Richter Scholarship Program

The Richter Scholar awards are available for graduate and undergraduate students for the purpose of independent study. Students are encouraged to pursue enriching, broadening projects that have the promise of being life-changing. To enrich the independent study experience, each student is required to have a faculty mentor for their project.

2021 Update: We anticipate awarding Richter Scholarships to undergraduate students in summer 2021. Due to Covid-19, there are additional travel restrictions and visa requirements for foreign travel. Please consult the U.S. State Department website prior to application to understand the requirements.

Important details to consider:

  • The Richter Scholarship awards up to $6,000 to cover travel and living expenses.  Students must develop a budget as part of their application.
  • Due to the number of eligible applicants and limited scholarship funding, students may only receive the Richter Scholars award once.
  • Applications require mentorship from a Wake Forest University faculty mentor during the development and completion of the project.
  • Richter Scholarships are NOT designed to support credit-bearing “study abroad” programs, and therefore do not provide tuitions or fees to other institutions may be made with Richter funds. 
  • Richter Scholarships do support equipment costs (e.g., cameras) or collaborator expenses (e.g., translators, consultants).
  • Applications are due February 7, 2021 at 11:59 pm


When: Summer 2021

Length: 2-9 weeks

Who: Rising 2nd, 3rd, and 4th year undergraduate students
Information for graduate students

Funding: Up to $6000

Contact: Tammy Burke (

Application Process

Students should complete the Richter Application, which will be made live by December 1, 2020. For a preview of what to expect, click here to see an example from the 2019 application) Please note that your proposal description should be single-spaced, font size 12, Times New Roman (preferred), one inch margins and not exceed 2,000 words.

The committee expects that the student and mentor will have thoroughly discussed the completed application before it is submitted. As part of the application, applicants will provide the name and email address of their mentor, who will receive an auto-generated recommendation form upon submission of the application.

Note: When preparing your application, consider carefully the safety of your destination! Consult the list of countries for which the US State Department has issued travel advisories. If your country is on this list, you must petition the Overseas Crisis Management Team to travel to this country, and you might want to have a backup plan! You also must check to see if there are any visa requirements for travel to your destination.

Criteria for Selection

A committee of faculty and administrators will review applications and select the scholarship recipients. Scholars will be selected based on the following criteria: feasibility of the project, contribution of the project to the overall education and enrichment of the student, commitment of the student and faculty advisor to the project, and the student’s demonstrated ability to initiate and sustain creative activities and research. While there is no absolute grade point criterion, successful applicants must have a minimum cummulative GPA of 3.0. Students must be in good standing with the University. Both the project and the final report must be completed by mid-October 2021.

While the Richter Program encourages student to pursue international projects, proposals that focus on “touring”, rather than exploring a topic in-depth, will receive lower priority as will enrollment in a standard course of program. Individually conceived and executed projects are encouraged. Richter Scholars may receive credit toward honors projects and/or individual study projects supported by their Richter grant but Richter funding shall not be applied toward course tuition or course fees for which a student receives credit. The duration of successful projects normally ranges from 3-6 weeks.

Human Subjects/Participants Research

Please avoid making surveys or using human subjects a centerpiece for your proposal. Most applicants do not have the necessary experience or linguistic tools to carry out such projects. If you want an exception to this policy, please contact Pam Moser at, in advance of your submission, to determine if you need Institutional Review Board (IRB) approval.  Students who conduct human subjects research must have a faculty mentor who has completed the Collaborative Institutional Training Initiative (CITI training) for human research.

    Frequently Asked Questions (Under Construction)

  • What is the role and expectation of Mentors for Richter Scholarships?

    We appreciate your time, effort, and willingness to mentor students’ proposals and, if awarded, projects through the Richter Scholarship Program. Below we have clarified the expectations of mentors starting with the 2021 award cycle:

    Prior to application:

    • Mentors are expected to meet (online or in person) with a student to support the student in leading the proposal and resulting research project.
    • Mentors are expected to provide student feedback on project significance, feasibility, and budgeting. Students will have access to budgeting calculators.
    • Recognizing that mentors may not be country- or region-specific experts, we encourage mentors to ensure students seek counsel of a country- or region-specific expert prior to application. We will be post a list of experts by December 1, 2020.

    During application:
    Student applications automatically generate a Mentor Recommendation form email upon submission. Mentors will have until end of day February 11, 2021 to complete the recommendation form.

    During project

    Completion of Richter Report

  • What are the expectations for students upon completion of the program?

    Copies of research reports and papers developed during the Richter Scholars Program shall upon request be forwarded to the Trustee for the Richter Funds. All publications resulting from the Richter Scholar Program shall acknowledge the sponsorship of the Richter Memorial Funds.

    Final Project Report and Undergraduate Research Day participation. Both the project and final report must be completed by mid-October. Each Richter Fellow will be required to submit to the Committee a final report and project-ending piece of work that has been discussed with and approved by your faculty mentor prior to submission. This concluding piece may come in various forms: a written report, a visual report, an artistic production, computer-based production(s), pieces of creative writing, etc. It must be submitted by mid-October (exact date to be announced) it should be uploaded via Canvas site Drop Box under Richter 2020. If the final piece is an artistic endeavor and cannot be uploaded, please contact Tammy Burke (

    In addition, an abstract of your project must be submitted. Participation in Undergraduate Research Day is required unless you are studying abroad during the fall semester.

  • What if our planned project exceeds the budget?

    Scholarship recipients are eligible to apply for additional funds to cover extraordinary expenses of their research as well as to travel to present their results at scholarly meetings. Scholarship recipients may apply for this support, as needed, in a memorandum to the Senior Associate Dean of Faculty.

  • What projects have been funded previously?