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Sophomore/Junior Monroe Scholar Research

All Sophomore/Junior Monroe Scholars can receive $3,000 in funding to conduct an in-depth summer research project. Many students use this as a springboard for further research, such as an Honors project or independent study.

Sophomore/Junior Monroe Scholars Applications for Summer 2023 are now open!

Apply HerE!

  • Access the online application by clicking this link and create an account. 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. 
  • Sophomore/Junior Monroe Grant applications are due by 11:59 p.m. on Monday, March 6, 2023.
Eligibility
  • You may do your Sophomore/Junior project the summer before your junior or senior years. Monroe Scholars who do not complete their research before the beginning of their senior year forfeit the funding.
  • In order to qualify for the funding, you must be a Monroe Scholar enrolled in undergraduate W&M classes (or studying abroad) in the fall following your project.
  • ou can only apply for and receive one Charles Center funded research grant per summer (this includes Monroe Scholar funding, as well as the Catron grant). 

When your project is funded, you will:

  1. Spend a minimum of seven full weeks on your research.
  2. Submit the product of your project to your faculty advisor at the end of the summer.
  3. Present your work during the Charles Center-sponsored Fall Undergraduate Research Symposium.
Things to Consider
  • The first step is to discuss your research project idea with your William & Mary faculty project advisor. Make sure they know that they will be writing a letter of recommendation for you, mentoring your research, and helping you with your presentation at the Fall Undergraduate Research Symposium.
  • The results of Scholar research will vary: Many finish with a research paper, but that might not be the best product for everyone. For example, if you’re doing a creative project, you might end with a painting, sculpture or novella. Scholars working in labs might have their lab results as their final products. You will work with your advisor to determine what is the most appropriate final result of your project.
  • The project does not have to be in the area of your major, though you must have sufficient academic preparation to carry out the research.

See also:

What Materials Do I Need?
Materials Needed to Apply for a Summer Research Grant
Project Proposal Prompts

The project proposal questions will be answered within the online application.

    • What is the question you are hoping to answer with your research and what is its significance? (<150 words)
    • What resources are available to you for this project (virtual access to collections/ archives, additional funding, etc.)? (<150 words)
    • Explain the relevance of this work in the greater scheme of things. What new knowledge or interpretation will emerge from this proposed project? (<150 words)
    • Discuss your methodology. What is your research plan? Where do you propose to conduct the research? Include a project timeline, making sure that the project lasts a minimum of seven full-time weeks. (Note: the project may be spread out over multiple chunks of time, as long as it lasts at least 280 hours) (<350 words)
    • What will the deliverable be from your research (article, play, website, story map, etc.)? (<150 words)
    • Personal Statement: Explain how this project fits into your academic plan.For example, did it emerge from a course you took; is it related to your major; something you are doing to prepare for graduate school; or an interest that you haven't had a chance to explore yet. After reading your personal statement, a reviewer should understand the context of this project within your intellectual and academic trajectory. (<250 words)

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

Video Upload

It's important that you can explain your project to a non-specialist audience in your own words. We want to give you a chance to do this in a non-written format. Please explain your project succinctly in a short video using your phone. Include your research question, why it's important to you and how you plan to answer the question. (1 minute video maximum; this isn't supposed to be a professional video, unedited cell phone video quality is fine.) Please use this as an opportunity to enlighten us more about your project; do not simply read your proposal.

Example Video #1: Grayson Hoy

Example Video #2: Beatrice Tynan

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 https://about.citiprogram.org/. 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.

1.      
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, a small amount of your research grant will be used to pay for your mandatory CISI Comprehensive Medical and Evacuation insurance
Transcript

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

Recommendation Letter

A recommendation letter is required from the William & Mary 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 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. You may submit your application before the letter has been uploaded.

The letter of recommendation is due three 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.

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