Students' participation in the ASAP Summer Institute, including internship placements, follows one of two pathways: the Scholar Pathway or the Professional Pathway. Students on both pathways participate in programming together and have a full-time expectation of 36.25 hours per week for all ASAP Summer Institute activities.
Interns on the Scholar Pathway participate in a summer research experience designed to give them background that could lead to pursuit of a PhD and/or a career in the professoriate. On this pathway, the intern’s research incorporates both primary source or data collection and analysis, and engagement with scholarly literature. The intern's Supervising Mentor will be a PhD faculty or staff member at Princeton who can provide experiential mentorship. In addition to professional development programming in which all ASAP interns participate once a week, this academic pathway includes two humanities research methods workshops per week and the option to participate in a free weekly GRE preparation course.
20 hours/week of Academic Research + 16.25 hours/week of Supplemental Instruction and Professional Development
Interns on the Professional Pathway participate in a summer internship designed to give them experience that could lead to pursuit of a career as a higher education professional. On this pathway, interns' work can take the form of one or more projects, not necessarily academic research, that are of use both to the sponsoring organization at Princeton and to the intern's development. This pathway includes professional development programming, in which all ASAP interns participate once a week, and is designed to focus the remainder of the intern's time on working and networking in the sponsoring organization.
30 hours/week of Work in a Princeton University Organization + 6.25 hours/week of Professional Development
The Aspiring Scholars and Professionals (ASAP) program begins each year with a nine-week summer institute on the campus of Princeton University. Participating students have the option of a residential experience, in which they stay in a Princeton dormitory for the period of the summer institute, or a commuter experience, in which they travel to Princeton various times each week for program activities. Housing for residential students, and transportation for commuting students, is covered as part of the ASAP award.
Summer Institute Workshops
The Postgraduate Pathways Summer Institute (PPSI) brings together ASAP interns with students in Princeton's Mellon Mays Undergraduate Fellowship (MMUF) program to engage with a curriculum of two-hour professional development workshops (once per week) and research methods workshops (twice per week) taught by Princeton University staff members, graduate students, or faculty members.
Mentored Internship Placement
As part of their experience in PPSI, ASAP students are paired with a Princeton University staff or faculty member for a mentored internship placement in an academic research group or an administrative unit at Princeton. In the internship placement, ASAP interns have opportunities throughout the summer to put into immediate practice the skills and approaches to which they are introduced through PPSI workshops. Interns meet for at least one hour per week with their faculty or staff Supervising Mentor to deepen the connections between workshop content and internship goals, receive guidance on their daily work in the sponsoring organization, and build relationships that will support them in their careers and other aspects of their future lives.
Through a special partnership with the Princeton University Libraries, each ASAP intern will be assigned a Library Liaison who is knowledgeable in the subject area of the internship. The Liaison Librarian will be available to support the intern by helping them to access library and other resources relevant to the internship project. The Liaison Librarian may also help to connect the intern with a library colleague at the intern's home institution, to further build a support network that can continue beyond the summer.
As an additional benefit of the ASAP program, interns maintain access to Princeton Library resources for a full year, from June 1 through May 31.
The PPSI culminates in a week-long Postgraduate Pathways Summer Symposium. During the Symposium, ASAP and MMUF students give 15-minute oral presentations about their summer work to an audience of their mentors and peers. Symposium presentations are open to the public, and we enthusiastically welcome the attendance of family members, friends, and faculty and staff members from the students' home institutions.
Students in the PPSI also participate in community-building activities--like barbecues, a trip to the beach, and a day at Six Flags--with other undergraduates, from a variety of institutions, living and working on Princeton's campus in the summer.
Home-Campus Research or Professional Experience
A feature that sets ASAP apart from other summer internships is that the program encourages students to continue in a mentored research experience or professional internship on their home campus through the academic year. At the time of application to ASAP, students may identify a faculty or staff mentor at their home institution--for instance, an independent study or research seminar instructor, internship supervisor, McNair faculty mentor, primary investigator, senior thesis advisor, etc.--who will supervise the student's research experience or internship in the academic year following the Summer Institute. If a student has not yet identified such a mentor, research project, or internship, then they may work with the ASAP staff, and faculty or administrators on the student's home campus, to identify an opportunity before the academic year begins.
At the end of the Summer Institute, the ASAP intern, Princeton Supervising Mentor, and Home Campus Mentor are asked to meet together on at least one occasion, to reflect on learnings from the summer experience and establish objectives for the student's academic-year experience that build upon those learnings.
As members of the ASAP community, Home-Campus Mentors are invited to participate in the ASAP Mentor Orientation in May, attend the Summer Symposium in August to see their student and others present, and engage in academic-year ASAP programming. This may include serving as a facilitator or respondent for an ASAP student's work-in-progress; workshopping the Home-Campus Mentor's own projects for feedback from the ASAP community; offering a session in an area of their expertise; hosting ASAP participants at relevant events at their institution; or organizing colloquia in collaboration with other ASAP Home-Campus Mentors, Princeton Supervising Mentors, and ASAP interns. In this way, ASAP Home-Campus Mentors build their own academic and professional networks, while serving as points of connection between their own institutions and the ASAP program at Princeton.
In exchange, ASAP Home-Campus Mentors gain access to funds to offset the costs of transportation to ASAP events and to put toward the Mentor's own research or professional development. Home-Campus Mentors will also have access to Princeton University Library resources through May 31, 2023.
Research / Professional Development Support
As part of the ASAP award, interns have access to a research or professional development portfolio of up to $1,000, to offset costs for supplies or activities related to their internship placement. Students in the ASAP program retain access to these funds for a full year, from June 1 through May 31, to support them both in their summer experience at Princeton and in their academic-year experience on their home campus. Funds may be used for books; computer equipment; printing; software/licenses; sound or video recording equipment; and conference-related costs like registration, travel, or a single-year membership in a professional organization (especially as a requirement for conference presentation).