Scholar Development Grants in the Center for the Study of Religion, Culture, and Society

PANDEMIC UPDATE: If you are viewing this page in the 2020-2021 academic year, please see this page for updates about how Scholar Development Grants are being administered in the pandemic.

Designed for first- and second-year students just embarking on the process of understanding the role of religion in society, Scholar Development Grants introduce students to the research process in their individual disciplines, help them conceive a research topic, and prepare them to write research proposals for Elon’s signature research programs or for external funding.

Grant Requirements

Students in the first or second year who have not yet registered for undergraduate research or applied for a Scholar Development project are eligible to apply. They will work with a faculty mentor to conceive a new research project and develop an application. Only faculty in full-time, ongoing appointments are eligible to serve as mentors. Faculty mentors will guide students to conduct the bibliographic research necessary to articulate the scope, aims, and hypothesis of such a project. Applications for Scholar Development grants are accepted each semester according to the schedule below. Funds for successful applications will be available the following semester upon completion of the Plan for Further Research. Appropriate final assignments, which could include an annotated bibliography and/or a draft of a grant or thesis proposal, will be due to the faculty mentor by January 31 (for fall/winter applications) or May 31 (for spring applications) and copied to the Director of the CSRCS.

Grant Disbursement

At the beginning of the semester following approval of an application, students will consult with the same mentor about undergraduate research proposals for which their preliminary work could be submitted or further developed. Within two weeks of the beginning of classes the student and mentor will submit a Plan for Further Research, which could include registration for 498/499 undergraduate research credits or submission of a proposal for Honors Thesis, the SURE, Multifaith Scholar, or Lumen programs, or external grants such as the Boren Scholarship. Fall 2019 Plans for Further Research are due Monday Sept. 9, 2019; Spring Plans are due Feb. 10, 2020. Upon submission of the Plan for Further Research, students will have access to a $1000 expense account to support further research in their chosen topic. These research grants can cover supplies, travel to conferences, archives, or museums, or other approved costs. Faculty will have access to a $1000 faculty mentor draw account that can be used for their own or the student’s research or to supplement their annual conference travel budget.

Dates and deadlines 2020-21

  Fall applications

Date Action
August 25 Grants announced
October 9 Applications due
October 16 Awards announced
December 31 Final assignments due to CSRCS director
February 6 Plan for Further Research due, grant money released
February 6-May 15 499, SURE application, Lumen application, etc. underway

Spring applications

Date Action
February 1 Grants announced
March 26 Applications due
April 2 Awards announced
May 31 Final Assignments due to CSRCS director
September 7 Plan for Further Research due, grant money released
September 6-December 3 499, SURE application, Lumen application, etc. underway


  • Scholar Development research stipends are available to full-time students in all disciplines
  • Students receive a research grant of at least $1,000 upon completion of program requirements
  • To be eligible for a Scholar Development Grant, students must have first- or second-year standing, must have completed one semester at Elon, and should have a cumulative GPA of 3.0.

Selection Criteria

Proposals will be ranked according to quality on each of the following criteria (not listed in order of importance).

For students:

  • Past academic performance
  • Suitability of the student for the project
  • Educational value of the project

For faculty:

  • Please review the Scholar Development Grant Mentor Guidelines posted here prior to applying.
  • Collaborative nature of the project.
  • Potential for fostering student/mentor relationship and ongoing student research.
  • The match between project and mentor’s area of expertise.
  • Availability of the mentor to the student during the grant period.


  • Completion of Scholar Development Grants cannot count towards fulfillment of Elon’s ELR
  • Grants cannot support international travel unless the student is accompanied and supervised by the faculty mentor
  • Grants are for research expenses only; they cannot be applied towards tuition
  • Grant funds must be used in the academic year in which they are awarded and documentation of expenses must be submitted by April 15 of that year