Application Guidelines

The School of Communications encourages students to develop high-quality creative and innovative projects and to showcase their work in professional settings or academic competitions. Every year, limited funds are made available through a competitive review process conducted by the School of Communications Awards and Competitions Committee. The grants are designed to support the following types of student activities:

  1. Development of competitive projects through production assistance
  2. Development and implementation of high-impact professional activity that brings prestige to Elon
  3. Payment of submission fees
  4. Travel assistance to competitions

To be considered for grant funding, the project must have originated through the initiative of an individual or a group of Elon University School of Communications students. Potential projects may include work created as part of a university-sponsored student media activity or a School of Communications organization, as an independent project, or as an assignment in a course. A faculty or staff mentor must approve all applications.

This grant initiative augments the ample School of Communications support for creative production through access to facilities and software, faculty and staff mentors, and high-quality production equipment available from the Gear Room.

Colin Donohue, School of Communications director of student engagement and special projects & instructor of journalism, serves as chair of the Awards and Competitions Committee. Please read the rest of this page before you submit a grant application.

Eligibility Requirements and Rules

  1. Current students majoring in the School of Communications. Current students are eligible for support of project creation, competition submission fees, and travel assistance. Projects may be completed, in progress, or well-defined as described in a detailed proposal.
  2. Recent graduates of the School of Communications. Recent graduates may apply for competition submission fees and travel assistance within the first year after graduation. Projects must have been completed before graduation.

Professional and Creative Project Grants are not intended for undergraduate research papers, and graduate students are not eligible for grants.

Rules for Production Assistance/Professional or Creative Projects

  1. Students may apply for funding to cover production expenses, including support for location filming, equipment rental, payments for talent, licensing, or content acquisition (i.e., copyright usage fees). Such requests are capped at $500/year for a student/team and will only be granted for projects that are being created for external competitive review, such as entry in student competitions, film festivals, etc.
  2. Students may apply for funding to cover expenses related to the development and or implementation of high-impact projects that are designed for external audiences. Such requests are capped at $500/year for a student/team and will only be granted for projects that are being created under faculty mentorship.
  3. In the case of a group project, only one member of the group is to submit an application.
  4. Funding will not be provided retroactively. All expenditures supported by this fund must be approved by the committee prior to the expenditure.
  5. Depending on the nature of the project, applicants are encouraged to build incidentals into their overall request, itemizing each anticipated item. Once receipts are received, the school will reimburse applicants.

Rules for Submission Fees

Current students or recent graduates of the program may submit requests for reimbursement of up to $200 in submission fees in a given year.

Rules for Travel Assistance to Competitions

Travel awards will be evaluated based on the competition, the level of award received, and the estimated cost of travel to the event. The student must pay additional travel expenses. A student may also receive additional funding from other sources, such as student media and communications organizations.

  1. Travel support for competitions and juried screenings will be issued based on priority as determined by the committee. Recipients of first-, second- or third-place awards will be considered as priority applicants. The committee will also consider applications for travel support to present work at juried and/or highly selective competitions where judging occurs at the event.
  2. Students may apply for travel to multiple competitions. No one student may exceed $500 of travel support in an academic year.
  3. To receive full consideration, applications requesting travel support should be submitted at least 30 days prior to travel. Please be advised to not incur any travel-related expenses before the application is approved or pre-approved.

Expedited Review

Proposed project incidentals that do not exceed $200 are eligible for expedited review by the chair of the School of Communications Awards and Competitions Committee under an expedited review designation.


  1. Applications for support of student projects, submissions and travel should be submitted through the online form.
  2. In most cases, decisions on an application will be communicated to the applicants within four weeks after submission. That time frame may vary, depending on when the application was received.
  3. Requests for funding must be supported by a School of Communications faculty or staff mentor who has provided creative and/or technical support and who endorses the application.
  4. Students must submit an itemized budget to the Awards and Competitions Committee that describes in detail how funds will be spent.

Deadlines for Funding Cycles

Applications to support funding for creative projects will be accepted on a rolling basis throughout the academic year. In most cases, the awards and competitions committee will send notice of an award within four weeks of receiving the application. Applications submitted toward the end of the academic year (mid-March to May) will only be considered if funds are available. Once the fund is depleted for the year, the committee will no longer accept applications.

Disbursing funds

Funds will be disbursed to the individual based on pre-approval by the Awards and Competitions Committee of specified budgeted items. Itemized receipts must be labeled and submitted in their entirety with an attached summary of all expenses to Alyssa Donohue in Schar 108 or at If others involved in the professional or creative project incurred budgeted expenses on behalf of the team, the lead author must include a reimbursement request on their behalf when submitting his/her receipts. It is the responsibility of the lead author to distribute any appropriate reimbursements to other project members. There are no exceptions to the single payment disbursement policy.

Allow 2-3 weeks for disbursing of funds by the university accounting office following approval.

This budget template may help you complete your application.