« All Posts by this Blogger
A man doing research on an aquarium

As a sophomore at Dartmouth, many larger research fellowships become available. In this post, I want to talk a little about my research interests, how I found an advisor, developed my interest, and ultimately how I will apply to a variety of fellowships offered at Dartmouth this winter!

As a Middle Eastern Studies major (and as a humanities major in general), it may seem difficult to find research opportunities—after all, there is a wide variety of lab research and technical opportunities available on most college campuses relating to STEM. However, in my experience, humanities research is definitely available. For example, I knew I wanted to get involved with research towards the end of my freshman year, but I wasn't sure where to start. I knew I was interested in the Arab Gulf, within the context of gender, counterculture, and taboo—these were all topics that had interested me over the course of my first academic year. I took my interests to a professor I had enjoyed a class with in the past whose academic interests aligned with mine, and asked where I should start.

Generally, professors are very receptive to explaining the wide range of opportunities that exist for research; I worked with and got to know my advisor last fall as we narrowed down my research topic into something that could be submitted as a proposal. Throughout the whole process I was able to both learn a lot about exactly what I was interested in, as well as have the chance to get to know an interesting professor much better!

For sophomores in the winter, large fellowships like Mellon Mays (geared towards underrepresented groups in academia) and Stamps Scholars offer the opportunity for large amounts of funding, networking, and other opportunities in preparation for further study in graduate school. For example, Stamps Scholars receive $20,000 of funding to travel, attend conferences, and do field work in their desired field—as an undergraduate! Applying for these programs requires lots of writing and resume-building, but they grant truly life-changing opportunities.

For Dartmouth students, the first step is exactly what I did: identifying interests, and asking a professor for some guidance. There's no shame in asking for help, and in the process you can make a new friend! I've written on this in the past; Dartmouth has many opportunities, but only if they are sought out. For prospective Dartmouth students (hello '27s!), and college students in general, make sure to take agency over your time at school and take advantage of the resources around you to better prepare you for growth and success.

Posts You Might Like