University Honors Program Grant Guidelines

Grants of up to $750 are available to help cover project expenses for Honors capstone projects.



Eligibility Criteria 

  • The applicant must be a member of the Honors Program.
  • Budgeted expenses must be for research or creative expression undertaken as part of an Honors capstone project.
  • An Honors project for which funding is sought must have already been approved or submitted for approval.
  • Applications must include an attached letter of support from the applicant’s research adviser.
  • Capstone or research projects that are underway and have future expenses are eligible for funding. Projects that are substantially completed are not eligible. Students may not request reimbursement for prior expenses.
  • A student may submit an application for both a University Honors Program grant and a Stewart Research Award in support of their capstone project. The justification of need, types of budgeted expenses, likelihood of a resulting publication, and availability of funds will all factor into award decisions.
  • Projects registered for credit will be prioritized, as will projects that are likely to result in a student-authored or coauthored publication.


Funding Policies 

Acceptable funding requests:

  • Materials and supplies that are used as part of the research or creative process, such as assay kits, chemicals, paint, construction materials, etc.
  • Interlibrary loan charges and reproduction of library research material.
  • Fees for professional services or external support that are required for the research project and are beyond the capabilities of the student (e.g., statistical analysis or lab analysis).
  • Equipment needed to complete the research. Examples might include a FitBit for an exercise monitoring project or video game for a study on gaming psychology. Note: After completion of the project any such equipment must be returned to - and becomes the property of - the University Honors Program unless other arrangements are made in advance.
  • Travel to conduct research. In most cases, travel costs will be capped at $375.00; some situations may justify funding up to the total allowance of the grant. Travel expenses must be justified and have a clear relationship to the goals of the project. Reimbursement will be in accordance with university travel policies.
  • Printing, copying, and photographic services. Note: Printing and copying must be done by an ISU Printing and Copy Center unless alternative arrangements are approved in advanced by Honors.

Things UHP grants do not fund:

  • Travel expenses for attendance at a national or regional meeting or conference.
  • A student's time.
  • Funding toward a piece of equipment or hardware that would reside with an academic unit or administrative office upon completion of the project (e.g., a 3-D printer for a research lab)
  • Equipment or software that is available to students on campus, unless a justification can be made for its need for use in an off-campus location.


Application Procedures 

  • Students should work closely with their faculty supervisor to plan the project, develop an itemized budget, and assess funding needs.
  • Grant applications are available online and completed electronically. View a sample application here.
  • Submitted applications are automatically routed through Qualtrics to the faculty supervisor for approval and then to the Honors office. Students do not need to submit a hard copy.Students do not need to submit a hard copy.
  • Applications must include an attached letter of support from the applicant’s research adviser.
  • Students will be contacted if there are unanswered questions, additional information needed, or revisions requested. Revised applications must be re-submitted through Qualtrics and receive a new approval from the faculty supervisor.

 Additional Considerations

  • HUMAN SUBJECT STATEMENT: Students doing projects involving human subjects must obtain the approval of the ISU Institutional Review Board prior to initiation of the project. This committee evaluates for compliance with university guidelines any research involving humans as subjects, including projects that use questionnaires or otherwise gather data from subjects. Human Subjects forms and submission instructions are available on the Institutional Review Board’s webpage. Note that you must allow at least 4-6 weeks for IRB determination of approval following submission of the required form for committee review.
  • ANIMAL CARE AND USE STATEMENT: Students doing projects involving animal care or use must obtain the approval of the ISU Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee prior to initiation of the project. Animal care and use forms and submission instructions are available on the Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee webpage. Note that you must allow at least 4-6 weeks for IACUC determination of approval following submission of the required form for committee review.
  • COPYRIGHTED MATERIALS: Students using copyrighted materials are expected to comply with copyright law.


Award Procedures 

  • The Research Grants Subcommittee evaluates applications for clarity, originality, and content, and makes recommendations for funding to the University Honors Program Committee, who grants awards. The subcommittee shall include an Honors Student Board (HSB) representative or student alternate.
  • The maximum award is $750.00. In some cases the committee will award partial funding for designated items in the budget request.
  • Applicants, along with the student's Honors advisor and research or student organization supervisor, are notified of the committee's decision via e-mail.
  • Grant recipients are required to sign and return a contract of acceptance for the award. 

Upon acceptance of the UHP Grant the student agrees to:

  • Include the following acknowledgement on any report or presentation related to the project: This research was funded in part or whole by a University Honors Program Grant made available through the Iowa State University Foundation in conjunction with the University Honors Program.
  • Complete the research and submit the results no later than Prep Week of the semester of graduation. Failure to do so may result in the termination of the research award with the student reimbursing the research award fund for any expenses incurred.
  • Present the final results at a University Honors Poster Presentation.
  • Submit to the University Honors Program office an electronic copy and 2 printouts of the final project report: 1 for the Honors Program, 1 for the University Archives.
  • Adhere to the ISU policy regarding printing and copy services.
  • Provide the University Honors Program with up to 4 hours of volunteer time to help with special activities (e.g., Symposium on Undergraduate Research and Creative Expression, Honors Poster events, thank-you notes for donors, First-Year Honors Program Retreat, etc.).
  • Submit any expenses for reimbursement by the Monday of Prep Week for the semester in which the project is presented
  • Return any equipment or unused materials purchased with the funds to the Honors Program. 

Payment for all grant-funded expenses should be discussed and coordinated with the University Honors Program office.

  • Purchases billed to the award should be made through an Honors Program administrative staff member, the faculty research supervisor, or a university procurement specialist in accordance with university policy.
  • Purchases made by the student (for which reimbursement will be sought) must be approved in advance by the Honors Program administrative staff.
  • Travel arrangements, including the purchase of airline or bus tickets, should be discussed and approved in advance with an Honors program administrative staff member to ensure university travel policies are met.
  • Changes of $50.00 or more in the funding categories listed in the budget or changes to or substitutions for specific items outlined in the budget, should be approved by the Honors Program Director.