Thank you for your interest in the College Council Research Grants.  These grants are intended to help fund the scholarly projects of students of the College of Arts and Sciences.  The College Council, the governing body of the College of Arts and Sciences, sponsors these grants to promote a spirit of intellectual curiosity within the College, foster relationships between faculty and students, and best meet the needs of College students. Please contact  Grants Chair Mira Sridharan at with any questions.

Grants offered

Semester Scholars Award

Traditionally, Semester Scholars Awards have been awarded in both the fall and the spring, and are funded up to $1,000. These grants are intended to fund scholarly projects that are conducted during the respective semester. Scholarly projects include research in the humanities, natural sciences, and social sciences as well as creative and interdisciplinary projects.

The Spring Semester Scholars Grant Application is now live! Please note the following major addition to this grant cycle:

As is detailed on the application checklist, College Council is expanding the Spring Semester Scholars Application to include a grants pitch competition. In addition to the traditional application materials, applicants will be required to prepare a 5 minute “pitch” promoting their grant idea to an audience and a panel of faculty and student judges. The judges will ask questions and offer feedback, which will factor in the College Council Grants Committee decisions. The application is due November 15th, 2017.

Given the importance of this aspect of the application, if you wish to apply but cannot commit to attending the pitch competition on November 20th, 2017, please contact Grants Chair Mira Sridharan at before the application deadline.

The Minerva Award

Minerva, found on the University seal, is the Roman symbol of knowledge and creativity, and it is this spirit that the College Council hopes to promote with the Minerva Award.  Minerva Awards of $3,000 (subject to change) will be awarded in order to fund scholarly projects that will be conducted by College students during the summer.  Applications for the Minerva Award are due in late January. For further questions, please consult the Minerva Award FAQ page or email the Research Grant Chair at

Note for students planning to travel abroad: The ISO student projects abroad application can now be found here.


Eligibility and Criteria

The College Council Research Grants are available to any undergraduate student enrolled as a degree candidate in the College of Arts and Sciences.  Grant proposals will be assessed based on the strength of the research question, the structure and organization of the proposal, and the integration of the project.   Please note that non-experts will be reviewing the proposals and that the proposals should be written for a broad audience.

Strength of Research Question

  • Presents innovative and original work
  • Demonstrates both depth and breadth in their understanding of the subject
  • Makes a significant contribution to the field of study

Structure and Organization

  • Written in a clear, concise manner
  • Explicitly states the goals of the research and how these goals will be met


  •  Incorporates different academic areas within the College
  • Utilizes innovative approaches and perspectives
  • Applies scholarly research in a manner that benefits the larger local or global community

In addition, it will be noted if the applicant has received additional funding for the same research project. In the spirit of fostering research among all undergraduates, priority will be given to students who have received no previous funding.

Faculty Support

Each project proposal must have a written letter of recommendation from a UVA faculty mentor who will serve as an adviser during the completion of the project. The faculty mentor should provide insight into his or her basis for concluding that the student is capable of completing a high-quality research project. Additionally, if the project requires IRB approval your faculty mentor should speak to the status of your IRB approval. Please ask your mentor to send the signed letter, on UVA letterhead, as an e-mail attachment directly to by the stated deadline.

Funding Regulations

  • Projects, research, and purchases must comply with federal, state, and local laws.
  • College Council grants CANNOT fund research stipends.
  • The grants are disbursed to students through direct deposit after notification of selection.  Students are on their Honor as a student of the University of Virginia to spend the grant funds according to the budget that was submitted and approved.
  • Grant recipients should use the resources freely available to them as University students whenever possible. Purchases of materials that are freely available at the University libraries or accessible through University journal databases, online subscriptions, or other electronic media will not be reimbursed. Grant recipients should perform a thorough and extensive search of University library resources before purchasing materials for their project
  • Grant recipients may not travel to any location with a U.S. State Department Travel Warning and, if such a warning is issued while abroad, the recipient must leave the country immediately in the safest manner possible. Such warnings can be found here. In accordance with this, all students must obtain ISO approval before receiving funding and before traveling abroad. The ISO student projects abroad application can now be found
  • Any projects involving the research of human subjects must receive IRB approval before they can receive any funding. More information regarding the IRB process can be found here:
  • All purchases that go beyond the above-stated regulations must be approved in advance by the Academic Affairs Chair and Treasurer of College Council in consultation with appropriate University officials.

Violations of any of the above regulations will result in the cancellation of the grant.

Receipt of Award

Grant recipients will be required to meet with the Grants Chair to discuss grant requirements and payment procedures.  Awards will be disbursed through direct deposit, which students must set up in their SIS accounts, using the following link. Recipients are on their Honor as students of the University of Virginia to spend the money as detailed in their approved budgets, and any changes to this budget must be reported to and approved by the Grant Chair.