Skip to main content

Summer Research Grants

Project 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. A successful proposal clearly addresses how the student’s time will be employed fully throughout the project.
  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 their work for a local, regional, or national audience is stronger than one where the student has no plans for sharing the work. Planned presentations beyond the required presentation at Scholarship and Creative Endeavors Day are strongly encouraged.
  3. Clarity of the proposal. A successful proposal contains faculty and student writing that clearly articulates the project and its merits to an multi-disciplinary faculty audience. Enough detail must be present for the committee to assess the novelty and depth of the research, but at the same time it must be written for a multidisciplinary audience who are not experts in your field.

All else being equal, preference will be given to students and/or faculty mentors who have not previously participated in the SOAR program.

The number of students on a proposal will not directly affect whether the proposal is funded. However, proposals with two students should have benefits the students and the potential for disciplinary contributions proportional to the number of students. Further, the project proposal should describe how working in collaboration with other students will offer benefits to the students that would not be available on a single-student project.

Although the topic for a SOAR project can be the same as the student's honors topic, the applicants should demonstrate how the SOAR project stands by itself as a research experience with its own outcomes.

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 departments (e.g., Reeves Library) is stronger than one where this discussion is absent.