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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 Funding Award. 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 Embark Application Support website

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 [[ccazznara, Christine Azznara]] at the Charles Center. For questions regarding the Honors Fellowships, please email

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 (link will be updated during the fall semester). Log into the system with the same credentials and select the name of the new application for "To which program are you applying."  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 Peer Scholarship Advisors are here to help with questions about developing and writing a project proposal and/or a personal statement. PSAs have office hours 10-4 weekdays. We encourage you to set up an appointment. The PSA Office is in the Charles Center, Blow Memorial Hall suite 254.

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.

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 look at the following how-to guide and sample informed consent form. Please read and follow the instructions for submitting to the Student IRB.

My research/program/internship requires me to travel abroad. Are there additional requirements for international travel?
Important Note: All students receiving summer research grants are required to abide by the most recent William & Mary travel guidelines.  Students may be required to submit an additional application to the Travel Review Committee depending on location. 

All students traveling internationally with a Charles Center-funded grant are required to purchase international travel insurance (when travel is allowed)  to cover the length of time the student is 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. If your destination is currently under a State Department Travel Warning, you will need prior approval from the Director of Global Education to travel there. Please see the next question for more details.

What is a State Department Travel Warning and do I need approval from the Reves Center to travel to my proposed research location?

Important Note
: All students receiving summer research grants are required to abide by William & Mary travel guidelines.  Students may be required to submit an additional application to the Travel Review Committee depending on location. 

The US State Department issues travel warnings to countries when long-term conditions make that country dangerous or unstable. If you plan to travel to a country which is on the State Department’s Travel Warnings list (when travel is allowed), you must petition for approval from the College, under the W&M Travel Warning Policy. This policy applies to all undergraduate student travel sponsored, organized, supported or recognized by William & Mary.

If you wish to petition for approval to travel to a country under a Travel Warning, you should contact [[nsvasquez, Nick Vasquez]], International Travel and Security Manager, for information about the petition process. All petitions for summer Charles Center-funded travel/research in a country under a Travel Warning must be received by the Reves Center spring deadline.

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 or Spring Undergraduate Research Symposia.

Catron Scholarship recipients will present their work at a fall event and exhibit their work in the Andrews Gallery.