Summer Research Scholars

The Summer Research Scholars (SRS) program supports students in collaborative research supervised by W&L faculty. The program aims to encourage the development of research techniques within a particular discipline, to promote the active acquisition of knowledge, and to stimulate student interest in inquiry. It is also intended to aid undergraduate faculty in their research activities by providing student researchers for whom the projects will be meaningful and educationally valuable. The supported work is carried out during the summer months and is open to students of all disciplines. Students interested in summer research should discuss their interest with potential faculty mentors as early as possible.

Students Seeking SRS Funding:

SRS provides a stipend of $455 per week for up to ten weeks. The SRS program does NOT fund expenses. If your project involves travel to an off-site location, please discuss with your faculty mentor whether they have funding available to cover your expenses. You may apply for additional funding from programs such as the Johnson Opportunity Grant to cover expenses if they do not.

Faculty SRS Application Process:

There are two rounds of recruitment for Summer Research Scholars, with the first deadline in late January and the second in mid February (please see Administrative Deadlines for exact dates). Faculty members seeking additional Lenfest funding for collaborative student research projects should submit their SRS proposals by the January deadline. Proposals are submitted to the Director of Fellowships and Student Research via the online application system and should contain the following information:

  1. Project title
  2. Estimated project start date (must be on or after the first Saturday following undergraduate commencement)
  3. Estimated project duration (maximum of 10 weeks)
  4. Maximum number of student researchers sought (up to 3 can be funded by SRS)
  5. Brief project description (no more than 200 words)
  6. Prerequisites for student researchers, if any (e.g., if a student should have completed specific coursework before the project begins)
  7. Other relevant information (e.g., fieldwork required, virtual research an option, etc.)

Following each application deadline, proposed research projects will be posted on an SRS website, and students will have approximately two weeks to apply to projects via an online application form [forthcoming]. Faculty research mentors will make final student selection decisions.

Guidelines for All SRS Projects:

Duration of Projects:

Summer projects may include up to ten weeks of work. Work can be completed on campus, virtually, or some combination of the two. The project may not begin before the first Saturday after commencement, nor can it continue beyond the first day of fall term classes. Funding for additional supplies needed for the project may be requested from the Department Head or in the Lenfest Summer Grant proposal.


The Office of the Provost determines annually the amount to provide Summer Research Scholars. For the summer of 2024, the combined stipend/living expenses will be $455 per week for up to ten weeks (less applicable taxes). The maximum grant per student is $4,550.

International Students:

When projects include international students, the faculty mentor must contact Hunter Swanson in International Education to check whether that student can be paid.


All housing arrangements and fees are the student's responsibility. Summer housing is available on campus for a flat fee of $420, regardless of duration. Information about on-campus summer housing is available from Residence Life.


Research Report: Student researchers must submit a final report and reflection on the SRS Canvas page, due the first Monday in September. Even if more than one student works on the same research team, each team member will submit their individual report and reflection.

Poster Session: All Summer Research Scholars are encouraged to present at the Fall Showcase of Student Summer Research, typically on the Friday of Parents and Family Weekend.

Science, Society, and the Arts (SSA): Summer Research Scholars are strongly encouraged to participate in the "Science, Society, and the Arts" undergraduate research symposium at W&L biennially.


Graduating seniors are only eligible if funding is available after consideration of all continuing students; students may receive only one SRS award per summer. Students who receive SRS funding may not be full-time employees of the university (summer program counselors, university store clerks, tour guides, etc.) during the SRS support period.

Students are not eligible to begin work until the first Saturday following Commencement and all paperwork has been completed.


All students receiving SRS grants will be known as Summer Research Scholars. Funding for the SRS program comes from a variety of endowed funds. The Robert E. Lee Research Fund was established in 1960 through a gift from the late Dr. Gustavus Benz Capito, an 1899 graduate of Washington and Lee. Additional support has come from various sources, including the Christian A. Johnson Foundation and the E.A. Morris Foundation. Several outstanding students will receive special designation as Christian A. Johnson Scholars, E.A. Morris Scholars, a Megan E. Rigdon Scholar, or a J. Peek Garlington Scholar.