BIPI Research Scholars

The Baylor Interdisciplinary Poverty Initiative's 8-10 week Summer Research Scholar program is available to Baylor undergraduates who propose substantive projects designed to address social concerns locally, nationally, and globally. Students are chosen for their commitment to create systemic social change and typically work with established non-profit organizations or civic groups.  Applicants must align their application with URSA guidelines.


·  To promote faculty-directed scholastic projects connected to students' academic discipline

·  To enable student leaders to develop and execute outcome-based projects responsive to identified critical needs in a community or related to a specific social issue

·  To facilitate undergraduate research and promote opportunities to present and publish work in local and national forums

·  To provide a forum for students to academically reflect on the nature and quality of their work with other student and community partners

·  To develop sustainable (multi-year) relationships with existing non-profits and civic leaders to address such needs


The experience must foremost promote activism and scholarship; the student's scholastic goals and objectives must be met in conjunction with the organization's goals and objectives.

General characteristics for a strong project proposal include:

·   High value for the target audience

·   Outline of realistic goals attainable within the time frame of the project

·   Defined action plans for any work that must occur before or after the summer experience

·   Proven understanding of the goals of the host organization and how the project relates to the host organization's mission and goals

·   Clear explanation of process to develop project


We strongly encourage students to discuss ideas for projects with BIPI staff before the application deadline. Developing a suitable project takes time, and regular consultation with professors, advisers and community partners/non-profits is advised. Fellowships are intended for individuals whose application, reference(s), and interview demonstrate:

•   Need for the project and potential impact on the community (short- and long-term)

•   Feasibility and viability of the project

•   Quality of direct interaction and collaboration with the community partner and community being served

•   Innovation in the project design

•   Relationship of the project to the applicant's background and future plans

•   Ability, initiative, motivation and demonstrated commitment of the applicant

•   Flexibility and willingness to adjust project plans in accordance with community needs

Additional considerations for applicants proposing international projects:

•   The applicant's ability to speak the native language

•   Prior experience in the country or local community

•   Adequate in-country community connections (international projects require a local community partner, U.S. representatives or affiliates are not acceptable substitutes)

•   Safety: the safety of travel to any international destination is reviewed up until time of departure. BIPI's program must adhere to Baylor's International Travel Policy. U.S. Department of State travel advisories can be obtained online. 

•   Proposals should respond to an organization's informational needs and identify significant policy and/or practice issues for investigation

•   Projects should be designed to have a specific and timely impact on current policy and/or practice