Honors Fellowships take undergraduate research to the next level

  • Undergraduate student researchWilliam & Mary is renowned for its emphasis on undergraduate student research, and supporting that research just became much easier. Thanks to the recently launched William & Mary Honors Fellowships program, all you have to do is find it, fund it and follow it.

    Undergraduate student research
William & Mary is renowned for its emphasis on undergraduate student research, and supporting that research just became much easier. Thanks to the recently launched William & Mary Honors Fellowships program, all you have to do is find it, fund it and follow it.

Like the Dintersmith Fellowships unveiled in the summer of 2008, Honors Fellowships will be valuable for learning and discovery, funding more research for undergraduate honors projects. For the first time at William & Mary, donors are able choose specific projects to support.

“Honors Fellowships capture the essence of what we all value about a William & Mary education,” says Joel Schwartz, director of the Roy R. Charles Center for Interdisciplinary Studies. “It provides students with the opportunity to conduct sophisticated research under the close tutelage of their faculty mentors.”

Visitors to the Honors Fellowships Web site can browse through research projects and select one or more they are interested in funding. Gifts of all sizes are welcome. — and every gift has a huge impact on student research. A fully funded Honors Fellowship costs $6,000 and includes $4,000 for 10 full-time weeks of summer pre-honors research; $1,000 for project-related expenses; and $1,000 for the student’s faculty supervisor, to support his or her research.

Besides making research an integral part of students’ William & Mary experiences, the beauty of the program is its interactivity. Once a donor supports a project, he or she can follow the student’s work on the Process of Undergraduate Research Web site. Thanks to a link at the bottom of each project, donors can even share a particular project with friends, family or fellow alumni.

If a donor doesn’t want to support a specific project, he or she can make a gift to the Honors Fellowships General Fund. Such gifts will be distributed to student projects at the discretion of the Charles Center staff.

April 30 is the deadline for supporting 2009 Honors Fellowships. Students will begin and complete their work during the summer months.

“We hope we can count on the William & Mary family to help provide research opportunities and strengthen the William & Mary experience for these students, each of whom possesses boundless potential,” says Schwartz. “The involvement of alumni and friends in this exciting new program will enable them to participate in a very specific and personal way in the education of our students.”