Established in 1996 through the generosity of Charles Royce, a 1961 graduate of Brown University, the Royce Fellowship Program supports Brown University undergraduates as they carry out independent projects of their own design in locations across the United States and around the world. Along with funding, the program confers lifetime membership in the Society of Royce Fellows, a community of student scholars, faculty fellows, and Royce alumni that offers a forum for reflection, inquiry, and intellectual engagement within the university.
Every spring, up to twenty students at Brown are inducted into the Society of Royce Fellows, each receiving an award of up to $4,000 to pursue a research, curricular development, or public service project of his or her own design. The program seeks to enable undergraduates to explore their developing interests and passions and to extend the ideals of Brown’s open curriculum beyond the walls of the university.
As they complete their projects, fellows also become active participants in Brown’s Society of Royce Fellows. Through monthly dinners, regular presentations and discussions, and visits from Royce alumni, students share their visions of independent academic research and service with their community of fellows. The Royce experience ultimately encourages both a deep commitment to students’ own scholarly work and ideas and a sense of responsibility to the community and world beyond Brown.
Six to eight faculty members participate in this collaborative experience each year as faculty fellows, offering the Royce Fellows support and guidance, hosting events, and facilitating discussion. Bringing together outstanding Brown students, faculty, and program alumni in a vibrant intellectual community, the Royce Fellowship Program strives to create an environment for accomplished and emerging scholars alike to share their concerns and interests.
All rising sophomores, juniors, and seniors who will be on campus for at least one full academic year are eligible for the Royce Fellowship Program. Rising second semester seniors (‘.5s’) are eligible for the fellowship only if they extend their remaining semester of credits over an entire academic year. This decision, however, must be made independently; the program will not support a student’s decision to extend her or his time at Brown for the sole sake of eligibility.
Students who have applied in previous years are welcome to submit applications for the same or a different proposal to the program. Previous applications have no bearing on the candidacy of a current applicant. United States’ citizenship is not a determinant of eligibility.
The Royce Fellowship Program does not employ a baseline standard of academic achievement to determine eligibility: all students who will return to Brown for at least one full academic year, regardless of academic performance or standing, are welcome to submit applications. Applicants who advance to the second round are required to submit an academic transcript, not for the grades received, but as evidence of the breadth and depth of scholarship pursued.
If the proposal requires international travel, the applicant must agree to abide by the university’s protocol and will sign a contract and waiver stating such. In the letter of support the faculty or community sponsor must address supervision and monitoring, (frequency and duration), of the overseas work. A check-in plan, consisting of at least one check in over the summer via email or phone is required. When notified of the award fellows must submit emergency contact info, a travel plan, and a description of in-country accommodations.
Recipients will receive financial support to undertake a research, curricular or public service project of their choosing to be carried out over the summer or during the academic year. Fellows are eligible for extension funds of up to $1000.
Recipients of the Royce Fellowship are also awarded lifetime membership in the Society of Royce Fellows, which supports reflection and inquiry by encouraging members to connect their scholarly work with that of their peers and faculty sponsors. With the 15 newly announced fellows, the Society's membership now stands at nearly 240.
The preferred method of submission is to send applications electronically to firstname.lastname@example.org but we will accept hand delivered applications.
Parts of the Application
COVER SHEET: Please provide the following biographical information:
- Contact info- name, number, email address
- Faculty sponsor (and additional recommender is applicable) - name, department, number, email address
- If applying jointly with another applicant provide name
- Other funding- previously awarded/currently applying for
- How did you hear about this fellowship?
PROJECT DESCRIPTION: Please provide a title for your proposed project as well as a list of what individuals or populations will be served by your project.
PROJECT ABSTRACT: The project abstract should serve as a brief description of the project proposed in the proposal narrative and should not exceed 100 words in length.
PROPOSAL NARRATIVE: The proposal narrative should be no longer than five (5) typewritten pages in a twelve-point font with ‘one-and-a-half’ spacing and one-inch margins. Beyond these formatting parameters, there are no restrictions on the form the narrative can take. The applicant should address all of the questions outlined in Part Two of the application below.
§ Background information about the issue, problem or circumstance you are interested in exploring and why you are interested in the project.
§ Related academic or extra-curricular experiences that have contributed to your interest and preparation.
§ Details about the project including key activities and end products (i.e. a paper, program, etc.).
§ Goals. What do you hope to accomplish?
§ Public value. What are the potential benefits and impact of your Royce Fellowship (beyond personal development)?
§ Consideration of potential challenges. What are the limitations of the research or project?
§ What kinds of support and resources are necessary for both planning and project implementation?
WHY YOU WANT TO BE A ROYCE FELLOW: Applicants are urged to consider this question carefully.
TIMELINE/ACTION PLAN: The timeline/action plan should provide the Selection Committee with a breakdown of how the applicant conceives of undertaking her or his project. It does not have to be finalized or absolute in order for the application to be successful. Indeed, the Selection Committee expects that any proposed project will change in both its logic and outcomes many times before it is completed. This segment of the application should; however, both reflect the feasibility of the project and demonstrate that the applicant has thought through the practical steps necessary to achieve her or his goals.
BUDGET: Applicants may request up to $4,000 in funding but requests should not exceed $4000. While the Selection Committee looks for budgets that are considered and detailed, they, like the timeline/action plan, are in no way expected to be exhaustive or final. It is assumed that projections of living accommodations, project and travel expenses will fluctuate. This section of the application should offer insight, for the Committee as well as for the applicant, into the feasibility and logic of the project proposed. A sample budget might look like the following:
Rent ($300/month x 3 months): $900
Food ($150/month x 3 months): $450
(Summer earnings requirement for financial aid): $1,500
1 Round Trip ticket Providence-Chicago (as quoted by “X” Agency): $250
1 Minidisc recorder (as quoted from “X” Megastore): $400
2 Minidisc cassettes (as quoted from “X” Megastore) (2 x $7.50): $15
RESUME: A résumé is requested that briefly outlines for the Selection Committee the activities the applicant has undertaken and the time commitments he or she has made over the previous years. The resume should be relevant to the proposal and may be organized the way the applicant best sees fit.
UNOFFICIAL UNIVERSITY TRANSCRIPT
LETTER OF SUPPORT: a letter of nomination or support must accompany each application from a Brown University faculty or staff member. Faculty/staff members are asked to assess the student’s unique qualities, interests and skills in fulfilling her or his responsibilities to the project and the Society of Royce Fellows. With this in mind, the applicant should choose someone who can speak to the feasibility of and opportunity represented by the proposed project, the applicant’s ability to carry out the proposed work, and personal qualities in the applicant that she or he has been impressed by.
In some cases, it might be appropriate for an applicant to submit more than one letter of nomination or support. This is common with projects that propose to do work with organizations external to Brown or in situations where a particular faculty or staff member may not be able to comment on all facets—personal, scholastic, professional—of the applicant. Decisions on whether to submit a secondary letter are left to the applicant’s discretion.
**Letters of nomination and support should be submitted along with Parts One and Two of the application. If, however, this is not possible or if other arrangements have been made, however, it is the responsibility of the applicant to ensure that her or his letter(s) of support are received by the deadline.**
PREFERRED PROJECTS: There is no one project type or body thereof that defines a ‘preferred project.’ The program makes no determination on a project’s merit based on its area of focus or political orientation. Instead, the Selection Committee looks to the quality of its content, its relevance to the applicant’s own educational experience, and its feasibility given the stated action plan and budget.
INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY: The Royce Fellowship Program does not have a standard policy regarding the negotiation of intellectual property. For the most part, the program will not exert any intellectual property rights related to work a fellow undertakes as part of the fellowship. The program does, however, request a copy of the fellow’s work for the Royce library and archives. Concerns about intellectual property can be discussed with program staff and should be addressed with the faculty or staff advisor before the fellow begins her or his work.
RESEARCH INVOLVING HUMAN SUBJECTS: Projects involving human subjects research must be approved by Brown’s Institutional Review Board, (IRB). Applicants must be in the process of review or be approved before the Royce selection committee can award funding. Brown has clear guidelines on human subjects, which can be found here:
www.brown.edu/administration/research-administration/IRB.html . Since faculty sponsors must be the principal investigators in all IRB reviewed proposals, applicants should consult with their faculty sponsor early in the application process.