Burch Field Research Seminars

Burch Field Research Seminars offer undergraduate students the opportunity to combine traditional course work with hands-on learning experiences that showcase the relationship between faculty research and undergraduate teaching.

Seminars are held in changing locations, domestically and around the world. Burch Field Research Seminars can range from a 3-credit course for 3 weeks to a semester-length program for 12-15 credits. Recent seminars have explored the microbiology of infectious diseases and related discoveries in London, genocide and human rights law in Rwanda, and the renewable energy revolution taking place in Germany, Spain. China, and Korea.

Honors Carolina Global Programs invites faculty members from all UNC departments to submit proposals for the development of Burch Field Research Seminars in the US and abroad.

Guidelines for Burch Faculty Proposals

Proposals generally offer a balance of academic and experiential components. Outline the proposed program, including what courses will be offered and a description of how students will engage in hands-on learning. Some proven hands-on learning experiences include:

  • Internships: Students work with businesses, non-governmental organizations, or governmental agencies.
  • Unique Observation and Experience: Students are invited to observe and experience first-hand unfolding world events.
  • Documentary Projects: Students investigate and document the history or culture of the field site.
  • Performance: Students are provided a special opportunity to engage in an artistic endeavor.

Semester seminars must provide a minimum of 12 hours of academic credit through a combination of independent study and formal course work. In addition to the courses offered by the faculty director, additional courses can be arranged through partner institutions or adjunct faculty at the program site.

Summer seminars range from 3-week programs for 3 credits to 6-week programs for 6 credits. The key feature of all programs is centralizing the location and the resources in the location to teach the content and skills in the coursework.

Because Burch Field Research Seminars require extensive planning, proposals must be submitted at least 18 months in advance of the scheduled start date. Final submissions are due by November 1 a year in advance of a new program running. Proposals are reviewed by the Burch Field Research Seminars Faculty Advisory Board, which recommends several seminars each year for review by the Study Abroad Advisory Board and the Administrative Boards of the College of Arts and Sciences.

Proposals should include the following:

  • Detailed description of the program and academic goals
  • Program location and affiliations
  • Program dates
  • Outline of program itinerary
  • Course description(s) and suggestions for additional course work (semester programs)
  • Description of cultural immersion activities and additional excursions
  • Outline of program budget
  • Curriculum vitae

Further guidance and templates for program development is available at https://studyabroad.unc.edu/faculty-staff/program-development/

We encourage you to reach out to us to discuss your ideas early in the process of developing a proposal. We collaborate with the Study Abroad Office in hosting Faculty-led Proposal Workshops a couple times per year.

The faculty director should be familiar with the intended program site. Previous experience in developing a study abroad program is not required. Faculty directors will receive program development and logistical support. Honors Carolina provides the department $30,000 plus benefits (the standard two-course buy-out rate in the College of Arts and Sciences) for faculty leading semester programs. Faculty leading summer programs are eligible for additional summer salary.

For More Information

To learn more, or to discuss ideas for a seminar proposal, contact Gina Difino, Director of Global Education and Fellowships at (919) 962-9680.