Davidson Research Initiative

Student and faculty interest in the Davidson Research Initiative (DRI) has grown enormously since the program's inception in 2007.

Undergraduate research opportunities

  • exponentially raise each student's level of understanding and expertise in a topic of study,
  • expand students' depth of knowledge beyond that which can be achieved in the classroom,
  • extend and enrich the student-faculty relationship,
  • energize faculty and support them in their research and scholarship, and
  • enable students to develop critical skills that provide a clear advantage when applying for jobs or graduate school.

The Davidson Research Initiative (DRI) offers a wide range of opportunities for collaborative research between students and faculty during the summer. Students are expected to spend from 5-10 weeks on campus in a collaborative community of researchers representing the entire academic spectrum of disciplines, including science, mathematics, social science, humanities, and the arts.

Davidson first-years, sophomores and juniors are eligible to apply for 20 DRI Summer Research Fellowships in any discipline ($480/week, plus housing and travel/supply funds). The following designated fellowships will be available through the DRI thanks to the generosity of Davidson donors, Larry Mimms '76 and Carole and Marcus Weinstein:

  • Two Mimms Summer Research Fellowships, designated for students exploring research in biochemistry, genetics, molecular biology, genomics or bioinformatics.
  • Up to three Weinstein Summer Research Fellowships in the humanities and three Weinstein Summer Research Fellowships in digital studies.


Deadline for applications for DRI Summer Research Fellowship proposals is January 22, 2016 at 5 p.m. Proposal narrative components would include an introduction, justification (literature or previous work), methods, preparation, dissemination, and interview or surveys (if applicable). The student, in consultation with his or her faculty mentor, will submit a research proposal and other application materials. Contact Verna Case at vecase@davidson.edu for more information.

If your undergraduate research project is accepted and if you indicated on the DRI application that your project required technology resources, you will need to request a consultation regarding technology needs during the spring semester. Please email the ITS Helpdesk at helpdesk@davidson.edu or call 704-894-2900 to set up an appointment.


DRI Group Investigations fund small groups of students who travel with a faculty member to an off-campus location to perform field research related to their coursework. A class studying "post-wall" Germany, for example, traveled to Berlin for a week over winter break. Another group traveled to Cleveland and Chicago to study urban decline and renewal. Groups can also stay on campus and study an artifact, rare volume, work of art or other tangible property that is brought to the college.