James O. Freedman Presidential Scholars
The James O. Freedman Presidential Scholars Program was initiated under the auspices of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences in 1988 to encourage and facilitate the attainment of intellectual and artistic excellence among Dartmouth undergraduates. In 2007 the program was renamed in honor of James O. Freedman who was President of Dartmouth College from 1987 through 1998. The James O. Freedman Presidential Scholar Research Assistantships offer students the opportunity to serve as research assistants to individual members of the faculty. This venture in student-faculty collaboration introduces third-year students to approaches and methods of research that may prove useful in their own future scholarship. By working closely on a project with individual faculty mentors, juniors receive apprenticeship training in research that may facilitate pursuit of an honors thesis or Senior Fellowship.
The assistantships are two terms in length and must be completed during the junior year. The two terms can be sequential or may be split by mutual agreement of the student and directing faculty member. As assistants, students are expected to work seven to twelve hours per week and will receive an honorarium. If the second term’s work is deemed worthy of academic credit as Independent Study by the directing faculty member (subject to departmental criteria), one course credit may be given if the student so requests. Students must register during the normal registration period for Independent study credit through the faculty mentor’s department/program and the Registrar. Assistantships for which Independent Study credit is to be granted will involve a greater commitment of time than non-credit Assistantships. Students who do not elect or qualify for this option will receive the honorarium for the second term of their Assistantships. Students may not receive both honorarium and credit for the same work.
Upon completion of two terms of research and submission of all required documentation, the student’s transcript will carry the notation James O. Freedman Presidential Scholar Research Assistant. This must be completed a minimum of one term prior to the term in which the student will graduate. To be designated a James O. Freedman Presidential Scholar at Commencement, students must successfully complete the honors program in their major department/program or receive honors for the project for which they were appointed a Senior Fellow.
Eligible students are notified in winter term of their sophomore year. To be eligible, students must have attained a grade point average at the end of the fall term that would have placed them in the top 40% of the previous year’s sophomore class. Students interested in the program are responsible for contacting potential faculty mentors and arranging interviews. Students may interview for Assistantships during the last two weeks of winter term and during the first two weeks of spring term. Faculty select their Presidential Scholars on the basis of these interviews. If the number of students applying for the program exceeds the number of Presidential Scholar stipends available, acceptance to the program will be made on the basis of academic standing and the relevance of the assistantship to the student’s course of study.
Students may obtain further information in the Office of Undergraduate Advising and Research located in Parker House.