Winter Research Scholars

WRS applications are due Friday, November 13, 2020

The Winter Research Scholars (WRS) program supports students participating 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 must be meaningful as well as educationally valuable. The application process is competitive, and funds may not be adequate to grant all proposals. The supported work is carried out during the winter break and is open to students of all disciplines.

Faculty WRS Application Process:

All Winter Research Scholar applications are submitted by the faculty member. Faculty members can nominate one student for their winter research projects. These applications are due no later than November 13, 2020.

Applications are submitted to the Associate Provost; decisions are made by the President's Advisory Committee. Careful attention to the guidelines is crucial in writing the proposal. Proposals should be concise, clear, and as far as possible comprehensible to non-specialists. They should explain the proposed research, its background, significance, and benefit to the students involved. Proposals must list by name the student involved in the project. Decisions will be made according to the following criteria:

  1. educational value to the student researcher
  2. significance of the work proposed
  3. clarity and organization of proposal
  4. feasibility of the project
  5. seriousness of motivation of the participants
  6. academic qualifications of participants

Projects involving development of pedagogical materials will be considered but should lead to a final "product," e.g., part of a laboratory manual, a paper in a pedagogical journal, a presentation at a professional meeting, a section of a textbook, a comprehensive web site, etc. Projects in which a student simply does background research for a W&L course will not be considered. The following considerations should be addressed in these proposals:

  • Projects should engage the student as a full collaborators in the scholarly enterprise.
  • Proposals should specify the significance of the student's contributions to the faculty mentor's research program.
  • The student should be able to demonstrate an understanding of her/his role in the proposed project.
  • Proposals should include a clear and convincing statement of the benefits to the student involved in the proposed work.

Guidelines for All WRS Projects:

Duration of Projects:
Winter projects may include up to four weeks of work. The project may not begin before the end of fall term, nor be continued beyond the first day of winter term classes.

For the winter of 2020, the combined stipend/living expenses will be $385 per week for up to four weeks (less applicable taxes). The maximum allowance per student is therefore $1,540. Students must be able to work virtually and not on campus.

International Students:
When projects include an international student, the faculty mentor must contact Hunter Swanson in International Education to check whether that student is eligible to be paid.

Research Report: Student researchers must submit a brief final research report (no more than one page), due on January 15. 2021. The student researcher, not the supervising faculty member, shall write the report. The report will provide an accurate and complete account of all work done on the project, including figures and diagrams if appropriate, and information on publication or presentation plans. The report should be submitted to with a copy to the faculty mentor.


No student may receive more than one WRS award during the same winter. Students who receive WRS funding may not be full-time employees of the university during the WRS support period.