The Faculty-Student Research Initiative is an ambitious university commitment to support a broad array of research-oriented endeavors among our undergraduate students, graduate students, and faculty. The initiative funds research opportunities, supports faculty and student participation at conferences and workshops, provides seed capital to develop new areas of inquiry, and matches funds for foundation grants.
For example, bolstered by a $300,000 grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, William & Mary launched a long-term program to integrate creative research opportunities into every facet of the undergraduate experience. W&M's Roy R. Charles Center allocates the Mellon grant money and helps faculty members from diverse disciplines to collaborate on pioneering, hands-on approaches to undergraduate education.
In just the first year of funding, the Faculty-Student Research Initiative generated some incredibly innovative ideas for increasing independent inquiry, problem solving and active learning in the classroom:
- An introductory theatre course divided into 16 student-run companies that each developed and performed a production for the public in the W&M's Lab Theatre.
- A Russian culture class capped a spring seminar with a summer research trip to Moscow.
- A Hispanic Studies course created three original documentaries about Cuba based on the professor’s own footage.