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Learn About the Review Process

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Student grant proposals and letters of recommendation are evaluated carefully by Academic Advising and Undergraduate Research staff in the Vice Provost for Undergraduate Education (VPUE) office. Submitting an application authorizes Academic Advising and Undergraduate Research staff to examine your transcripts and consult appropriate faculty and staff outside VPUE regarding your project and qualifications. The review process is quite competitive due to high levels of student interest and limited availability of funds. Not all good proposals will receive grants.

Criteria for Funding

Criteria for funding proposals include the following:

  • Originality and Significance. Research and creative work are efforts to explore new understandings of the world. Successful proposals tackle interesting new ideas and eventually contribute novel data, interpretations, insights and / or analyses to your chosen discipline.
  • Intellectual Rigor. Successful proposals demonstrate a sophisticated understanding of what the broader research or artistic community already knows about your topic (as reflected in peer-reviewed publications, for example).
  • Methods and techniques. Your methods and techniques address the questions or goals that you articulate in a direct and logical way. These methods stand up to informed criticism by other practitioners of your discipline. For Major Grant proposals, your participation in an honors program is an important part of demonstrating such rigor.
  • Feasibility. A successful proposal outlines a realistic plan which stands a good chance of meeting with success. You discuss logistical preparations to date, identify potential hurdles and present contingency plans. These preparations help you surmount the unexpected obstacles that are inevitable when your thoughtful project design encounters the real world.
  • Preparation. Successful applicants have undertaken the training and careful thought that promotes a successful experience. You have acquired a background in the methods that you propose to use and lined up an appropriate level of mentoring support. If you are conducting a project off-campus, or conducting research on human subjects, you will have completed the mandatory Undergraduate Research special requirements.

Proposal Decisions

Undergraduate Research makes every effort to evaluate proposals in a timely way. Our goal is to announce decisions within 6 weeks of proposal submission deadlines.

Proposals may be approved, denied, or placed on hold. Proposals that are placed on hold are given an opportunity to incorporate comments from the Review Committee and revise and resubmit a proposal. The Resubmission phase is 10 working days for the Chappell Lougee and Major Grant, and 5 working days for Small Grants. Resubmitted proposals undergo a second round of review. 

Receiving Funds

After the review process is complete, proposals are subject to further policies and administrative steps before you receive funds. Your approved proposal may go unfunded if you fail to take these further steps. Check these policies, including what to do when a proposal is rejected or put on hold.