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Semester Funding for Honors Theses

Students completing an honors thesis are eligible to apply for up to $500 to support their research or conference travel the fall of their senior year.

The purpose of the Honors Thesis Semester Fund is to assist students with expenses related to honors research projects during the academic year, including presenting their work at a conference. There are two application deadlines for the entire academic year. Eligible students will be notified via email when the application opens.

Semester Research Grants
Funding Amount & Eligibility

Currently enrolled seniors in good academic standing who are in the process of completing an honors thesis may apply for up to $500 from the Honors Thesis Semester Fund. 

Travel must take place during the academic year (August 30, 2023 through May 15, 2024).

Types of Expenses Supported
  • Domestic travel to libraries, archives, laboratories, etc., in support of research*
  • Domestic travel to present honors thesis research at an academic conference.* Proposals for funding for virtual conference registration are acceptable. 
  • Payments to human subjects and payments for animal subjects
  • Equipment, books, and other materials not already supplied by departments, Information Technology, the library, or other campus sources

 This list is not an all-inclusive one. Other items may be funded if sufficiently justified.

*Travel must comply with current university policies.

Expenses Not Supported
  • Stipends or wages
  • Research costs that are included in the budgets of department or schools
  • Research costs that are included in the budget of the student’s advisor's grant for research in the same basic area
  • Equipment, books, or materials ordinarily supplied by departments or Information Technology or the library
  • Lessons or professional development fees
  • Projects that take place in the summer
  • International travel
Application Timeline

Honors Fellowship Additional Funding applications are accepted in the fall semester for research during the academic year.  The application deadlines for 2023 are November 1st at noon and December 8th at noon. You may apply by either deadline; however, if you apply during the first application period and are accepted, you will have more time during the academic year to use your funding. After each application deadline has passed, a committee will review all applications and decisions will be sent to students as quickly as possible. 

Apply Here

Application Components and How to Apply
Project/Conference Description
Project/Conference Description

On the application, you will be asked to upload a consise updated description of your honors project.

  • If requesting funds directly to support your project: explain why you are seeking funding and how these funds will benefit your research (single-spaced, 750 words maximum).
  • If requesting funds for conference travel:  title and abstract of presentation; proof of presentation acceptance or proof that you applied to present; DocuSign form signed by you and your faculty mentor verifiying that your faculty research advisor has given approval for you to present research conducted under their mentorship.
Itemized Budget
  • You will upload an itemized budget with your proposed expenses. If requested conference travel funding: Itemized proposed budget. Acceptable expenses include conference registration fees, travel (air, train, bus, Uber/Lyft, estimated gas mileage and parking), and lodging. Other conference-related expenses may be considered for funding. 
  • The budget should be complete and itemized with all costs and other funding sources clearly detailed.
  • Honors Thesis Semester Grant is not intended to fund research costs that are included in the budget of an externally supported research grant, either as part of the original grant or as a supplement. When external support for similar research exists, or a request to supplement such research is possible, it is viewed as inappropriate to solicit Honors Thesis Semester Funding. As part of this application, the applicant must confirm that they have already sought such funding from their department or program via a Docusign form that their faculty mentor will also complete.
Research Compliance

If your research involves any of the following, you must request approval from the appropriate Research Compliance committee before submitting your Honors Thesis Semester Funding application. Approval must be obtained before you begin research.

  1. Work involving living human subjects (including surveys, interviews, focus groups, or questionnaires)
    • You and your faculty mentor/PI must complete the CITI training modules for: AREA specific human subject modules and Conflict of Interest. 
    • Undergraduate students: Submit a proposal to the Student IRB (exempt research) OR list your faculty mentor's Protection of Human Subjects Committee (PHSC) approval information on the research grant application form if you are working on their research project. 
    • Graduate students: Submit a proposal through PHSC
  2. Work that uses or produces radioactive materials
  3. Work that involves the use and care of vertebrate animals
    • You and your faculty mentor/PI must complete the CITI training modules listed as required for the program's course entitled "Investigators, Staff and Students-Working with the IACUC" under the "Laboratory Animal Welfare" curriculum. All personnel whose work involves activities with fish must complete the CITI modules titled either "Working with Fish in Research Settings" or "I work with Zebrafish: Danio rerio".
    • Work with your faculty mentor to submit a proposal through the Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC) 
  4. Work that involves recombinant DNA, or infectious agents, or direct or indirect contact with wild-caught animals that may harbor infectious agents, or any human fluid or tissue. Please note: It has been determined by W&M that oversight of Select Agents falls under the purview of the Environmental Health and Safety Office. See a complete list of Select Agents and Toxins (pdf). Questions in regard to Select Agents should be directed to Teresa Belback, Director of EHS.
Faculty Advisor Approval form

The Honors Thesis Semester Funding DocuSign form must be signed by the student and their faculty advisor. The Charles Center expects that the faculty advisor has read the project description before signing the form.

Next Steps
  • If you are notified that you have been awarded a grant, award letters must be signed and returned to the Charles Center by the deadline posted in the letter. 
  • Travel must take place during the academic year (August 30, 2023 through May 15, 2024).
  • The method in which funds will be disbursed will depend on the nature of the expense.
    • Some expenses, such as payments for human/animal subjects or for supplies that can only be ordered by an academic department, will be ordered by the department on your behalf in collaboration with the Charles Center to provide the necessary funding. All such expenses must be incurred by no later than May 1, 2024.
    • Funds for all other expenses will be deposited directly into your Student Account. It may take up to several weeks before they are transferred; please sign into Banner to check their availability. 
    •  If your student account is not paid in full by the time the disbursement occurs, any amount owed to the College will be deducted from your check; you may then request a refund of the balance. To do so, you will need to request a Student Account Refund (see for this webpage for details). To expediate the processing of this refund, please sign up for direct deposit by visiting the Bursar website at Refunds | William & Mary (wm.edu)
Tax and Financial Aid Information
  • Non-Resident Aliens: Federal regulation mandates that payments made to a Non-Resident Alien be analyzed for tax compliance and this process can take up to an additional 30 days for the award to be eligible for a refund. Non-Resident Alien students will be contacted via email with a login and password information the TDS system. This email may come from noreply@sprintax.com. The Payroll Office performs an analysis of the NRA information provided to identify whether or not the NRA qualifies for a tax treaty benefit.  If you do not receive an email, please contact the Payroll Office directly at 757-221-2848.  
  • All other students: Note that this award may be subject to both federal and Virginia state taxes and/or may affect your tax liability. Click here for a letter regarding general treatment of scholarships and fellowships for tax purposes. Contact your tax adviser for possible implications; Charles Center staff members do not give tax advice.
  • By applying for this award, you give consent for the Charles Center to review your financial aid package through the Financial Aid Office. If you are receiving financial aid that has already assisted with your full financial need, accepting this award could result in a reduction of your future financial aid. If you have any questions, we recommend you contact the Financial Aid Office to understand the impact this award may have on your aid package.

If you have questions, please email [[kmpatterson, Kate Patterson]].

Webpage last updated: 10/2023