The Scholarship Intern Programme (SchIP) sees a staff-identified research project conducted in collaboration with a student employed as a scholarship intern. It aims to:
develop collaborative learning communities;
enhance and increase research and scholarship;
and enhance and increase employer and/or community engagement.
The programme also responds to the wider 'students as partners' and 'students as producers' agendas (Neary and Winn 2009; Healy, Flint and Harrington, 2014).
This toolkit guides you through the essential phases of work, leading the reader through making a case for institutional investment in the initiative, building a bespoke programme, to organising, running and reflecting on the success of the first call. Template process maps, timeframes, planning advice and essential documentation are included.
It is important to have a clear research ethics and integrity review process for research conducted through SchIP (Lawrence, 2016). Other toolkits in the Scholarship Framework offer steer on the building of a robust and efficient research ethics and integrity approval process suitable for a college-based setting.
Using the SchIP toolkit
The toolkit offers everything you may need to develop SchIP in your context. There are five phases of activity.
Setting up your first SchIP may take some time (though this toolkit will save you a lot of trial and error). Start work on building the scheme in the spring you submit budgets for the following academic year with a view to running your first programme in September.
The entire toolkit is based on the experience and insight of college HE students, teachers and HE managers immersed in the programme for anywhere between nine months and three years, all balanced against a robust understanding of research integrity and scholarship in a college-based setting (Lawrence, 2017; Lawrence, 2018; Lawrence and Hall, 2018).
Why 'Scholarship' Interns?
The term ‘scholarship intern’ is used in a bid to celebrate the strength of academic practice in college-based higher education (college HE). ‘Scholarship’ as defined by Boyer (1990) can be understood as encompassing four inter-relating elements of equal merit, of which ‘research’, or in Boyer's terms ‘the discovery of new knowledge’, is only one.
Scholarship of Application
The application of existing knowledge to real-world problems, e.g. consultation to industry or community groups using disciplinary expertise.
Scholarship of Integration
The synthesis or interpretation of knowledge to come to a deeper understanding of a given issue or topic e.g. literature review or conference presentation
Scholarship of Discovery
The construction of new knowledge or ‘research’, evident in peer-reviewed publications.
Scholarship of Teaching and Learning
The academic or critical, analytical exploration of teaching and learning practices. Research-based and/or led pedagogic practice.
This model is conversant with the QAA’s outline of scholarship
‘…scholarship may include conventional research (discovery of new knowledge), innovation in application or integration of existing knowledge, for example in professional practice, or the study of learning and teaching process and practice.’ (QAA, Chapter B3: Learning and Teaching, 2012)
Methodology and evidence base
The University Centre North Lindsey (UCNL) launched Research Internships in 2014/15. For the Scholarship Project a detailed research and consultation exercise or ‘reconnaissance’ (Lewin, 1946) phase allowed for a deep understanding of the value and potential of the innovation, and prioritised the experience of the learning community (Lawrence, 2018). A number of refinements were implemented for the 2016/17 academic year, which saw the newly branded ‘Scholarship Intern Programme’ (SchIP) roll out from the University Centre, North Lindsey (UCNL) to the Scholarship Project partner East Coast College (ECC).
ECC funded two projects employing two interns, and UCNL funded four projects employing four interns. Colleges peer reviewed each other's proposals, with over ten college HE teachers involved. At every stage of activity, brief e-surveys offered those involved opportunity to provide feedback, and allowed for ongoing refinement of practice. This evaluative exercise has continued at UCNL for the 2017-18 call. All participants gave informed consent for their anonymised results to be used in academic outputs. The e-survey platform anonymised responses.