Scholar Development Grants

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, to pursue external funding, or simply to do the groundwork for research to be conducted under regular 4998/4999 research hours. Students from any major whose projects intersect with religion and related topics are eligible to apply.

Grant Requirements

Scholar Development Grants qualify a successful student applicant for up to $500 in reimbursements for research expenses, including materials, software, or travel, to be used in the through the 2023-2024 academic year. Faculty mentors of successful applications will be provided a $500 stipend in recognition of their investment in the subsequent development of the project. Students in their first or second year whose projects consider the role of religion in society who have not previously registered for undergraduate research hours or received a Scholar Development grant are eligible to apply.

To begin the process, a student will work with a faculty mentor to conceive a new research project and develop an application using the form linked below. 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 will be accepted on a rolling basis through 2023-2024. Students and their faculty mentors will be notified about the status of their proposal within two weeks.

Successful applicants will be invited to develop and submit an Annotated Bibliography (or other discipline-appropriate culminating exercise) with their mentor at any subsequent point in the semester. Students qualify for research support upon completion of the Annotated Bibliography (or other discipline-appropriate exercise) and the Plan for Further Research form linked below, which describes their plans for taking the next steps to develop the project. Such plans may include registering for 4998/4999 research hours, submitting an application for Lumen, Multifaith Scholars, or other scholarship, developing an Honors thesis proposal, or drafting a proposal for an external grant such as the Boren Scholarship. All materials should be submitted by the mentor with the student copied to the Director of the CSRCS by email.


  • Scholar Development research stipends are available to full-time students in all disciplines
  • Students receive a stipend and research support upon completion of relevant 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.

Examples of past successful applications

“Examining the Intersections between Reproduction, Religion and Culture”

“Museums and Ritual Objects: Examining Curatorial Practices and Reanimating Religious Art”



  • Completion of Scholar Development Grants cannot count towards fulfillment of Elon’s ELR
  • Grants cannot support international travel without written approval of the CSRCS Director.
  • Research support funds are for research expenses only; they cannot be applied towards tuition
  • Research support funds are paid by reimbursement only, and documentation of expenses must be submitted by April 15 of each year to be reimbursed in that academic year.