Enrichment Funds

Life-Changing Opportunities

Image of Elizabeth MacDonald. Project Title: Breaking Perfectionism: Change My Habits, Master My Mind, Improve My Life. "My project helped me step further out of my comfort zone and uncover aspects of myself I didn’t know existed. I had to try a lot of new things that made me uncomfortable, I failed some, and I learned a lot."

Summer Enrichment Funds

The Merit Scholars program is dedicated to helping our students learn and grow beyond the bounds of the classroom. Our Reynolds, Carswell, Gordon, Graylyn, and Stamps Scholars have access to enrichment funds to support their pursuit of a research question or idea of interest to them over the summer.

Each summer prior to graduation, these students are invited to apply for up to $5,000 in funding to support a self-designed research project. Scholars submit proposals detailing their research question, preparation, methodology, and a planned budget and itinerary, practicing their skills in designing a project on paper and later bringing it to fruition in the real world.

Projects need not be limited to one’s major or future career path—the Scholars Program views these summers as additional opportunities for Scholars to live out our liberal arts tradition, encouraging them to pursue a passion project with the same rigor that they dedicate to their more formal academic work. Summer projects typically result in a presentation at Undergraduate Research Day.

Image of Declan Sander. Project Title Exploring the Importance of Class in Der grüne Heinrich. "My Carswell-Mullen summer research grant did not simply allow me to engage in the field of German literary studies. More importantly, it gave me the opportunity to spend the majority of my time learning precisely what I wanted to learn, and to expand on that foundation meaningfully. I was able to approach my research area with a kind of joy I hadn’t before experienced. When thinking about how my summer research experience continues to impact me, I hold closely that invaluable role of freedom in discipline."

General Timeline

  • August-November: Brainstorming of the research question; conversations with potential mentors to refine the project.
  • December-February: Drafting and fine-tuning of project proposal
  • Late February: Application submission deadline
  • May-August: Summer project
  • September: Submission of final report and reflection
  • October: Presentation at Undergraduate Research Day

Where our Scholars have gone