Faculty Mentored Undergraduate Scholarship
Within every true learner resides the heart of an explorer—someone who possesses the inner compulsion to push the boundaries of personal and societal knowledge beyond present-day limits.
Taylor University’s Faculty Mentored Undergraduate Scholarship (FMUS) program is designed to equip students for ever-deepening explorations into real world problems of significance to them and to society. It is a unique venue in which students have the opportunity to apply what they have learned in courses and co-curricular experiences to complex, open-ended questions. In doing so, the abilities of students to think critically, creatively and from a faith perspective are stretched as never before. Perhaps even more importantly, faculty and students are afforded the opportunity to develop substantial relationships centered on intellectual growth but which can readily and naturally expand to professional, personal and spiritual mentoring—which is at the core of Taylor’s Christian liberal arts education.
Student scholarship has been a hallmark of several programs at Taylor University for years. However, an emphasis on faculty-mentored student scholarship across all disciplines began in 2015 with the establishment of the FMUS program. Institutional, grant and donor funds support faculty and students in projects that are important to the student and society; aligned with the faculty scholarship interests; conducted across a least one semester or summer; require significant inquiry, analysis, reflection and writing; and, must be presented to peers or experts.
The University’s expectations for faculty promotion and tenure were rewritten to include the creditworthiness of scholarship involving students.
Results of the 2017 National Survey of Student Engagement indicated that 44% of Taylor seniors had worked with a faculty member on a research project, significantly more than peers at our benchmark institutions (22%). Over the first four years of the program, FMUS has funded 50 faculty awards involving 100 students across a range of disciplines including: Engineering, Music, Film & Media, Psychology, Christian Ministries, Mathematics, Computer Science, Exercise Science, Molecular Biology, Developmental Biology, Chemistry, Environmental Science, Physics, English, History and the CS Lewis and Friends Center.