Awards & Grants

COLA Student Research Fund

College of Liberal Arts Student Research Fund

The College of Liberal Arts Student Research Fund supports research by students enrolled in CLA degree programs. Projects may include, but are not limited to, Master’s theses, senior projects, senior theses, or independent studies conducted in any CLA department. Funded projects must have a faculty sponsor who is a member of the faculty in the College of Liberal Arts. If the faculty sponsor is not from the College of Liberal Arts, the student’s department chair must approve the faculty sponsor participation.

Students may use these grants ($500 maximum) to cover the expense of, for example, materials, software, postage, copying, and research travel. Grant money may not be used for tuition, secretarial assistance, entertainment, or for compensating each and every participant in a study. When the project is completed, applicants must submit a copy of the research to the Associate Dean of the College of Liberal Arts.

How to Apply for a Small Grant for Independent Student Research

First, talk it over with a sponsor

You must discuss your research idea with a faculty member who agrees to serve as sponsor. Working closely with your sponsor, determine:

  • the problem to be explored
  • the objectives of the project
  • the activities to be undertaken
  • a budget

Then, write the proposal

Your proposal should be brief—no more than 1000 words, or four double-spaced pages—yet informatively specific and rigorously organized. The proposal must include five sections: Problem, Objectives, Activities, Budget, and Contact Information. You must also include an approval form signed by your faculty sponsor and your department chair.

  1. Problem:  Describe the problem you wish to explore, or the question to which you seek an answer.
  2. Objectives:  Describe the anticipated outcomes of your project (“To learn …” “To discover…”  “To create …”).  If appropriate, describe the social and/or scholarly benefits of the project.
  3. Procedures:  Describe what you will do to complete the project.  Be sure to aim this description toward generally educated readers who will not be familiar with your professional jargon. At the same time you should thoroughly describe your methods so it is clear how you will be able to answer the problem described in Section 1.  Include a timeline with estimated date of completion.
  4. Budget:  Itemize the costs of completing your project.  All items requested in the budget should be accounted for in your Procedures.  Please remember that grants are limited to $500.
  5. Contact Information:  Please include your e-mail address.


Every proposal must be signed by the applicant, the faculty sponsor, and the Chair of the sponsor’s department. Submit your application electronically to the Sr. Associate Dean of the College of Liberal Arts.

Deadlines For Submission of Proposals

There will be two deadlines for submitting applications for awards. For projects submitted on October 15 and to be completed during the academic year (November 15 –June 30) all funds must be expended by June 15 of that year. For projects submitted on March 15 for projects to be completed during the summer or the following academic year August – June) all funds must be expended by the end of the following academic year.

Application Due Date Decision Due Date Project Timing Timeframe for Expending funds Student Report with Detail of Expenditures Due Due Dates for Receipts Submitted to the Dean’s Office
October 15 November 15 November 15 – June 30 of the same academic year Current Fiscal year (11/15- 6/30) September 1 of year award was received June 15 of the year award was received
February 15 March 15 June 30 of the same academic year or June 30 of the following academic year June 30 of the same academic year and/or next fiscal year that begins July 1 September 1 of year following award June 15 of the year following award for expenditures after July 1

Students may apply to the Student Travel Fund to support expenses related to presenting research at academic or professional conferences. Please refer to the section on the left labeled COLA Student Travel Fund for the separate guidelines for this fund.

*All applications are to be submitted electronically to Sr. Associate Dean, M. Ann Howard at