Proposing a first-year Monroe Scholar Project

First-year Monroe Scholars should propose pilot studies to gain valuable research skills and begin down the path towards a full-fledged research project. Summer research housing may be available to you for one summer session, if you need to remain on campus to conduct your research.

Each selected project will receive a stipend of $1,000. Successful applicants plan to devote at least  3 full-time weeks (>120 hours) to their projects. Many projects may take longer than this. Some Scholars break up the 3 or more weeks into smaller chunks over the summer.

First-Year Monroe Grant applications were due by noon on Friday, March 6, 2020.

Things To Consider
  1. Access the online application by clicking this link (available when applications are open) and create an account using your address. Make sure you select "First-Year Monroe Grant" from the drop-down menu.
  2. Each applicant must consult with a project advisor who is a William & Mary faculty member knowledgeable about the topic. The project advisor will confirm that they have worked with you on the proposal and will submit a letter of recommendation endorsing your research. If you have questions about finding an advisor, or how to come up with a project topic, meet with a Peer Scholarship Advisor or visit Research Matchmaker.
  3. If your research will involve human or vertebrate animal subjects or hazardous substances in any way, you must complete the CITI training and submit your research protocol to the Student IRB or other appropriate review board before your project can receive funding. You will need to work closely with your advisor on this.
  4. If your research involves international travel, you must purchase travel insurance.
  5. If your proposal includes travel to a country under a travel warning, you must petition for approval.
The Application Process

Materials Needed to Apply for a First Year Monroe Grant
Project Proposal Prompts

The project proposal questions will be answered within the online application via Embark. You will be asked to respond to the following prompts:

  • Section 1: What question(s) do you hope to answer with your research? (<100 words)
  • Section 2: Explain the relevance of this work in the greater scheme of things. What new knowledge or interpretation might be gained from this research? (<150 words)
  • Section 3: Did a course or academic experience inspire your choice of research topic? Describe other coursework or independent experience that prepared you to conduct this research. (<100 words)
  • Section 4: Discuss your methodology. What is your research plan? Where do you propose to conduct the research? What resources do you need to conduct this project? Include a project timeline, making sure that the project lasts a minimum of three full-time weeks. (Note: the project may be spread out over multiple chunks of time, as long as it lasts at least 120 hours.) (<350 words)
  • Section 5: The goal of this funding is to start you on a successful undergraduate research trajectory. How do you think this research project fits in with your intellectual development? Do you think this project might lead to further work (for example: continued research experience, an independent study during the next academic year, a portfolio, etc.)? (<200 words)

Note: This proposal must be written by the student. However, we do encourage project advisors to read it and make constructive comments.

Recommendation Letter

A recommendation letter is required from the W&M faculty member who has agreed to be your Project Advisor. You must meet to discuss your proposal with the project advisor before registering them in the system. When you enter the faculty member's name and email into the Embark application system, they will get a prompt to submit a letter on your behalf. Please do this before your application deadline, so they have enough time to complete & submit the letter.

The letter of recommendation is due two days after your application deadline and must be received in order for your proposal to be considered for funding. You are responsible for checking online whether the letter has been submitted by the letter of recommendation deadline.

Please note that William and Mary 1693 Scholars are not eligible to apply for the First-year Monroe grant, but can use 1693 funding in a similar way.