With the aid of their faculty mentors, Bowdoin students are able to apply for mini-grants to support academic year undergraduate research and travel in all disciplines. Each fund has slightly different criteria, which are outlined below; however, the application process is the same for all four funds. The Student Fellowships Committee makes awards based on the merits of the proposals and the funds available.

Please note that applications will not be considered during the month of January nor during the summer months of June, July, and August. Mini grant proposals are reviewed by members of the Student Fellowships Committee, and in most cases, applicants are notified of the committee's decision within two weeks.

Davis Fund fosters undergraduate interests in international affairs. Awards typically range between $200 and $500.

Grua/O’Connell Fund* supports faculty-mentored student research, regardless of discipline.  Awards from this fund can be used to offset student travel that will substantially enhance students’ research and to defray students’ research expenses such as purchasing of books and equipment, publishing research results, or any combination of these expenses. Awards typically range between $200 - $800.

*Please note: The Grua/O'Connell mini-grant is NOT the same as the Grua/O'Connell Research Award, which is only offered in the fall.

Koelln Fund supports faculty-mentored student research in the exploration of a topic that surmounts traditional disciplinary boundaries. The purpose of the fund is to encourage broad, essentially humanistic inquiry, and will be awarded with preference given to worthy projects founded at least in part in the humanities. Awards typically range between $200 and $600.

Roberts Fund supports an underprivileged scholar to do research in any field. Please note that the Student Fellowships Committee defines "underprivileged scholar" as a student who is currently receiving aid from Bowdoin. Awards typically range between $200 and $800.  Students planning on a career in teaching are ineligible for the Roberts Fund.

A complete mini-grant application comprises the following:

  • A one page, single-spaced description of the project. The project description should:

    • be understandable to a non-specialist
    • include clear statements regarding the fund to which the student is applying
    • include the project's start and end dates
    • have the student's name clearly written in the header
    • be written by the student; however, the Student Fellowships Committee expects the faculty mentor to advise the student and to review the application and budget to ensure that all appropriate information is included.
  • An itemized budget and detailed budget justification with all figures rounded to the nearest $10 to be approved by Cindy. To view a sample budget, please click here. Please note that the Committee expects students to put forward a plan to use the funds as effectively as possible.  This often means staying in hostels, sharing hotel room, using mass transit when possible, etc. Students are also expected to see if departmental funds are available and, if available, explain how they will be used.

  • A PDF of the student's unofficial academic history from Polaris (for guidelines on how to save your unofficial academic history as a PDF, click here).

  • One letter of support from the faculty mentor submitted either in hard copy in a signed and sealed envelope or via email to Corey Colwill.  Either way is equally accceptable.

The submission deadline is noon on the 15th of each month during the academic year. Complete applications must be delivered to the Office of Student Fellowships and Research, located in 116 Moulton Union. Applications can be delivered in person or emailed to Corey Colwill ( If the 15th falls on a Saturday or Sunday, the deadline will be extended to 8:00 a.m. on the following Monday.