Applying for a MAP

To propose a MAP, use the application form, also available from the Registrar.

Due Dates

Student MAP application
Due: See Registrar Dates to Remember
Note: Summer MAPs also require the submission of a faculty request for funding.
Academic Year MAP applications
Due: 1st Monday following end of preregistration
Students on OCS the semester prior to the MAP, or who are applying for the second semester of a 2-part MAP
Due: 1st Friday of first full week of classes

Completed MAP applications should be returned to the Registrar's Office.

Student's Frequently Asked Questions

I'm not sure how to write a MAP proposal

See Detailed instructions for students on developing a successful MAP application (below.)

Can I hold a summer job in addition to my MAP project?

  • Students and faculty mentors should understand that a summer MAP project is understood to be a full-time job. This is the reason why summer MAP students are allocated a summer stipend. Students may not receive a wage for a second summer job at Grinnell College during the time that they are enrolled for the MAP.

My summer MAP entails a good deal of reading. I can read just about anywhere, so do I really need to be on campus for a summer MAP?

  • Yes, in the case you describe. However, in cases in which you must travel to another location for an extended period of time, to use an archive or special collection, or to study another regional context as an essential part of your research, you and your MAP director need not be on campus (see MAP Student Travel Guidelines and consult with the Associate Deans Office). You and your MAP director do need to be together since the MAP is a project that is actively mentored by your faculty director.

I am planning to work on a six or an eight-credit MAP. How are the two parts of the MAP graded?

  • MAP projects must comprise a total of 4, 6, or 8 credits, with no more than 4 credits earned in a single semester or summer. Although a MAP component may earn 2 credits, there are no 2-credit MAPs. Each portion of a two-part MAP receives a grade. As you plan the project, you and your mentor should agree upon a gradable product for each portion.

I am completing the first portion of a two-semester (or a summer plus one semester) MAP. I've been spending all of my time doing research and don't plan to start producing the final product until some time in the second portion. My mentor knows I've been working hard; can't she just give me an "S" for my research so far?

  • No. You must produce gradable work in order to receive a passing grade for the first portion of your two-semester (or multi-term) MAP. You and your mentor can think creatively about how you might produce something that would contribute to your final product in some way. You might compile an annotated bibliography. You might write a detailed plan of the artwork that you intend to produce or a proposal for the final stage of your research. You might write a detailed introduction to the research paper you intend to write during the second portion of the MAP, or the program notes for the theatrical production you will stage in the second portion of the MAP.
  • Producing a piece of gradable work will serve as an important first step toward the completion of a major project. It also ensures that you can receive a letter grade for the first portion of your work in case, for some unforeseen reason, you cannot complete the second portion of your MAP.

I want to enroll in a two-semester (or a summer plus one-semester) MAP. Does the second portion have to immediately follow the first?

  • In most cases, it is to your advantage to follow up the first semester's or the summer's work without an interruption. Your mentor can probably explain to you how difficult it can be to start up a project after a hiatus of several months. However, in some cases such a delay cannot be avoided. In particular, summer research MAPs may be conducted over the course of two summers.

I had planned to work on a summer MAP, had worked everything out with my professor, and had filed my application. Out of the blue, however, I've got this great opportunity to travel the length of the Amazon river! Can I just drop the MAP?

  • MAPs aren't like regularly offered courses. This is even more the case for summer MAPs. Considerable resources have already been allocated to your MAP before you even file the application. Furthermore, your mentor has made a commitment to you that may have involved changing summer plans in order to remain on-campus for the duration of your MAP. If your MAP is part of a faculty member's research project, your withdrawal may create complications for a project that has been designed to use research assistants. It will be too late for your mentor to find another assistant. For these reasons, permission to withdraw from a summer MAP will be granted only for a serious and unexpected crisis.

My MAP was really successful and my adviser wants me to present it at a conference. What do I need to do now?

  • Students can receive funding to present at one conference during the calendar year following their MAP. To request funding, go to the student travel request form.

Housing

MAP students are eligible to rent college-owned housing, subject to availability, either for that ten-week period, or for a six-week period during the first half or second half of the summer. Initial deposits and rent can automatically be deducted from MAP stipend payments. To accommodate building maintenance needs, the earliest date for students to move into the college-owned housing will be Memorial Day, and it will not be possible to remain any later than the first full week of August. (link to summer housing) Students interested in learning more about this opportunity should contact the Residence Life Housing Office.

Payment

If the MAP student has not previously been employed by the college, the student needs to complete employment forms at the Cashier's Office. The student will need either a passport or a driver's license and social security card. It is not possible to receive a paycheck without filing these employment forms. Student paychecks are issued throughout the summer on alternate Fridays as determined by the Office of the Treasurer, and are available for pick-up at the Cashier's Office.

Student MAP Proposal Guidelines

Detailed instructions on developing a successful MAP application

In consultation with your faculty mentor, prepare a detailed formal proposal describing the topic and project that seeks to persuade your reader that your project is worth supporting. Of course, no scholar can ever predict the exact outcome of scholarly and creative work, so your final project may not match your proposal exactly; however, writing a strong proposal increases the likelihood that you will produce a successful product. Due to the inherent “advanced” nature of the MAP, make sure that the proposal shows how you are grappling at a deep level with what’s been done before in the discipline and how your project responds to that previous work. Your MAP application should demonstrate your ability to conduct such an advanced study. Overall, this proposal should argue, using evidence, that this project is important, academically rigorous, and likely to result in a product that makes a new contribution to the field of study.

Specific points to consider in preparing your application:

  • A Mentored Advanced Project is an approved course of faculty-directed scholarly or creative work that culminates significant preparatory work. It integrates the knowledge and skills gained by your course of studies, and aims to produce results that merit dissemination to the wider scholarly community. Using this definition, argue that your proposed project is both advanced and integrative given the background and skills you bring to it.
  • State your problem or hypothesis and clearly place it within the field of previous and ongoing work of others. This description should reflect a thorough review of the literature on your topic, to make sure you know what other scholars are doing and what conclusions they are coming to.
  • Formulate and describe your approach to the project—the steps you will take to answer the questions/address the hypothesis you have already presented. Clearly and thoroughly articulate your methodology and why you will use this particular approach for your analysis, formation of a creative product, and/or data collection. Include references to particular influences and previous work that informs this process.
  • Identify what your research will contribute to the body of knowledge in the disciplinary area in which you are working. What will those who review your final product learn about the larger field of scholarship within which your project falls?
  • Pay attention to the requirements of academic honesty:
    • Remember that this proposal is a scholarly piece of writing; as such it should represent your most careful formal writing. As with any scholarly piece of writing, you must attribute ideas and words to their sources clearly and consistently, using whatever citation system is accepted in your discipline.
    • If you are proposing work that will be done in collaboration with others, whether faculty members or students, clarify what language and ideas belong to others and what are yours. Even if the project as a whole is collaborative, you must argue individually in your own words why the project represents advanced and integrative work for you.