Royce Fellowships

Deadline 02/07/2017
Contact Kerrissa Heffernan


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. 


Complete the application in UFunds, by 5pm on February 7, 2017.

To learn more about the Fellowship and to see a sample application go to: 


Additional Information

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.