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Research is an integral part of all disciplines. Students tend to believe that research opportunities only exist for their peers in the sciences and that in the arts research is unnecessary. Nothing could be further from the truth. To help combat that myth, the School of Arts & Sciences offers students across all disciplines the opportunity to apply for summer research fellowships to support research.

Theatre and dance students may not be working with test tubes and pipettes; rather they research their discipline through professional internships, playwriting and thesis research in specific areas of theatre and dance. Students work with faculty members to develop a problem or focus of inquiry that drives their work over the summer or during the academic year.

Students can also apply for small research grants during the academic year to support creative projects, materials and travel to research-related workshops, seminars and conferences. The School especially supports students who travel to present their research findings at regional or national professional conferences. The School of Arts & Sciences holds a Student Symposium each spring to showcase research projects students have completed during the academic year and previous summer.

The first step to finding the right research opportunity for you is to find a professor whom you enjoy working with and whose work interests you. He or she will be able to help you find appropriate opportunities in your field of interest.

Independent Study

Independent study courses provide motivated students with the opportunity to pursue the subjects they feel most passionate about. Students propose a course that includes scholarly or creative work in a specific sub-field within theatre or dance and find an appropriate faculty supervisor. Together, they design a program of study that includes an outline of what the student will accomplish, why the information isn’t available in a regular course already taught in the department, a timetable for completing projects, research papers and other materials and an evaluation method.

Approval for independent study is not granted until the student has secured a faculty supervisor. Proposals are due two weeks before pre-registration ends each semester.

Discipline-Specific Library Research Guides

Subject librarians at the University of Richmond Libraries maintain discipline-specific research guides for every academic course of study offered through the School of Arts & Sciences. Students in both theatre and dance can contact the subject librarian directly, view top recommended resources and conduct discipline-specific searches of databases and Web sites. In addition, subject librarians frequently highlight new titles related to the academic field.