Proposal Guidelines

Please review the Richter Guidelines for Applicants for information before preparing your proposal. As a reminder, Richter grants are available to those who meet the following criteria:

Transfer students can apply as long as they meet all eligibility criteria. Individual students submit proposals; separate proposals must not request funding for the same research/project. Individual students may submit separate proposals to work on separate components of the same larger project, but each student’s submission must describe a full research investigation.

A proposed project must be completed before an applicant’s graduation date. Funding is for research that has not yet been conducted, and funds cannot be used to reimburse students for research and/or project already completed.

Proposals should be typed using 12-point font, one-inch margins, Times New Roman font, with single line spacing. As you prepare your proposal, please bear in mind that it will be reviewed by faculty from diverse disciplines; make every attempt to make your proposal intelligible and clear to a general academic audience, and to minimize discipline-specific jargon.

Contents of the Application

For the online application, be prepared to submit your name, student ID number, email address, campus box number, phone number, address, major/degree program, class standing (year), GPA, the title of the project, requested amounts for stipend, supplies and travel, project beginning and ending dates, and your faculty sponsor.

Lay Summary (Separate From Proposal)

The lay summary is a concise, clear, and brief (no more than 300 words) description of your project. It should outline the problem, the objectives, and expected outcomes, including the project's significance to the studied field. The lay summary should be written in less technical language than the proposal narrative so it can be easily understood by proposal evaluators from various disciplines.

Your lay summary should include the following:

While a brief mention of how data will be collected is acceptable, do not include details of your methods, nor should you cite literature in the lay summary.

The lay summary can significantly generate initial interest in your project, so it should be taken seriously.


The body of the proposal is to include a project title and the following categories (not to exceed four pages):

Briefly lay the context for your proposed research by orienting the reviewers to the discipline in which your research topic falls, identifying the knowledge gap related to your proposed work, and clearly identifying the central problem your research seeks to address.

Clearly articulate a thesis statement or hypothesis directly from the issue or problem already identified and that frames the remainder of your proposal.
Provide an organized and linear overview of existing knowledge on your research topic, and include proper citations. The literature review should be used to develop a conceptual framework and to expand the justification for your proposed research.

Provide a clear research plan that considers materials, equipment, participants (if relevant), sample sizes, data collection techniques, data analysis methods, and inferential approaches.

Methods and protocols that are standard for your discipline should be cited appropriately to provide evidence of credibility in a table format, including a timeline for all proposed project activities described in the research methods.

All supplies, equipment, and/or travel requested in the budget should be clearly named and justified in the research methods. As you construct this section, consider that reviewers will evaluate the research methods to determine whether your proposed research can accurately address the hypothesis or thesis identified in the proposal.

Describe specific personal and disciplinary benefits likely to result from the proposed research.

Provide a detailed and realistic plan for research dissemination, including presentations and/or publications.

Please use whatever citation format is standard for your discipline, and be consistent in your formatting throughout your reference list. Include a full citation for each reference cited in the main text. Do not include citations for resources not cited in the main text. This is a separate page attached to the proposal.

Supporting Documents

  • Please read the Funding section on the Richter Scholars page for allowed funding amounts.
  • Detailed budget and justification will be submitted using this Richter Scholars Budget TemplateYou must download or copy this form and add your budget details before uploading using the application link (upload as a PDF). Clear justification for all budget items must be provided above in research methods.
  • Be prepared to provide an itemized list of required supplies and the corresponding cost for each item. Supplies can include such things as equipment, consumables, software, analytical tools (e.g., testing vehicles), subscriptions, and travel required for data collection. For travel costs, including a cost breakdown for items such as mileage, multiple night stays, etc.
  • Any requested stipend and/or costs associated with travel for data collection should be listed, and realistic costs should be appraised. If the proposal requests funds for international travel, this should be included based on the most current rate for Travel Guard Insurance.*
  • Use the Richter Scholars Budget Template whether you are requesting a stipend or supplies.

*All students traveling abroad must register with the university’s Center for Study Abroad Office (contact Lynn Scott at for registration). Note that this is a supplement to regular medical insurance, which all students and faculty should have.

Students must check with their current medical insurance carrier to ensure they are covered while traveling. If a student does incur medical expenses, they need to keep any receipts to submit to their insurance company when they return. The insurance is valid only when an insured person is outside of their home country or country of domicile if different.

The faculty mentor should provide a signed letter of no longer than two pages expressing support for the project and detailing their expected involvement and commitment to the research.

The support letter should specifically address the research's value, the proposal's strengths, a realistic assessment of the capability of the applicant to complete the proposed research to a high standard, and the specific support that the faculty mentor will provide to the student. 

  • The faculty mentor's support letter should be signed and uploaded by the faculty mentor using this Smartsheet electronic link by the proposed deadline (PDF file).

If you have secondary mentors that are not from George Fox, your George Fox faculty mentor will need to upload all support letters using the same Smartsheet electronic link above.

Please print an unofficial copy of your most current transcript from MyGeorgeFox which you will upload with your application materials.


Vetta Berokoff

Vetta Berokoff

Richter Administrator