Staff Editorial

As Lawrence students plan for the summer, many are deciding to spend the break doing research with the support of the University.
This year marks the first in which students hoping to conduct research with science professors have had to fill out formal applications before being given paid positions.
We applaud this move, as it decreases the exclusive nature of having to ask specific professors to be a part of their research team, thereby giving more students, some who may not be as familiar or comfortable with individual professors, the opportunity to spend the summer at Lawrence helping professors with research.
Although it is certainly good that the application process for summer research has been formalized, it is unfortunate that the university has mishandled communicating the status of funding for the program to students. Students hoping to do research cannot accept other summer commitments while they wait with bated breath to find out if their research will be funded.
Other summer research opportunities could benefit from a smoother, more democratic application process. Although funds are available for students to study with faculty over the summer in preparation for a presentation at the Harrison Symposium, only faculty were informed about these funds being available. Similarly, faculty, not students, were informed of the availability of funding for honors projects as part of the new – and large – senior studies endowment. We find the fact that not all students are informed directly troubling, as this may prevent them from being fully able to take initiative, seeing as some advisors might be more aware and/or communicative of these funding opportunities.
We are unsure why this lack of communication has been taking place, when news about other academic programs, such as the Watson Fellowship and the Fullbright Scholars program, are so promptly and visibly made known to students. All juniors considering honors projects should be presented with the possibilities to make full use of campus resources.
We are happy to see Lawrence make strides in providing students opportunities to continue academic work during the summer, and we only hope that the university places all the information and funding necessary for these projects to take place in students’ hands.