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Honors Summer Fellowship

The Honors Summer Fellowship offers the unique opportunity for students to spend a summer in Ann Arbor focusing on thesis work. Utilizing the HSF community, students have the opportunity to research, make new faculty connections, attend student gatherings and engage in public scholarship.

Dates:  May 30 - August 4, 2023

2023 HSF Application Opens December 1st, 2022

HSF students gathered on Diag


What is the Honors Summer Fellowship?

The Fellows program provides a unique opportunity for a group of upper-class students to gather from across all three divisions of LSA; the humanities, social sciences, and natural sciences. Participants learn from one another about the nature of research across this whole range, comparing the modes of work, nature of valid evidence, styles of presentation, and special challenges. It is an unusual opportunity to reclaim the interdisciplinary interactions which play such an important role in a genuine liberal arts education at a time in your studies when many influences push you to specialize.

Honors Summer Fellows will be brought together in an interdisciplinary cohort for ten-weeks in Ann Arbor during the summer months. Fellows will spend most of this time engaged in the full-time pursuit of their thesis project. In addition, all Fellows will meet together for two hours each week with the Honors Director.

Weekly session topics include:

  • Progress reports
  • Discussing the evolving nature of scholarly work
  • Faculty panels
  • Practical training in scholarly writing
  • Time and project management
  • Public outreach

Fellows will be expected to play an active role in designing these sessions.

All Fellows will be expected to work full-time on their thesis projects through the term of the fellowship.

Students attending a weekly session

Financial support

Students seeking financial support will receive a $6000 summer grant for the ten-week program, inclusive of research expenses.


Interested students may be engaged at any stage of their thesis work, from exploration of a thesis topic to advanced research at the core of an established project.

Applicants will typically be third-year students advancing to their senior year. In many departments, they will have already declared an Honors major, though in others this will not yet have happened. In some cases, students advance rapidly enough to begin serious thesis research after their second year. Applicants who have just finished their second year should be sure to explain why they feel they would benefit from this program at an unusually early stage.

HSF students in weekly meeting

Henry Dyson, Director of the Office of National Scholarships & Fellowships, presenting to HSF

HSF students planning a poster


The program has four requirements, all intended to enhance the senior thesis experience for Fellows and to enhance the visibility of the thesis process within the Honors Program.

  1. All Fellows will spend the 10 weeks of the program engaged in disciplined pursuit of their theses.
  2. All Fellows will be active participants in weekly meetings of the Fellows cohort, providing insight and support to other Fellow’s work. 
  3. Fellows must be in residence in Ann Arbor for the program's duration. 
  4. During the summer, Fellows will reflect on the thesis process and their progress in a manner intended to make explicit the tacit knowledge which characterizes expertise. 
    • This will include producing:
      • A well prepared and delivered research presentation – this will be done in a format appropriate for a scholarly setting.
      • A piece of public scholarship describing your project – something suitable for explaining the content and importance of their research to a lay audience.
HSF student presenting at U-M Museum of Natural History

How to Apply

Summer 2023 Application

To apply, Honors students must provide the following:

  • A Resume

  • An Unofficial Transcript, which may be downloaded from your Wolverine Access Student Portal. (Please do not request a protected copy from the Office of the Registrar.)

  • A 1000-1500 word Statement of Purpose, describing your thesis project and its current status, along with what you’re hoping to gain from participating in the interdisciplinary fellows program.

  • An Endorsement Form from an appropriate faculty member. Depending on your major, this may be a thesis supervisor or the faculty chair of your department. An email to the faculty endorser containing relevant applicant information, a summary of questions, and the form link will be generated when the application is completed. We strongly encourage you to confirm your faculty endorser's willingness to do this before starting your application.
  • Closes February 17th, 2023

Visit our Honors Research blog to read biographies authored by Fellows in the HSF cohort. Each participating student has a unique and diverse perspective of their field, and different approaches to a world-class liberal arts education. 

Below, students from the last three years describe their fields of research and share the process of discovery - what piqued their interest or led them into their field of academic exploration.

2022 Honors Summer Fellows

2021 Honors Summer Fellows

2020 Honors Summer Fellows