Honors Summer Research Program

Each year, the Honors Program awards fellowships to a select group of Sweet Briar students to support them in conducting independent research projects under the supervision of a faculty member. The Honors Summer Research Program is an eight-week, on-campus program that brings together students and faculty from all disciplines. The program creates a unique academic experience for the participants by providing the opportunity for intensely focused research, a one-on-one working relationship with a faculty mentor, or mentors, and weekly meetings and presentations by both faculty and students highlighting their ongoing research as well as research methodologies across the academic disciplines.

Required Qualifications

Students who are interested in applying for HSRP should have, at the time of their application:

  • A 3.0 Cumulative GPA
  • Completed at least one 200-level course relevant to the project
  • Identified a faculty sponsor and one other faculty member willing to provide a letter of support

Proposal Requirements

The following items should be compiled into a single document:

  1. A title page with your name, project title, and the name/s of faculty sponsor/s.
  2. A description of the proposed project that explains the goal/s of the project, your research or creative methodology, and how this research or creative opportunity fits into your overall academic plan (2-3 pages).
  3. A research bibliography.
  4. A project timeline covering the eight-week endeavor.
  5. Two faculty recommendations, including one from the project sponsor.


If a student plans to have two faculty sponsors, both faculty members must write a letter of support. Their respective letters should include mention of their role and responsibilities during the eight-week session, and how the co-sponsorship will be shared or divided. We allow students with more than one faculty sponsor to work with their sponsors to develop a schedule that provides continuous support for the student during the eight-week session. Faculty co-sponsors may divide the sponsorship equally (with each agreeing to commit to four weeks of the summer session) or they may agree on another arrangement (e.g. six weeks and two weeks; five weeks and three weeks). The student should address the role of each faculty sponsor in her proposal and indicate in her timetable when she will be working with each of her sponsors during the program.

Proposal Evaluation

HSRP proposals will be evaluated based both on their content and quality. A successful proposal will:

  • Pose a novel research question (or creative goal) that is important and relevant to the field of study
  • Propose a reasonable methodology that will serve to answer the research question or accomplish the creative goal
  • Engage with relevant scholarly sources to contextualize the research question (or creative goal) and justify the methodology
  • Be well-cited in the format most appropriate to the field of study
  • Contain all required components
  • Be well-written

The Student Advancement Committee will evaluate the proposals based on the above criteria and make the final decision based on the consensus of the entire committee.

Key Dates and Deadlines for 2023-2024

  • November 15th: Interest Meeting in Josey Dining Room, noon - 1pm
  • February 24th: Deadline to complete the intent to apply form
  • March 24th: Deadline to submit your full proposal via this form. Letters of support may be submitted here
  • Summer 2023: Research (8 weeks on campus, May 22 - July 21)

Examples of accepted proposals

If you’d like to see some proposals that have been accepted in the past, please contact the Honors Program Director at honors@sbc.edu