Semester Research Grants

Evaluation Criteria

Proposals will be evaluated using three criteria:

  1. Benefit to the student. A successful proposal describes how the project engages the students in discipline-appropriate scholarly activity. A proposal where the students participate in multiple phases of an overall project is stronger than one where the students only see fragments of the research process.
  2. Contribution to the discipline. A successful proposal describes a project where the students engage in original work and have the opportunity to share that work in a meaningful way. A proposal where the student anticipates presenting or performing his or her work to a local, regional, or national audience is stronger than one where the student has no plans for sharing the work.
  3. Clarity of the proposal. A successful proposal contains faculty and student writing that clearly articulates the project and its merits to an inter-disciplinary faculty audience.

The number of students on a proposal will not directly effect whether the proposal is funded. However, proposals with multiple students should have benefits to the students and the potential for disciplinary contributions proportional to the number of students. Further, the faculty member should describe how working on a team offers benefits to the students that would not be available on a single-student project.

A student may not use the same topic on a SOAR project and an honors project simultaneously.

Expense Proposal Evaluation Criteria

Expense proposals are evaluated independently after a project is granted faculty/student funding. The committee may grant all, some or none of the requested expenses. Proposals will be evaluated based upon:

  1. Necessity of the item. A successful proposal describes an expense that allows the student and faculty mentor to collaboratively accomplish otherwise unachievable project goals. A proposal where the item is required to complete the project is stronger than one where the item only facilitates the work.
  2. The availability of the item from other sources. A successful proposal describes an expense that cannot feasibly be acquired elsewhere. A proposal that includes explicit discussion of relevant on-campus resources is stronger than one where this discussion is absent.