Clark Scholars 2010!

<p>So, many of you juniors are worrying about what summer programs to apply to next year. I would like to personally recommend the Clark Scholars program:
Texas</a> Tech University :: Clark Scholars Program</p>

<p>The Clark Scholars program is a free (+stipend), 7-week-long research problem in any field (that's right, ANY field - even, say, Bilingual Education or Horticulture) held at Texas Tech University. Only 12 people are accepted each year, out of what last year was 137 applicants. It's open to both rising seniors and college freshmen (current juniors and seniors). I don't know how prestigious it is, but Clarkies in years past have generally attended some very prestigious universities. Anyway, it's really cool, because not only is the research awesome (just ask the CC member Torcher, who worked this year with bleeding-edge PCR technology), but since it's such a small program, everyone gets to be really close.</p>

<p>As a past Clarkie, I will be willing to answer any of your questions, and I hope some of my fellow Clarkies will help me out. The website is rather uninformative.</p>

<p>As a past Clarkie, I can't agree more with proletariat2. Clark Scholars is one of the best summer research programs for high school students, as scholars are paired up with excellent professor mentors at Texas Tech University. </p>

<p>I highly recommend the program to juniors or seniors interested in a career in science research or other areas of academic study (like proletariat said, the program is open to all areas of study, but most scholars are in the sciences) Check out the Clark Scholars website and definitely apply for 2010, applications are available online sometime in early 2010.</p>

<p>hey proletariat2 I have a question,</p>

<p>Can we apply to Clark together again? Our paths have to cross more than just Clark 09'.</p>

<p>Just kidding. Clark is just that kick-ass. The professors really assign you some of their most challenging topics to occupy you intellectually for 7 weeks. The fun is there too, especially if you like moving mattresses around and have massive sleepovers.</p>


<p>I'm in my junior year, and I was looking at summer programs...I'm interested in the program (it sounds awesome XD) , so would any of you have any suggestions for the admissions process?</p>

<p>Thanks so much! :]</p>

<p>For the personal narrative, it's not important that you actually write a narrative. Just write an essay of some sort that applies to the topic. For research interests, be specific! If you say, "Oh, I like biology, I want to do something in biology!", Dr. San Francisco will probably not be able to match you with a mentor (and will probably not be impressed). On the other hand, make it kind of seem like you're open to different research areas in your field, because if you're extremely specific, they probably won't be able to match you with a mentor. You don't really need to worry much about being too specific, though.</p>

<p>The application is due in March or something, but if you plan on applying, get it done early!</p>

<p>Nirvanatear - I'm pretty sure they would reject us! However, maybe we could both do another summer program. Are you applying to any this year?</p>

<p>So, for the personal narrative, would you suggest writing something related to your area of research, or should we save most of that for Part B? </p>

<p>Haha, I saw that the application is due in March, but this January and February are going to be really really busy, so I'm hoping to get the application done by the end of December. If you don't mind me asking, when did you submit your applications?</p>

<p>Also, if you are doing research already, do you think that it would be possible to continue that project? Or is it better to start off with a new mentor and maybe a new project? </p>

<p>It sounds like such a fun program! I am sooo jealous of all of you! XD</p>

<p>Well, I don't know if you should. I, uh, kind of did, but that wasn't the focus of my narrative. Just remember to focus on the "personal" part! Save the stuff about what you're interested in researching during Clark Scholars for Part B; stuff about past research or future aspirations could go in the narrative, if you choose to make that your focus.</p>

<p>I submitted my application three days before the reception date. For some reason, it arrived six days late, and Ms. Durham, who coordinates logistics, got pretty mad at me. DON'T DO WHAT I DID! Submitting it in December, or writing most of it in December and reviewing it and sending it later are not bad ideas. Remember that there are also three teacher recs you need.</p>

<p>About having prior research - it depends on if there's a faculty member at Texas Tech in that exact field who's also a Clark Scholars mentor. For example, I'd done research in plant evolutionary ecology; I did my Clark Scholars research in the phylogenetics of a certain group of animals, and I loved it. Nirvanatear here had previously submitted a paper to ISEF that was something in game theory; his Clark Scholars research was on inverse limits. There's the potential to be able to continue the exact same kind of project, but it's really not likely. It's a good experience to do research in something different.</p>

<p>And it's us who should be jealous of you guys! I would love to be able to go all over again...</p>

<p>The research opportunities sound amazinggg...12 is such a nice small group of people too. </p>

<p>Do you find that you get a lot accomplished, research-wise, in one summer? I've been working on an alternative energy/carbon sequestration project since the middle of sophomore year (I'll probably enter it in a regional science fair this year to see if I can qualify for ISEF), but some of the projects done by the Clark Scholars sound really intense! Would you say the quality of research you do is really deep and thorough? </p>

<p>Thanks for your advice! It's really helpful to have someone to ask questions to :]</p>


<p>Most likely your mentor will assign you a new project in his field. Depending on your field, I would suggest write something really generic. However, there are certain fields I feel would have a much higher acceptance rate due to the abundance/preference of mentors.</p>

<p>About when to submit your application: I finished mine two nights before it's due and it arrived on time. Cost $40 dollars though.</p>

<p>proletariat: Yes I am! I don't wanna disclose it here cuz I fear a surge in CC's very similiar to Clark and it's only open to seniors.</p>

<p>Thanks for your response! Would you say that the papers you write and the research you do is really independent and you are able to come out with a deep level of understanding of the new topic? </p>

<p>I was thinking about maybe applying in physics/math or maybe continue some sort of environmental project. Would you say that the program is good for this path? </p>

<p>Thanks for your help!! :]</p>

<p>Well, I guess it depends on your topic. For mine, I had to learn a lot about methods in phylogenetic research, which is heavily chem/biotech based, but not so much about the underlying biology beyond studying the genera I worked with. Certainly, at least for math and science and probably the social sciences (besides law, based on the experience of one Clark Scholar) you will get "legit", original research done; for other fields, like, say, music, we really have no idea. The research is thorough, and if you put effort into it (which nobody will make you do at Clark Scholars - it's pretty self-directed) you can come out with a thorough understanding of the field. Some of the projects do sound kind of scary, although mine had a short and sweet title. :)</p>

<p>How independent the research is depends on your mentor. My mentor was primarily an administrator, so he was always off at meetings and I made a lot of decisions on my own, with the help of grad students. Other people had different experiences. However, you will always be assigned an independent project.</p>

<p>Physics/math would be great. Nirvanatear did math, so you could talk with him about that. The mechanical engineering Clark Scholar this year was a little confused by his project, which really was more about a differential equation used in engineering than pure engineering. Physics, though, might be more interesting. And I'm not sure about an environmental project, as nobody did that this year. Try it out!</p>

<p>Thanks proletariat...I'm glad the program lets you get your own understanding and lets you do your own research - that's what I'm looking for, as opposed to a scenario where you just watch or follow the orders of someone else. </p>

<p>@nirvanatear: how was your experience there researching a math topic? By the end of junior year, I'll have taken multivariable calculus, linear algebra, and diff. eqs classes, so would that be enough to understand a lot that's going on?</p>

<p>lol at "The mechanical engineering Clark Scholar this year was a little confused by his project". Maybe if he studied less he wouldn't be as confused. (sry Clark inside joke)</p>

OK. by my end of junior year I have Calculus BC but had forgotten most of it. Your versatility in different areas of math will help matching you with a mentor. Other than that, you'll be assigned (or come up with your own, as i heard) a project that's suitable for high school students.</p>

<p>My topic is rather difficult, but only because I wasn't working hard enough to read the existing literature.</p>

<p>I'm just now seeing this thread. Thanks for referencing the nature of my work, Proletariat. Once you get in, the opportunities are literally endless. I was placed in a commercial diagnostics center/microbiology lab and had the opportunity to shadow a doctor as well. Really, your mentor can give you a project, motivation, and let you run with it while keeping you on a track. Be yourself in your application, and make sure you stand out. It's really like applying to any top 10 university with the recs, transcript and everything. Research the 'areas of interests' well too, and describe your future goals and ambitions in your 'about me' essay. </p>

<p>The program was unforgettable. 12 people really get to know each other well in seven weeks...</p>

<p>bump! (10 char)</p>

<p>This program sounds extremely worthwhile, and I'd love to maybe submit an application for the program. That said, my primary interest lies within the field of music, and after perusing the website found that since at least 1999, there were no individuals conducting musically related research. (I could be wrong, though.) Would it be feasible to tie another scientific field of research with music (biology, physics, or even bilingual education)?</p>

<p>I don't really know, but I wouldn't recommend that. There may not be any faculty members at Texas Tech whose research is remotely related to that, so you may be placed in something you don't really like. (Take my advice with a grain of salt, though, as I don't really know how this works.) The first thing I would do if I was in your place is email Dr. San Francisco, whose contact info is on the Clark Scholars website. He heads the program and he'll be able to tell you whatever you need. I don't think there'll be any problems with being the first music Clark Scholar since at least 1999, since we had our first law Clark Scholar this year, and that went perfectly fine. I'm guessing that be music, they probably mean theory/analysis, but I'm not completely sure. I'm sure the music faculty at Texas Tech are great, and since less specialized equipment is necessary for music, there are fewer limitations.</p>

<p>Oh, and by the way, Texas Tech has quite a nice music library, especially if you're into high modernist music. Schnebel, Stockhausen, name it!</p>

<p>This sounds like an excellent program. I plan on applying. No idea what I want to research though...</p>

<p>Would you say it would be a good idea to check Texas Tech's current research online to see if it includes something along the lines of what you're interested in before you write about it?</p>

<p>Hmmm, you could try it. I didn't do it, and I don't know anyone who did. Some professors won't mind if you're doing something that's not very related to what the rest of the lab is doing, as long as they have the equipment; others will give you a topic very closely related to the lab's overall direction. Some mentors will practically assign you a topic (so you should somehow specify to them that you want more independence), while others will allow you to basically design your project by yourself. Even if there isn't a faculty member in the exact field you specify, they can usually match you with a mentor under whom you will enjoy conducting research. For example, I wrote about a specific topic in plant evolutionary biology/ecology; I ended up being placed in herpetological evolution, and I loved it. Doing research in something mostly unrelated to my previous research, but still within my main interests, ended up being a good experience for me. Nirvanatear wrote about a certain topic (game theory, was it?) and ended up doing research regarding inverse limits under a mentor whose research was in pseudoarcs. So, you know, it really isn't that important that there be a Texas Tech faculty member in that specific field, as long as there's someone you can be matched with and the equipment is there. However, if you want to do that, go ahead. It may give you that much more control over your research.</p>