Charles Center Summer Research Funding

The Charles Center offers a number of scholarships to fund summer research in the humanities, government/social sciences, and hard sciences. These awards are $3,000 to support seven full-time weeks of research.

The following sources fund these awards:
  • Charles Center Summer Research Award (funded by Frank Batten, W. Edward Bright '78, Harvey Chappell, the estate of Helen Y. Cohen, Gale and Steve Kohlhagen '69, Suzanne Louis '71, the estate of Dewey Renick, Richard '52 and Nancy Sayford, W&M Class of 1943, W&M Class of 1968, and the W&M Parents' Association)
  • Christian-Ewell Scholarship
  • Christopher Wren Association Scholarship
  • Cummings Memorial Summer Scholarship for Research in the Sciences and Mathematics
  • Harriet Mayor Fulbright Summer Fellowship in Peace Studies
  • Jacobs Scholarship
  • James Reilly Undergraduate Summer Scholarship
  • Lemon Project Research Grant
  • Sharpe and Community Studies Summer Grant
  • WMSURE Summer Grant
Type of Projects Supported:

Government/Public Policy
Social Sciences
Sciences and Mathematics

African Americans and the College of William and Mary
Community Engagement
Research taking pace in Israel
Research on topics involving Latin America
Peace and Conflict Resolution

Specific Eligibility
Sharpe or Community Studies Students
Students from underrepresented groups at the College working in the sciences or mathematics
WMSURE Students


Click on the links for more information

  • Project Proposal (maximum of 3 double-spaced pages)
  • Personal Statement (maximum of 2 double-spaced pages)
  • Banner Transcript
  • One letter of recommendation
  • If you are working with human subjects in any way, exemption by the Student Institutional Review Board is required UNLESS your research falls under your faculty advisor's exemption through the Protection of Human Subjects Committee. Ask her/him to be sure before you begin the Student IRB process. Note that the Student IRB requires a significant amount of time to complete and includes a required online training module - do not begin it the day of the deadline! Your student IRB protocol must be submitted by March 18, 2015 (but it does not have to be awarded exempt status by that date). However, it is in your best interest as an applicant to submit a protocol well before this deadline.
  • If you plan to travel internationally for your research, the Charles Center requires you to purchase insurance for your time abroad. The Global Education Office at the Reves Center strongly recommends that you purchase Cultural Insurance Services International (CISI) insurance. Read more about CISI and how to purchase it from the Reves Center.
  • If you plan to travel to a country which is on the State Department's Travel Warning list, you must petition for approval from the College under the W&M Travel Warning Policy. Petitions for summer 2015 Charles Center-funded travel/research/internship in a country under a Travel Warning must be received by Nicholas Vasquez, International Travel and Security Manager, by 5:00 pm on April 15, 2015. See this page for details and plan to submit your petition prior to the March 18 Charles Center deadline.
  • All parts of the application are due by noon on Wednesday, March 18, 2015.
How to Apply
  • Please read the FAQs page before applying.
  • Discuss your project proposal idea with the faculty member who will write your recommendation letter. Make sure s/he knows the application deadline.
  • Access the online application by clicking this link
  • Create an account using your address
  • In the Preliminary Question section select Charles Center Summer Research as the program for which you are applying
  • Already have an account/have applied for a Charles Center scholarship before? Visit the FAQs page for instructions on how to submit a new application.
  • Fill out the application form and upload the required documents (project proposal, essay, transcript)
  • Register your recommender. Your recommender will submit your letter through the online system. Once you have registered your recommender, s/he will receive an email with instructions on how to submit the letter. Please alert your recommender to look for this email (it may go to a spam folder). The system will notify you once the letter has been submitted.  You may submit your application before your letter has been uploaded. Visit the FAQs page for more information on recommendation letters.
  • Submit your application

Please read through the FAQs page for further information on the Charles Center Summer Research Funding Application, including who to contact for help preparing your application and the process of applying.

Application Materials

Project Proposal
The project proposal can be uploaded (as a Word document or PDF) or typed directly into the online application. This proposal should be no more than 3 double-spaced pages and should address the following:

  • What is the question you are hoping to answer with your research?
  • What coursework or other experience have you had that is relevant to this proposal?
  • Discuss your methodology in detail: How will you carry out your work? What sources will you use?
  • What support do you have for the project? Where are your sources and how will you access them? (lab space, access to collections/archives, etc.)
  • What will be the outcome of your research (article, play, website, etc.)?
  • Why is this work exciting or unique?
  • How will this research help further your own academic/intellectual development?

Personal Statement
The personal statement can be uploaded (as a Word document or PDF) or typed directly into the online application. This statement should be no more than two double-spaced pages. The personal statement should reflect on your intellectual influences and examine what you hope to achieve both here and after graduation. What led you to develop an interest in your field of study and the proposed research topic? As you reflect on what to write, be sure to consider your favorite authors, scholars, teachers, or classes. Also consider what things you want to study, why you want to study them, and what you hope to learn about your area of interest. Finally, consider the contribution you want to make with your research to our knowledge and understanding of your field.

Upload an unofficial, WM Banner transcript, including 2015 spring registration. You may copy from Banner and paste into a Word document but please make sure that you capture all course titles and grades AND delete excess white space. If you studied abroad or completed other off-campus academic work, please upload those transcripts, too.

Recommendation Letter
The recommendation letter must be from a W&M faculty member who is best able to attest to your suitability to undertake your proposed project. This would be someone who knows you and your work well. You should discuss your proposal with the faculty member before applying. If you would like to have someone other than a WM faculty member to write your recommendation letter, you must get permission from [[lmgrim, Lisa Grimes]] prior to applying.