The Daniel T. Watts Undergraduate Research Grants

The Watts Grants were established through an endowment gift by Ann Watts Moses in memory of her husband, Dr. Daniel T. Watts.  Dr. Watts graduated from Elon College in 1937 and received Elon College’s Distinguished Alumni Award in 1969. Two grants of approximately $1,000 each are awarded to students majoring in a department within the mathematics and natural sciences division of Elon College who are or will be engaged in independent, faculty-mentored undergraduate research. The recipients of the awards are known as Watts Scholars.

The Watts Grants are intended to enhance quality mentoring relationships between faculty and students who work together to answer questions and solve problems, and to provide learning opportunities of the highest caliber. Research conducted by Watts Scholars and faculty mentors must contribute in meaningful ways to the knowledge base of a given discipline. Although the end product of all research is unknown as the work is undertaken, it is expected that the work of Watts Scholars will be closely linked to the expertise of their faculty mentors to ensure quality and potential to contribute to the discipline.

Funding associated with a Watts Grant can be used to support any project related expenses. The award may be applied to tuition in cases of demonstrated high financial need.

Application deadline

September 29, 2017

The mentor/student team must submit the completed application to the Undergraduate Research Program office in Powell Building 108 by 5 p.m. on the date of the deadline.

Note: To receive any support from the Undergraduate Research Program, including being accepted to SURF, applicable approval from the Institutional Review Board (IRB) must be in place before any data collection from human subjects takes place. View the IRB website for more information about this requirement.

Selection procedure

Faculty mentors and student applicants must complete an application. Quality of the application (content, clarity and quality of writing), quality of the research, the faculty member's mentoring experience and student qualifications will serve as selection criteria.


  • Watts applicants must demonstrate a 3.2 GPA, both cumulative and in the major in which the research will be conducted. Successful applicants typically will have already completed some initial activities in the proposed research topic.
  • For the year the student receives a Watts Grant, student recipients must register for at least one credit hour of 499/498 course credit in two semesters (fall, winter or spring). 
  • Watts recipients are required to apply to present their work at the Spring Undergraduate Research Forum prior to graduation. It is expected that recipients also will present work in other venues as appropriate. 
  • Watts recipients (students and mentors) may be asked to participate in panel discussions, admissions events and other activities related to the Undergraduate Research program. It is expected that the recipients will make every effort to aid the Undergraduate Research Program in articulating the value of the undergraduate research experience.
  • Copies of presentations or manuscripts resulting from work supported by Watts funds must be submitted to the Undergraduate Research Program office.
  • Any recipient failing to meet any of these requirements will forfeit his or her Watts funds.

Renewal of a Watts Scholarship or Grant

Students who received a Watts award in any previous year may apply for a renewal of Watts support. In addition to the standard application information, a request for renewal must be accompanied by a one-page report on the status of work supported by the previous Watts award. Requests for renewal will be evaluated based on the criteria listed above and by the progress made under the previous award. Students may be supported by Watts funds for no more than two years.

Related documents


Reimbursement Form