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Semester Research Funding

The purpose of the Semester Research Funding program is to assist students with expenses directly related to conducting research that occurs during the academic year. Funding for the Program comes from the Office of the Vice Provost for Research. There are two application deadlines for the entire academic year:

  • October 17, 2022 at Noon
  • December 9, 2022 at Noon
Semester Research Grants
Funding Amount

 Any continuing undergraduate or graduate student may apply for up to $500 from the Semester Research fund. (Apply Here.) Note: In 21-22 we had funding to support up to 20 applications.

Eligibility Information
  • Applicant must be a currently enrolled undergraduate or graduate student in good academic standing
  • Applicants who have already received semester research funding will have lower priority in future application rounds
Types of Expenses Supported
  • Domestic travel to libraries, archives, laboratories, etc., in support of research (if travel is allowed)
  • Shipping costs
  • 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.

Expenses Not Supported by Semester Research Grants
  • 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
Application Timeline

Semester Research Funding applications are accepted in the fall semester for research during the academic year.  The application deadlines are October 17th at noon and December 9th 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

Students can apply by following the steps below when the application opens at the beginning of the academic year.

Project Description
Project Description & Itemized Budget

The project description & itemized budget must be uploaded (as a Word document or PDF) directly into the online application which is administered through the Qualtrics. (The link to apply will be active when applications are being accepted.) This description should be single-spaced, 500-750 words, and meet the following criteria:

  • State the primary objective(s) of your research or project.
  • Briefly describe the foundational themes that inform your subject and elaborate on how your own research builds on these themes and/or forges new ones.
  • Describe the processes, methods, and materials you will use to conduct your research or project.
  • Outline any anticipated results and their significance.
  • Orient your work within your broader course of scholarship: Will this work comprise part of your thesis or dissertation? Does it build on work you’ve done in the past? Do you intend to develop it in the future?
  • Explain the relevance and implications of your research or project: Why is this work important?
  • The budget should be complete and itemized with all costs and other funding sources clearly detailed.
Research Compliance

If your research involves any of the following, you must request approval from the appropriate Research Compliance committee before submitting your Semester Research Grant 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, Conflict of Interest, and Responsible Conduct of Research. 
    • 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 Semester Research Grant 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. 
  • 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, 2023.
    • 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 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.

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

Webpage last updated: 08/2022