Proposing an Upperclass Summer Project

Upperclass Monroe Scholars each receive a stipend of $3,000 in order to devote of 7 full-time weeks to a summer research project. The project does not have to be in the area of your major, though you must have sufficient academic preparation to carry out the research. You are expected to produce a final project at the end of the summer, but you can continue your research through independent study or Honors program courses in the fall following the research.

Good to know
  1. The application process is entirely online. Please watch your email for the link to the proposal form.
    • For upperclass Scholars who are new applicants to the Monroe Program, the application is due by 12:00 noon on Wednesday, November 8, 2017.
    • For upperclass Scholars who matriculated into the Monroe Program as freshmen, the project proposal is due no later than Wednesday, January 31, 2018.
  2. In putting together the proposal, you must consult with an advisor who is a William & Mary faculty member knowledgeable about your topic.
  3. We strongly recommend that you make an appointment to meet with a Swem Research Librarian. Yes, even in the planning phase. Librarians can serve as your research coaches. They can help you focus your research topic and make your work more efficient and less frustrating.
  4. If your research will involve human subjects in any way, you must complete the CITI training and submit your research protocol to the Student IRB. Your IRB protocol must be cleared BEFORE you submit your proposal. Exemption information should be included with the proposal. You will need to work closely with your advisor on the IRB protocol. Don't wait to do the CITI training. If you even suspect that your work will involve human subjects, do that first (it takes about 3 hours). If you're not sure if you need to go through the IRB process, please talk to your advisor. 
  5. If your research involves international travel, you must purchase travel insurance.
  6. If your proposal includes travel to a country under a travel warning, you must petition for approval.
The Proposal

Please use the online proposal form. You will get an email with a link to the form. Double spaced is preferred. The Peer Scholarship Advisors or your project advisor can help you complete the form.

There are no word limits. Use the amount of space you need to fully answer the question without being repetitive. The proposal will have the following sections:

  • Section 1: What do you propose to do / what question(s) do you hope to answer?
  • Section 2: Explain why you want to do this research. What are your goals in undertaking the project, and why is the project you are proposing the best way of achieving these goals? How will this research help further your academic / intellectual development? Why do you find the work exciting?
  • Section 3: Explain the relevance of this work in the greater scheme of things / to people besides you and your advisor. Do not use jargon.
  • Section 4: What coursework or other experience have you had that has helped prepare you to conduct the research you are proposing?
  • Section 5: Discuss your methodology. What is your research plan? Where do you propose to conduct the research and why is it necessary to be there? Describe the timeline, making sure that the project lasts a minimum of seven full-time weeks.
  • Section 6: Describe your final product. Consult with your Monroe project advisor on the format that is most appropriate to your project and discipline. While the final product may be an academic paper (written in accordance with the standards, expectations, and format of the discipline), it might also be something else such as a creative work (novel, painting, etc.).
  • Section 7: Will this project lead to further work, such as continued lab work, an independent study during the academic year, a portfolio, or, eventually, an Honors project? Describe.
Sample Proposals

Examples of summer 2013 research proposals: