Undergraduate Research Proposal Process
Individual students or groups of students may apply for a grant by writing a short proposal that describes the project as well as its goals and time-line for completion. We will award individual students no more than $1,500 per academic year. Continuing projects that demonstrate successful progress may be eligible for additional funding in the following academic year. Successful proposals include support from the student(s) as well as the faculty sponsor. Read the following information with care. We also encourage you to read examples of previously approved grants.
Grant proposals fall into two categories: 1) Materials to support a research project and 2) Travel to a professional conference to present findings or travel to a site to conduct research. The Undergraduate Research Celebration committee does not consider proposals requesting stipend funds for internships of any kind.
Materials—Students must include the following elements:
- Specify the nature of the research, scholarship, or creative work to be conducted through a brief but comprehensive narrative, written to a general audience.
- Discuss the potential benefits of this experience, including your development as a scholar in the field of study as well as the impact on your future goals.
- Provide a time-line for the work being proposed, including a projected outcome or goal for the work.
- Propose a budget for the project. We support the purchase of consumable supplies (such as laboratory kits, survey instruments, or books) used by the student, rather than the durable materials that are housed in the department for this and future projects. Proposals associated with course-related work receive lower priority consideration and it is expected that the host department contribute to the budget for these requests.
- Indicate any additional sources of funding (either in process or approved) as well as whether or not you are considering submitting any other grant proposals. A higher priority will be placed on proposals that lack other potential sources of funding, either through departmental funds or other college initiatives.
Travel—Students must include the following elements:
- Specify the nature of the research, scholarship, or creative work to be presented through a brief but comprehensive narrative, written to a general audience. Include an abstract of your presentation and indicate whether or not your presentation has been approved by the conference sponsors. Explain why you chose to present your work at this particular conference. (If you are not presenting at the conference, explain why you chose to attend this particular conference.)
- Discuss the potential benefits of this experience, including your development as a scholar in the field of study as well as the impact on your future goals. Indicate whether or not your faculty sponsor is accompanying you to the conference.
- Propose a travel budget, including meals, transportation, lodging, and conference registration. Consult the Per Diem Rates to determine the maximum allowance for meals and lodgings in your travel destination. We typically expect students travelling together to share lodgings and encourage you to seek nearby lodgings if the conference hotel charges excessive rates.
- Proposals requesting funds for airfare must be submitted to the committee in its final form at least six weeks prior to dates of travel. Any proposals submitted beyond this deadline will not receive budget support for airfare. In most cases, proposals require several drafts before reaching its final form. Student proposals should be submitted as soon as possible to allow for this revision process. Faculty advisors also require sufficient time to prepare letters of support that are required before a proposal will be considered by the committee.
- Once a proposal has been approved, students whose project includes travel should follow the Guidelines Regarding Funds for Student Travel. You will only be reimbursed for receipted expenses, such as receipts for meals, transportation, lodging, and conference registration. All food receipts must contain itemized bills; alcohol will not be reimbursed by the college.
Role of faculty sponsors
Faculty sponsors should also submit a brief letter of support indicating the value of the proposed program, their willingness to mentor the student, and how the project can enhance the faculty member’s own teaching or scholarship. The faculty sponsor will oversee the use of the awarded funds. At the conclusion of each semester, participating students and faculty are expected to submit a brief report explaining the progress of the project, its value, and its future potential use. This report should explain the progress of the project, its value, and its future potential use. Student grant recipients also should reflect on the consequences and value of the work for their liberal arts learning while faculty sponsors should comment on how the project has the potential to affect their liberal arts teaching and learning.
Grant proposals must be submitted electronically to Dr. Lon Porter (firstname.lastname@example.org), Chair of the Undergraduate Research Celebration Committee. Please consult with Dr. Porter prior to submitting your complete proposal. Proposals will be reviewed on a rolling basis and may be submitted at any time. The committee requires a minimum of one week deliberation time for most proposals.