Honors Research Grants

Honors Research Grants

Honors Research Grants support your own research project or creative work under the guidance of a Faculty Sponsor. As part of this process, you will gain experience with the stages of research grant application, including writing a grant proposal, developing a budget, and creating an abstract. If awarded a research grant, you will also present your research at the annual Massachusetts Undergraduate Research Conference. These are competitive grants for which you must submit an application through PATHS.



Grants of up to $1,000 are available to pay for materials and activities directly related to your project, and may not be used as a stipend or wage. Awarded funds will be transferred to your Faculty Sponsor’s department. Any equipment purchased with grant funds is the property of the University of Massachusetts and must remain on campus for use by other students in the Faculty Sponsor’s department.



You must be an Honors College student in good academic standing (i.e., minimum cumulative GPA of 3.400) from any academic discipline. You must also be a junior or senior who proposes to use the grant in connection with an Honors Thesis or Honors Independent Study. If your application is successful, you must present your findings at the annual Massachusetts Undergraduate Research Conference.


Faculty Sponsor

The Faculty Sponsor must be a member of the faculty. Teaching Assistants and graduate students may not serve as Faculty Sponsors.


Application Process

The application process is two-part, requiring both you and the Faculty Sponsor to submit materials. You must initiate the process by recruiting a Faculty Sponsor and writing a grant proposal (see the Proposal Requirements below). The Faculty Sponsor must review and comment on your proposal before you upload the document. Since applications and proposals may not be revised online, you must communicate with your Faculty Sponsors regarding revisions before you submit your proposal. The Faculty Sponsor must upload a document consisting of a letter of endorsement and a curriculum vitae (CV) that are combined into a single document.

Applications without the Faculty Sponsor's supporting documents cannot be considered for funding.

Applications must be submitted using CHC PATHS.

Proposal Requirements

Your application must be a typed, single-spaced six-page proposal, formatted as a PDF document, with the following sections (see section page limits below):

  • Background and Significance: Provide an introduction that lays the framework for the research and describes why it is important and how it creates new knowledge. Use scholarly references to briefly review the research that has led to this study. (1,500 word limit)
  • Objective: Explain the goals of your project in one or two sentences using action verbs like “develop, demonstrate, test, etc.” Include a hypothesis, if it is appropriate. (half page)
  • Methodology: Describe how you will accomplish your stated goals. Include how you will collect data and analyze the data, and the steps you will follow to carry out the project. Be clear about how you will be trained to accomplish the study and where the study will be carried out. Provide information to document that you have the experience to complete the project and that the necessary space and equipment is available to you. Be sure to provide sufficient details about the research environment that will demonstrate that the work is feasible. (two pages)
  • Budget: Specify your grant request by detailing your proposed budget. Provide an itemized breakdown and total of the estimated cost, and show other funding sources if applicable. Grant requests may not exceed $1,000. Additional narrative justification may be provided if not explicit in Methodology. (half page)
  • References: All references used in the proposal should be cited. Check with your Faculty Sponsor to use the citation format appropriate for your field of study.

Please note: Your application information may be used for a press release.



The selection process is competitive. After submission, grant proposals are routed to schools and departments for independent faculty review, comment, and rating. You and your Faculty Sponsors will be notified of selection decisions before the start of the new semester.



Online applications are accepted mid to late March for disbursement during the following fall, and in early October for disbursement during the spring.

The March deadline is for juniors applying for fall semester (when the students will be seniors). The October deadline is for juniors and seniors applying for spring semester.

After submission, grant proposals are routed to schools and departments for independent faculty review, comment, and rating.

The Faculty Sponsor deadline is seven days after the student application deadline. Faculty Sponsors must submit their supporting documents thru CHC PATHS to complete the application.

For additional information or questions, please contact the CHC Research Office.



  • Begin by carefully reading the Honors Research Grant criteria and instructions, above.
  • Identify a Faculty Sponsor AT LEAST a month before the deadline.
  • Print out the Honors Research Grant Application Instructions and bring them with you when you meet with your Faculty Sponsor.
  • AFTER speaking with your Faculty Sponsor about your project, begin drafting your research proposal.
  • Ask for sample grant proposals from your department or Faculty Sponsor. (Not all departments and sponsors have these available.)
  • Meet with your Faculty Sponsor regularly while writing and revising the proposal draft.
  • Give your Faculty Sponsor enough time BEFORE the deadline to review the proposal, comment, and advise you on revisions.
  • Get explicit final approval of your proposal from your Faculty Sponsor before uploading the proposal.
  • Once submitted, the proposal cannot be revised by you or Faculty Sponsor.
  • Begin the application in CHC PATHS. (You, the student, should initiate this.)
  • As soon as you have submitted your application, let your Faculty Sponsor know to be on the lookout for an automatic notification email from CHC PATHS that contains a link to the proposal system. As these notification emails sometimes end up in a spam folder, it is a good idea to follow up with your Faculty Sponsor.
  • Ensure your Faculty Sponsor has uploaded the letter of support and curriculum vitae (CV) within the seven-day deadline.


A University of Massachusetts students looks at a computer

Learn about the variety of competitive scholarships and research grants offered through Commonwealth Honors College and throughout campus. 

View a list of scholarships generously funded by alumni, parents, and friends of the Honors College.

These competitive fellowships help fund your experience working on a faculty member's research project as a research assistant.