SOURCE

Western Fund for Scholarly Opportunities, Undergraduate Research, and Creative Expression (SOURCE)

The purpose of SOURCE is to encourage research, scholarly inquiry, and creative activity by Western undergraduate students. Two categories of awards are available: project grants and travel grants. This student-fee generated fund prioritizes in the following order: student research, student travel to present research, and student travel for learning or professional development. When travel does not include a student presentation, we prioritize applications that show matching funds.

This fund is administered by the Western Research Council (WRC), an advisory body including faculty and students charged by Academic Affairs to raise the profile of scholarly and creative activity at Western, to expand opportunities for undergraduate students in all academic disciplines to engage in original scholarship or exploration of creative expression, and to share their work with the Western community. 

Proposal Submission Deadlines

  • Fall 2019:  Sept. 20 (Friday by 5 p.m.)
  • Spring 2020: Jan. 24 (Friday by 5 p.m.) and March 13 (Friday by 5 p.m.)

The application consists of two parts:

  1. The online application form which can be found on this website
  2. A written proposal, limited to five pages for project grants and two pages for travel grants. Written proposals should be submitted as a PDF attachment to Dr. Kevin Alexander at kalexander@western.edu.

These awards are competitive and are based on specific criteria (see below).

Project Grant Proposals may include supply money for consumable items and materials not already available at the University. Funding will not be awarded to cover the following expenses: tuition, marketing, and/or certification fees. Students can request a stipend at $12/hour for a maximum of $2,500. All project hours must be justified based on project work.

Travel Grants are available for conference registration, airfare, mileage, lodging, or other appropriate travel related expenses. They are capped at $500/student for travel to a conference where the student will be presenting, and $300/student for professional development travel. Food is not covered. SOURCE is intended to support student-originated and student-conducted activity, with faculty and staff serving as mentors on these projects. It is not appropriate for mentors to submit proposals on behalf of students. Students must be enrolled at Western during the grant award period.

Students awarded SOURCE funds are required to present their work at the Celebration of Scholarship (CoS) in either the fall or spring semester (other appropriate dissemination activities will be considered on a case by case basis). CoS highlights student scholarly and creative activity and provides an opportunity for students to enhance their presentation skills and prepare for professional meetings. It is also an opportunity for the Western community to recognize student scholars and their mentors. In addition, students receiving funds, including travel awards, are required to submit a final report to the WRC with completed copyright paperwork (if applicable).

All proposals must adhere to the guidelines described below. Proposals not meeting the detailed guidelines, will not be given consideration. It is absolutely necessary that proposals be submitted by the published deadline. Students and mentors are encouraged to discuss the proposal with the Chair of the WRC (Dr. Kevin Alexander) before submission.

General Instructions

  • Proposals must be written and submitted by the undergraduate student(s) initiating the project.
  • Individual students may receive no more than one project award and one travel grant per fiscal year.
  • For collaborative or group projects only one submission is required, which must designate a “Primary Investigator” or primary contact person for the project, in addition to the names of all participants.
  • It is important that reviewers outside of the applicant’s discipline understand the project description and budget justification.
  • Avoid the use of jargon whenever possible and explain clearly any technical terms and procedures that are critical to the proposal.
  • All information must be provided in the format specified. For this reason all applicants must meet with their faculty mentor to thoroughly review and discuss the proposal.

Project Grant Proposals

Project Grant Proposals must include the WRC SOURCE Application (electronic), Project Description and Faculty or Staff Mentor Statement.

The Project Description should not exceed five double-spaced pages (please number) and must include a(n):

  • statement of purpose, goals or objectives. Provide appropriate background to contextualize your purpose.
  • methodology, work plan, or design process.
  • brief personal statement describing how you became interested in the project and how the project fits into your career, academic, and/or life goals. Describe why you are doing this work and what impact or significance you expect the project will have on yourself and others.
  • description of the activities and expected results, products, or outcomes which may include, but are not limited to, a performance, exhibition, paper, or presentation.
  • statement of how the work will be communicated to the broader campus community.
  • timetable for completion of the project.
  • itemized budget and justification of funds requested.
  • description of any and all matching funds and whether they are secured or pending.
  • bibliography or literature cited section (as appropriate for the discipline).
  • The Faculty Mentor Statement must be attached to the student’s proposal. This statement must include a(n):

  • statement indicating how the student’s project is related to ongoing work of this mentor or whether the student initiated the project.
  • analysis of the viability of project objectives and methodology.
  • verification of budget needs and costs.
  • description of the mentor support that will be provided.
  • description of the student’s background and preparation for the project.

Travel grants

Travel Grants must include the WRC SOURCE Application (electronic), Project Description, and Faculty or Staff Mentor Statement.

The Travel Grant Proposals should not exceed two double-spaced pages (please number) and must include a(n):

  • brief personal statement explaining the purpose of your travel and how this experience fits into your career, academic, and/or life goals.
  • timetable for travel plans.
  • itemized budget and justification of funds requested.
  • description of any and all matching funds and whether they are secured or pending.

The Faculty Mentor Statement must be attached to the student’s proposal. This statement must include a(n):

  • statement of support.
  • verification of budget needs and costs.
  • description of the mentor support that will be provided.

 

The SOURCE Application:

 Apply Now for SOURCE Funding
 


Please note: unused funds from your account after April 30 (for fall grants) or Sept. 30 (for spring grants) will be reallocated toward grants for the following year.

Please note that:

  • The mentor may recommend termination of grant and the cancelation of further funding if the student is not fulfilling the terms of the proposal.
  • All expenditures must be in accordance with University policies and should be based upon principles of economy.
  • Actual expenditures must be for items requested in the proposal. Deviations from this policy must have prior approval of the WRC Chair.
  • Title to materials and equipment purchased with grant funds remains with the University. Western Colorado University policies relating to copyright, royalties, patents, or income apply to these grant programs. Questions regarding these matters should be addressed before submitting the proposal.
  • Funded projects involving human subjects in research must be approved by the Institutional Review Board for Protection of Human Subjects (IRB) before they are initiated. Funds will not be available until documentation of IRB approval is received.
  • Funded projects involving animals used in research must be approved by the Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC) before they are initiated. Funds will not be available until documentation of IACUC approval is received.
  • Publications or presentations resulting from projects supported by the Undergraduate Fund for  Scholarly and Creative Activity should include the following statement: “Funding provided by the "Western Fund for Scholarly Opportunities, Undergraduate Research, and Creative Expression" at Western Colorado University.”
  • Funded projects that produce a written report or other documentation fixed in time must deposit a copy of the report with the University for future access and reference. Creative projects, like works of art, can be documented visually for the university record.
  • All funded projects must submit a final report to the WRC upon completion.
  • Awards that cover educational expenses will be reported to Financial Aid and may impact your yearly financial aid package.