Clark Summer Research Program Frequently Asked Questions
What are the requirements for the Clark Summer Research Program?
- 17 years of age by the program start date, no exceptions
- Available for the full nine-week program for 40 hours per week
What age must you be to be accepted into the program? Can continuing high school students apply?
You must be 17 years of age by the program start date, no exceptions.
I am a current UT Dallas freshman, can I apply?
No, the Clark Summer Research Program is open to incoming UT Dallas first-year students only.
I am in high school, can I apply?
No, the Clark Summer Research Program is open to incoming UT Dallas first-year students. Unfortunately, we do not offer any programs for high school students.
What is required on the application?
Biographical Information including:
- Past research experience
- Personal narrative on what you hope to achieve by participating in the Clark Summer Research Program
- Unofficial transcript
- Name of your recommender who must be:
- math teacher if you are a math major, or
- art or computer science teacher for ATEC majors, or
- science teacher for all other majors
I am not a US citizen, can I still apply?
You will need an Employment Authorization Document (or EAD card) or a Social Security number to work on campus.
I completed my application on March 1, when will I hear back?
Every student who completed an application will receive a response from us. The spring is very busy, and we appreciate your patience as we review applications. All applicants with a complete application will receive a response. If your recommendation letter was received by the March 1 deadline.
The deadline has passed, can I still apply?
Due to a large number of applications received, we do not accept applications past the March 1 deadline.
Will I receive an email if I’m not accepted?
Yes, every student will receive a response via email.
Application Supporting Documentation
What is the recommendation letter deadline?
How do I know if my recommendation letter was received? What happens if you do not receive my recommendation letter?
We will send you an email once the letter arrives. If you do not hear from us within a month of applying, check with your recommender first, if they did not receive the request, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. If we do not receive the letter your application is incomplete and will not be reviewed. We recommend you ask for a recommendation as early as possible.
I applied, but my recommender did not receive a request for a recommendation?
Request for recommendation letters is automated. If they do not receive the request, we recommend they look in their spam/junk folder. Please ask them to check that folder before emailing us.
I completed my application on or before March 1, but my recommendation letter was not submitted on time. What should I do?
First, check with your recommender to see if they received an email from us. If they did not, please ask them to look for the email in their spam/junk folder. If they never received them email, please let us know.
My science/computer science teacher does not know me best, will you accept a recommendation from another teacher or counselor?
We request a letter from science or computer science teacher as they can speak to your ability in that setting. However, we will accept a second letter. Please email your second recommender’s name and email address as well as your name and UT Dallas NetID (initials and letters, abc190001) to Clark@utdallas.edu.
What if I moved and my new science teacher does not know me?
We recommend asking a previous teacher. If this is not possible, explain the situation to your new science teacher and send a second letter of recommendation from another teacher or counselor who knows you well.
I cannot upload my transcript or resume, where can I send it?
Please email your transcript or resume along UT Dallas NetID (initials and letters, abc190001) to Clark@utdallas.edu.
Program Length and Time Commitment
How long is the program? Do I have to attend all the days?
The program is one single session May 30 through July 8, including attending a mandatory orientation and luncheon on July 4th. You will be required to attend the entire program, all mandatory events, as well as two additional events.
I graduate after the program starts, can I still participate?
The program is one single session May 31 through July 31, you need to be able to start on May 31.
I cannot attend the full session or I need to miss two/three weeks. Can I still participate?
The only exception to missing any part of the program is a late graduation date. You cannot take any vacation or travel during the nine-week program.
What is the time commitment? Is it like school where we have to go every day during the week?
Clark is like a full-time job where you are learning in a lab rather than a classroom setting. You will work 40 hours a week for 9 weeks. The hours are determined by your lab, but are typically 8:00 am – 5:00 pm or 9:00 am – 6:00 pm.
Would I be allowed to work or take courses during the program?
Your lab research hours will be similar to working a full-time job in your lab. You will also be required to attend a weekly course and you may occasionally have homework. Due to the demands of the program, you will not have time to work or take classes outside of this program.
How much freedom would we have during the program? Are there commitments outside of the 40 hour work week?
You will work 40 hours per week, attend a weekly course, and attend both required and optional events. Most events take place on weeknights and weekends.
How much time is spent in lab?
The hours are determined by your lab, but are typically 8:00 am – 5:00 pm or 9:00 am – 6:00 pm. (8 hours a day). Clark is like a full-time job.
How strict are lab hours?
Clark is like a full-time job. The hours are determined by your lab and are not typically flexible.
After Admission Questions
I’ve been accepted, what’s next?
Your parent will be sent paperwork to complete. You will receive your lab assignment in May via email.
Who do I contact in case of an emergency?
In a true emergency, you will call 911 and contact a Clark staff member at 972-883-4285 or Clark@utdallas.edu or a Clark PA.
If you are sick and need to miss work one day, you will need to contact your lab via email and copy Clark@utdallas.edu on the email.
Do I need to bring an id?
Students will need a valid Driver’s License (with a photo) or a US Passport to pick-up their Comet Card. If students do not have either of these documents, students will need to bring an alternative form of a photo ID (such as a high school ID card) AND a government-issued document such as a Social Security Card, Birth Certificate, etc. to pick-up their Comet Card.
What should I bring?
For a student living on campus, you will be sent a full list of items to bring. For example, you need items such as XL twin sheets and blanket, pillows, towels, toiletries, hangers, in-season clothing (daily highs may regularly exceed 100F), and one Business Outfit for the Poster Symposium.
I received an email for TEAMS, do I have to join?
Yes, this is our means of mass communication for you and all others in the Clark Program with the Clark PAs and Staff.
What is SPUR? Is it mandatory? Why is it mandatory?
SPUR stands for Summer Platform for Undergrad Research. SPUR is a capstone, end-of-summer symposium for all UTD students who have completed summer projects. This event is mandatory and provides you with the opportunity to present your summer research to your peers, UT Dallas administrators, faculty, staff, and guests.
Finances and Scholarship
Do you have to be an AES recipient or National Merit Scholar to participate?
No, the Clark Summer Research Program is open to all incoming UT Dallas first-year students.
I am an AES recipient/National Merit Scholar/Terry Scholar, does this affect my scholarship?
No, the Clark Program does not affect your scholarship.
Do those participating in the program pay a fee or any other costs? Does it cost to attend?
There is not a direct cost or fee to participate. However, you will need money for gas if you are commuting. If you are out of the area, you will need to factor in the cost of traveling to UT Dallas. If you are living on campus, you will need dorm supplies. A list of these items will be sent out.
You need business attire for SPUR, the symposium where you will present a poster on the last day of the program.
Are room and board covered for the duration of this program?
Yes, if you are outside the immediate DFW area, a residence hall room and a dining meal plan is provided during the program. If you are local and would like to live on campus, you may do so if you agree to live on campus the entire time. You will not be allowed to live on campus during the week and go home on the weekends.
How much is the stipend?
The stipend amounts vary from year to year.
Do I need to bring money?
We recommend that you bring spending money as well as money for food as you may not want to eat in the Dining Hall every day.
Research and Labs
Does the research field you choose in the application have to be related to your major? Is there any way to do research outside of my major?
You must choose an area of interest that most closely aligns with your major. The only exception is for engineering majors who may choose a different engineering field. The various departments assign labs so you will be placed in a lab within your major.
How are research projects assigned? How does lab placement work?
If you are selected by the Clark Review committee, your application once again goes through a review process to determine which lab to place you.
Should I find a lab to work in?
No. Due to the structure and capacity of the Clark program, you are assigned by the program to work in a lab. These decisions are made by the department that you selected to work in.
I am hoping to be able to participate in the 2022 summer research program, and I was wondering if I should already have a specific research topic stated in my application?
No, you will be in a lab that is currently researching one or multiple projects.
What level of knowledge should we come into the lab with?
Students are actively engaged in serious research activities that give them a realistic view of the work conducted in their academic disciplines. While no experience is required it is good to have a basic knowledge of your field of study. If selected to the program, you should research the lab you are assigned to by reading the website and published papers.
What is the dress code?
Each laboratory has different training. Many labs require long pants and close-toed shoes. While Texas is hot, many buildings are cold inside. Business attire is required for the Poster Symposium.
Housing and Commuting Information and Options
If I live in the Dallas area what are the options? Can I choose to commute or live on campus?
Local scholars are expected to commute. However, if you would like to live on campus, and rooms are available, you will need to fill out additional paperwork.
I’m commuting, where will I park?
We will provide green parking passes via email. You will need to print the pass to leave on your dashboard to avoid a UT Dallas ticket.
If I live on campus, do I need a car? Can I bring a car?
A car is not needed to get around DFW. However, you are welcome to bring your car and a pass will be provided for you when you move into your residence hall. You register your license plate during your dorm registration process. If you do not register your license plate you could receive a parking ticket. This pass will only allow you to park in residential parking.
Is it possible to see the housing before I arrive?
Scholars will live in University Commons; you can view the floor plan here.
A friend and I were both accepted, can we room together?
Yes, as long as you both indicate on the required forms that you would like to room together. You may have a third roommate.
What is gender inclusive housing?
Gender inclusive housing is an option that is affirming and supportive of LGBT+, transgender, gender non-conforming, non-binary (TGNC) and ally students. Students who opt into gender inclusive housing will be able to live with other students who have also opted into gender-inclusive housing, regardless of biological sex or gender identity/expression. Your roommate will be anyone that has also opted into gender-inclusive housing, regardless of their gender.
When will I move in/out?
Move-in is Sunday, May 28 from 9:00 – 4:00 pm or Monday, May 29 9:00 – 4:00 pm
You will be able to move out after 6:00 p.m. Friday, July 28 or beginning at 9:00 a.m. on July29.
What do I need to bring if I’m living on campus?
First, students will need a valid Driver’s License (with a photo) or a US Passport to pick-up their Comet Card. If students do not have either of these documents, students will need to bring an alternative form of a photo ID (such as a high school ID card) AND a government-issued document such as a Social Security Card, Birth Certificate, etc. to pick-up their Comet Card.
What is a Clark PA?
Clark Peer Advisors are student employees that provide Clark Scholars with personal, academic, and housing-related support throughout the nine-week program. Clark PAs are often former Clarkies or a part of other HWHC programs.
What do I need for my dorm?
Please refer to the What To Bring list.
Family and Pet Policies
Can my family visit me?
Yes, your family can visit. Make sure everyone understands that you have an obligation to work Monday- Friday, as well as events you need to attend. They cannot stay in your room, without the approval of your roommates, and they may not stay more than two consecutive nights in the dorm.
Can I bring my pet?
No. Pets are not allowed in University Commons during the summer. Accommodations for emotional support and assistance animals are handled through the Office of Student AccessAbility (OSA) and the
Residential Life Office. Requests must be made in writing through the Office of Student AccessAbility website.
I have a service animal, what lab precautions do I need to take?
This varies from lab to lab. Googles and slippers may be required for dogs in certain biology and chemistry labs. Please email us at Clark@utdallas.edu, for more details.