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Frequently Asked Questions

The Charles Center encourages you to read through the Frequently Asked Questions before applying for a Charles Center Summer Research Grant. Click the specific question to go straight to the answer or scroll through the page.

Who do I contact if I have questions about the online application?

For questions concerning a technical issue with the online application system, email or visit the SlideRoom Application Help Center.

Who do I contact if I have questions about the specific scholarships and their application requirements?

Please submit general questions about the scholarships and/or application requirements to [[charlescenter, Charles Center]]. For questions regarding the Honors Fellowships, please email [[cchonors, Honors Program]].

I have applied for a Charles Center Grant through the online application system before. How do I start a new application?

Access the online application. Log into the system with the same credentials and select the name of the new application on the menu. Your basic information will carry over from the previous application.

Who can help me with my project proposal and/or personal statement?

The Charles Center’s Research Ambassadors are here to help with questions about developing and writing a project proposal and/or a personal statement. You can also reach out to the Writing Resources Center. 

Can I have an internship and receive a Charles Center Summer Grant?

Students may incorporate an internship into their project only if their time is not already committed to another undertaking, and the student is able to dedicate at least seven full-time weeks to the research project.  For example, if the student is doing a full-time, seven week, unpaid internship with an environmental non-profit organization and this non-profit permits the student to dedicate full-time to the research, the student is eligible for funding. If the work with the non-profit is a fully paid job, however, the student may not receive funding because 100 percent of the student's time is already committed. In summary, a student cannot receive money for research if they are getting paid for an internship or if they cannot dedicate seven full-time weeks to the research.

You can only apply for and receive one Charles Center-funded research grant or internship opportunity per summer (this includes Monroe Scholar funding, the Catron grant, and Charles Center-sponsored internships (such as Woody, Freeman, City Scholars, etc.)

Can I receive Charles Center funding AND additional funding from another source?

Students already fully funded for research by another internal or external summer grant for $3000 or more will not be eligible to receive Charles Center funding, in the interest of supporting other students who have no other source of funding.

As an alternative to Charles Center funding, you may want to explore F.U.S.E.

I have secured a research position at an off-campus location this summer, can I apply to use Charles Center money to support this opportunity?

The goal of the Charles Center is to provide rigorous undergraduate research experiences for our students, so we are happy to fund students doing external research experiences. However, the definition and conduct of research vary widely across institutions. To ensure that the activity follows the university's guidelines, we require students to be sponsored by a W&M professor who understands the nature of the research experience that you are proposing. For example, if you propose to be a research assistant for a non-profit organization focused on conservation of whales, your mentor should be a professor who studies conservation, whales, biology or a related field.

What is IRB and do I need it?

The Student Institutional Review Board (IRB) oversees undergraduate research projects that are funded by or are based in the Charles Center and that involve human subjects. If your research involves human subjects in any way (talking to, interviewing, surveying, polling, etc.), your project must be reviewed and declared exempt through the Student IRB.  For more information about IRB requirements for Charles Center-funded research, please read and follow the instructions for submitting to the Student IRB. 

If your research proposal involves working with human subjects but you have not requested IRB approval, your proposal will not be funded. In addition, your research must be approved by the IRB in order for you to receive your funding and commence research.

Note: If you are working on a faculty mentor’s research project that involves human subjects, you may provide their PHSC approval information rather than requesting Student IRB approval.

Are there additional requirements for international travel?

Review the W&M Travel Alerts website to check the status of your intended destination.

  • If your country is listed as a Restricted Destination, travel is prohibited and you must adjust your plans to do research in another destination.
  • If there is a W&M Travel Risk Warning, you must submit an application for approval to the Travel Warning Review Committee through the Reves Center in order for your proposal to be considered for funding.
If you are traveling abroad, a small amount of your research grant will be used to pay for your mandatory CISI Comprehensive Medical and Evacuation insurance
Will there be interviews for the summer research grants?


Who reads the applications and chooses the recipients?

Members of the Undergraduate Research Committee will review the applications and determine the recipients. The decisions of this committee are final.

How will I be notified that I received a Charles Center Summer Grant?

Recipients will receive notification by email with an award letter to sign and return. Those who are not selected to receive a grant will be notified by email.

What are the requirements after receiving the award?

The award letter will contain instructions for how to proceed. All recipients of Charles Center research awards will present their work at either the Charles Center's Fall Undergraduate Research Symposium.

Catron Scholarship recipients will exhibit their work at a fall event.