mission of the ICPS.

iii.      One or more specific hypotheses that will be tested.

iv.      A clear description of the research plan and proposed methodology.

v.      An assessment of the projected outcomes if the research is conducted as described (i.e., what will it all mean?).

vi.      Specific plans for disseminating the results.

vii.      A statement of the impact of the award on the student’s progress toward degree completion.

b.      A one page curriculum vitae detailing the following as appropriate:

                        i.       Educational training (list degrees earned, years received, and awarding institutions).

ii.      Relevant research experience and any other activities or specialty courses completed (outside of standard degree requirements) relevant to the discipline.

iii.      Grants and scholarships received.

iv.      Presentations.

v.      Publications.

3.) Thesis Advisor’s Evaluation. Applicants should ask their thesis advisor to submit a confidential evaluation of no more than one page. This evaluation should address the quality of the proposed project and the likelihood for the applicant’s future success.

Deadline and Submission Process

Completed applications (with Cover Page) should be submitted electronically to Ms. Earlene Howard, Administrative Assistant, ICPS ( no later than March 15, 2015.

The thesis advisor’s evaluation is meant to be confidential so should be submitted by the faculty member as a separate document. These evaluations should be submitted electronically to Ms. Earlene Howard, Administrative Assistant, ICPS ( no later than March 15, 2015.

 Final Report

A final 2-page report on the outcome of the summer award must be submitted by the student to Daniel Gleason (, Director of the ICPS, by September 30, 2015.


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