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First-year Monroe Scholar Research

First-year Monroe Scholar research projects are a great way to gain valuable research skills and begin down the path towards a full-fledged research project.  When first-years become Sophomore/Junior Monroe Scholars, they are guaranteed funding for a seven-week research project.

The Monroe Scholars Program provides stipends of $1,000 to approximately 50 first-year Scholars. The stipend funds 120 hours (three full weeks) of time over the summer. Many projects may take longer than this. Some Scholars break up the 3 or more weeks into smaller chunks over the summer. 

How to Apply

You will be able to create an account via the online platform (SlideRoom) to apply. Note: if you use your W&M email, make sure to use a different password than the one you use for your school account for security purposes. 

First-Year Monroe Grant applications are due by 11:59 p.m. on Monday, March 4, 2024.

Apply Here

Register for a Fall 2023 Application Information Session

  • Nov. 10th, 1-2 pm, Blow Hall 201
  • Nov. 28th, 3:45-4:45 pm, Blow Hall 201
  • Dec. 4th, 4-5 pm , Blow Hall 201

Note: you can apply for and receive only one Charles Center funded research grant per summer (this includes the Charles Center Summer Research Grant and the Catron Scholarship).

Things to Consider
  • Research does not have to be conducted in the student's major.
  • Students will be guided by a William & Mary faculty mentor from a discipline relevant to their chosen research topic.
  • Make sure your chosen faculty mentor knows that they will be completing a recommendation form for you, mentoring your research, and helping you with your presentation at the Fall Undergraduate Research Symposium.
  • Oftentimes, these projects extend or build on topics first-years studied in their first year classes, or are part of ongoing research conducted in a faculty mentor's lab.

If your project is selected for a grant, you will:

  1. Spend a minimum of three full weeks on your research
  2. Turn in an agreed-upon research product to your faculty mentor by the end of the summer.
  3. Present your work during the Charles Center-sponsored Fall Undergraduate Research Symposium.
What Materials Do I Need?
Materials Needed to Apply 
Project Proposal Prompts
  • For a general audience, summarize your research question and the significance of its outcome. Please write in the third person (no "I" statements); for example, "This project will explore..." (<150 words)
  • 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)
  • 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)
  • 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)
  • 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.

Research Compliance

If your research involves any of the following, you or your faculty mentor must request approval from the appropriate Research Compliance committee before submitting your grant application in order for your application to be considered for funding. Approval from the committee can be pending when you submit your grant application, but approval must be received before you begin research per federal regulations.

Note: Protocols can be time-consuming to complete and may take weeks to a month before you hear back. Your protocol may also require revisions to be approved. Start this process as soon as possible!

1.       Work involving living human subjects (including talking to people, 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. 
  • Students requesting approval for their own projects that meet exempt Institutional Review Board (IRB) requirements: Submit a proposal to the Student IRB.
  • Students working on a faculty mentor's project: 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. 

2.       Work that uses or produces radioactive materials

  • First, communicate with your faculty mentor to see if they have already obtained the relevant approval.
  • Contact Eric Bradley

3.        Work that involves the use and care of vertebrate animals

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. 

How to Register for CITI Training

  1. Go to Click "Register" in the top right corner.
  2.  Under "Select Your Organization Affiliation" search for William & Mary. Click the agreement checkboxes and then "Create a CITI Program Account."
  3. Complete the registration steps. You will be able to choose the courses that you need to take depending on what certification you need - please refer to the relevant Research Compliance links above.
  4. Finalize your registration. You will then be able to log in and complete your chosen courses.

Please refer to the CITI Program Getting Started Guide with questions or contact [[w|cacorb]].

International Travel

Please review the following information if you plan to travel internationally to conduct your summer research.

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.
2.       If you are traveling abroad, once your grant is awarded you will receive instructions about purchasing CISI Comprehensive Medical and Evacuation insurance

Upload an unofficial (from Banner self-service), William & Mary transcript, including your spring registration.

Recommendation Form

The William & Mary faculty member who has agreed to be your project mentor must complete a recommendation form on your behalf through the online portal. You must meet to discuss your proposal with the project mentor before registering them in the system. When you enter the faculty member's name and email into the application system, they will be sent a link to complete the form. Please do this before the application deadline, so they have enough time to complete the form. You may submit your application before your faculty mentor completes the form.

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

What Happens Next?
  • Applications will be reviewed by the Undergraduate Research Committee. Your proposal will be read by faculty both inside and outside of your research topic area, so make sure that it does not contain jargon and is understandable to an educated person outside of your field.
  • Based on the Undergraduate Research Committee's review, you may be asked to revise your proposal before it can be funded.
  • All general Charles Center Summer Grant and Monroe Grant applicants will receive an email about award decisions by mid-April. Notifications will go out in batches, starting in mid-March, so do not panic if someone else hears their outcome before you do. Honors Fellowship results will go out last.
  • Students receiving a research grant will receive an award letter they must sign and return before their research grant is issued. Components of the award letter include:
    • Providing your StudentIRB or faculty mentor's PHSC protocol number (only if working with human subjects)
    • An expectations agreement you will complete with your faculty mentor articulating how often you will meet/communicate, the final product of your project and when it is due to your mentor, when they will review your presentation for the Fall Undergraduate Research Symposium, and other parameters
  • Students who receive funding from the Charles Center:
    • will attend the required number of Swem Library mini research courses
    • are invited to attend Summer Research Gathering events with other students and faculty throughout the summer if they are living on or near campus
    • will turn in their final research product to their faculty mentor by the date decided in their expectations agreement (note: final research products will not be turned in to the Charles Center)
    • will present their work as part of the Fall Undergraduate Research Symposium.
Resources for Preparing Your Proposal

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.