Fellowship in the Natural Sciences (FINS)

FINSLearning about science in a classroom can never match the excitement and fun of working in a lab or in the field.  Formulating a question, engaging fully with your work, reading what other scientists have to say about your subject, experiencing the thrill of learning something new about the universe, something no one else in the world has ever learned — these are the kinds of things students experience in a lab, especially a research lab, which they can never experience in a classroom.  The Department of Natural Sciences began the FINS (Fellowship in the Natural Sciences) program in 2002 with the goal of providing opportunities for our students to fully engage in the scientific endeavor in the same manner as professional scientists.

FINS students choose a project in collaboration with a faculty mentor and submit an application to the program.  Application is competitive, and students who are chosen receive a $3,000 stipend for the summer.  In exchange, they agree to spend 10 weeks working on their research project, and to give a public seminar describing their project.  We also encourage them to present their results at regional scientific meetings and at undergraduate research conferences.  The students who participate learn skills, but more importantly they begin to see the beauty and power of science.