University Scholar Proposal Advice

A University Scholar project is more demanding than an independent study project or even an Honors thesis. A University Scholar plan of study should be more rigorous than the standard requirements for graduation.  As you develop your University Scholar proposal, keep in mind the points below.

  • Showcase your passion for your field(s). Think about how your project conveys your excitement.
  • Demonstrate your ownership of the proposed work: A University Scholar project reflects your initiative, independent thinking, and creativity. Your faculty advisory committee will advise and guide you through the scholarship process, but you should be making contributions to your field with this research idea.
  • Reflect your comprehension of relevant literature. Demonstrate your knowledge of current research by citing scholarly work in your proposal and bibliography.
  • Prove that your plan/project is realistic. Provide sufficient evidence to show that your project is not only intellectually challenging but also feasible to complete in the appropriate amount of time.
  • Delineate your methodology/theoretical approach carefully. Discuss your methodology/theoretical approach with your advisory committee to make sure it is solid and feasible. Define terms that are unfamiliar to the non-expert.
  • Offer evidence as to why your project and plan of study are worthy of the University Scholar distinction. How does your plan of study and project extend your level of learning beyond what is expected of any student? (Graduate courses and coursework in other disciplines can deepen your knowledge of your chosen field.)
  • Showcase how your intellectual interests advance beyond the narrow field of your disciplines. It is not necessary to develop a project that involves more than one discipline, but many University Scholars do pursue multi- or interdisciplinary work.
  • Demonstrate how your project fits into your goals and plans. The experience should offer some important benefit to your future, such as flexibility in achieving your goals.
  • Make sure that your proposal is well-organized, clearly written, and comprehensible to those who are not specialists in your field.

Learn more

Learn more about the proposal review process.

Review some successful proposals.