Davenport Study Grants Due March 15

Limited funds are available to support student research and other student scholarly projects in public affairs to begin this summer. Only current sophomores and juniors are eligible. These funds are made available through a gift to Wesleyan University from the Surdna Foundation in honor of Frederick Morgan Davenport, Wesleyan University Class of 1889, and Edith Jefferson Andrus Davenport, Wesleyan University, Class of 1897. 

In past years, Davenport Scholarships have been awarded to sophomores and juniors who have “demonstrated intellectual and moral excellence and a concern for public affairs” and “who by their personal qualities and vocational and scholarly intentions give greatest promise of leadership in the public service.” It is expected that most of the grants will be concentrated in the social science departments and the CSS, but applications will be accepted from majors in all areas of the University as long as the proposed projects are related to public affairs.  

Each student’s application must be in a single pdf file. The application must contain: (1) a title, (2) a brief description of the proposed project, its objectives and its significance, including a discussion of the relevant scholarly literature; (3) a statement discussing course work relating to the proposed project; (4) an account of the methods for carrying it out; (5) a timetable for completion [a project may continue through the academic year 2021-2022]; (6) a detailed budget (please list any travel expenses separately and be aware that Wesleyan currently can only fund travel expenses if the travel ban is lifted; (7) a copy of the student’s transcript [which you may copy from your portfolio if you wish]; CSS students must include your comprehensive Examination grade. Finally, (8) a separately submitted letter from the faculty member who will supervise the project, carefully assessing its merit and the ability of the applicant to carry it out successfully.

Applications are not to exceed five double-spaced pages (not counting the supervisor’s letter or transcript) and must be electronically submitted AS AN ATTACHMENT (see below). It is the applicant’s responsibility to inform his or her faculty supervisor to submit a letter electronically AS AN ATTACHMENT. Both the application and the faculty member’s letter must contain the student’s name (with the last name listed first) followed by “Davenport Proposal” in the subject line. 

Funds are limited, and we expect competition for the awards to be keen. Applications will be judged by a faculty committee composed of representatives of social science departments and programs. Criteria for judging applications include: the relevance of the project to public affairs; the scholarly value of the proposed research; the clarity and suitability of the project design; the feasibility of the proposed project; the applicant’s past academic record; the evaluation submitted by the faculty member; and the realism of the proposed budget. Senior thesis projects will receive priority. Students should make their proposals as specific and detailed as possible, and support them with evidence of their ability to complete the work according to a realistic schedule. They should prepare the budget with special care, including only essential expenses and showing precisely how the proposed budget supports the work being proposed. Your budget may not include the purchase of capital equipment (i.e., digital recorders, cameras, etc.). Those planning to do research abroad should consult with the Office of Study Abroad in the Center for Global Studies about their plans and budgets. Please direct any questions you may have to kkolcio@wesleyan.edu.

For guidance on writing a successful grant proposal, please consult “The Art of Writing Proposals” on the Social Sciences Research Council website. Students may also consider contacting last year’s Davenport grant recipients listed on the CSPL website to request copies of their proposals and tips on writing an effective proposal. 

Please note that research proposals involving living human subjects who could be individually identified (unless in public office), audio or video recordings of participants, sensitive data, vulnerable populations, or the observation of behavioral tasks in a laboratory will require IRB approval. 

All Davenport Scholars will receive a minimum of $500, as stipulated by the terms of the DavenportBequest. Additional amounts of up to $2500 may be awarded, the amount depending on the availability of funds and project needs. Total awards will generally be limited to $3000, but successful applicants may apply for modest supplements if, during their projects, it appears that the $3000 limit is too restrictive. An interim report, 3-5 pages in length, is to be submitted in September. This report should describe the work done with the grant money over the course of the summer and how this work will advance the student’s thesis or other honors projects during the coming year. Upon completion of the project, each Davenport Scholar must submit a brief report to the Committee on his/her activities, accomplishments, and an accounting of expenditures beyond $500.

All materials including faculty recommendations must be submitted electronically to Davenport grant (davenport@wesleyan.edu)by midnight, Monday, March 15, 2021. On the top of the first page, please include your Name, Major, WES ID, Wesleyan Box No., Email address, Name of faculty advisor who will be submitting a recommendation (if your thesis advisor will be someone else, that person should also be listed here), as well as your citizenship for tax purposes. Applicants will be notified of grant awards as soon as possible, hopefully by first week in April. Titles of successful applications will also be posted on the CSPL website, www.wesleyan.edu/allbritton.