Cherng Summer Scholars

The Honors College is pleased to announce the opening of applications for the 2020 Cherng Summer Scholars program, a full-time, nine week, summer research or artistry program for rising MU juniors and seniors.

The program is supported by a gift from Peggy and Andrew Cherng and the Panda Charitable Foundation. Recipients will receive a $7,000.00 award and access to a $1,000 research or artistry project expense account.

Cherng Summer Scholars will participate in individually designed theoretical research, applied research, or artistry projects, under the mentorship of an MU faculty member in the field. The research and artistry projects may be conducted in a laboratory, a studio, an archive, or other location, either on or off-campus.

Students must make arrangements with a faculty mentor and have a written commitment of support prior to application.

Application (Rules and Deadline)

One paper copy of the application, recommendation letters, and all other required materials, must be submitted in person to the Honors College (210 Lowry Hall) by 4:00 p.m. CST on Friday, February 21, 2020. Late applications will not be accepted.

See below for application link and more information.

Number of Scholars

For Summer 2020, we expect to fund up to fifteen scholars.


Please contact Mrs. Ava Drayton ( regarding any application and procedural questions, or Dr. J.D. Bowers ( regarding any programmatic or eligibility questions.


Applications will be accepted from rising MU juniors and seniors who are active members of the Honors College and in good standing (3.5 GPA or higher).

Applicants should be able to demonstrate prior, successful, research or artistry experience.

This is a full-time research program. Scholars are not permitted to enroll in coursework at MU or any other institution while participating in the program, with the exception of a required 1-credit research and artistry seminar (Gn_Hon 4070H: Cherng Summer Scholars Seminar) specifically designed for the Scholars, or in designated, departmental undergraduate research hours. All tuition and related fees are the responsibility of the student.

Scholars must complete the entire nine weeks of the program, in-residence or at an approved off-site location; there will be no exceptions. We have discrete start and end dates and you must be a full-time participant through the duration of the program.

The scholarship will be dispersed into student accounts in two installments (week 1, week 6), and will be processed by the MU Office of Financial Aid. After Financial Aid processes the scholarship, the funding will be placed in your MU student account. If you have outstanding payments owed to the University (Mizzou Store charges, housing, parking tickets, etc.), the Cashier’s Office will pay these bills before funding is dispersed.

This scholarship may impact your financial aid package. Students are encouraged to talk to their financial aid advisor before accepting their position in the program. Similarly, if you are an intercollegiate athlete, your scholarship may impact your athletic scholarship or eligibility.

Summer Program 2020

Cherng Summer Scholars will undertake an independent research or artistry project, with support and guidance from an MU faculty mentor (who will receive a small stipend for their contributions) for a minimum of nine weeks (360 hours) during the summer semester.

The Cherng Summer Scholars Program dates will be announced soon. Some weekend programming may be involved and required. You must be “in residence” the entire time and weekly work logs (verified by your mentor) will be required.

In exchange, each Cherng Summer Scholar will receive a $7,000 research or artistry grant to assist them during their period of residency in the program, and access to an expendable account of up to $1,000 to be used for directly-related project expenses, by approval, for materials, supplies, travel, and other project-specific needs.

Applicants should apply to conduct a project that is achievable within the confines of the period. The proposed project may be part of a larger, an on-going project, but the part being conducted must be discrete. The project must be independently designed and primary intellectual and technical ownership of the project must lie with the student, never the mentor.

Scholars will be required to attend an orientation session, participate in all seminar sessions, and give a public presentation of their work. There may be several required social events as well, related to networking and program outreach.

Finding a Mentor & Developing a Project

Faculty Mentor Information

A course you have taken, the research or artistry of a current mentor, or an idea of your own may inspire your project. No matter the impetus, the project proposal should be entirely developed and written by you. A research project should be hypothesis driven and provide educational experiences, while artistry may be more conceptual and involve performance.

You are encouraged to select a mentor that has the expertise to be able to guide you in the development of your project, and throughout your residency. Together you should agree on the nature and scope of your project, the methods, a timetable, and the means by which you will meet your project goals. Some projects are best served by co-mentors; in that case, choose a primary mentor but obtain recommendation letters from both.

Faculty mentors must have a full-time academic or research appointment at MU. A co-mentor may be added who is unaffiliated with MU or who holds less than a full-time appointment. Graduate students may not serve as mentors.

Projects may be conducted on or off campus, but the latter will undergo more scrutiny and require the student to take extra steps for verification, mentoring, and participation in the required seminar. Off campus projects will require an additional letter of commitment from a sponsoring or cooperative entity.

The Cherng Summer Scholars program does not support study abroad, service programs, established academic programs, or other forms of formal academic programs. When in doubt, please speak to Dr. Bowers before submitting an application.


Applications for the Summer 2020 program are now open.

Please follow the link below to complete a Cherng Summer Scholars application. Late applications will not be accepted.

Cherng Summer Scholars Application

  1. Application Form
    • Be prepared to enter your personal information, faculty mentor information, and previous research experience.
  2. Project Proposal 
    • Approximately five pages, single spaced, and in 12 pt font. Please title your project in 6-20 words.
    • Introduction to your topic and its significance, presenting a clear question or hypothesis to be tested or explored.
    • A description and explanation of research/artistry approaches, analyses and activities.
    • Conclude with what you believe your results will yield and please cite no fewer than three academic references.
    • Include a timeline of your summer, with specific, achievable objectives at the end of the first week, fifth week, and ninth week, and all check-in points in between.
  3. A Statement of Purpose for Research or Artistry
    • Approximately one page, single spaced, and in 12 pt font.
    • Describe your project in terms that can be understood by faculty from across all disciplines.
    • Should include a brief state on how this project will relate to your future career goals.
  4. A current Student Academic Profile
    • Include most recent fall semester grades, found on MyZou.
  5. An updated resume or CV
    • Honors College must be listed under the Education section of resume.
  6. At least two letters of recommendation 
    • Letters of recommendation are to be sent DIRECTLY to the Honors College (210 Lowry Hall) by 4:00 PM CST, February 21, 2020. Letters must be in a sealed envelope addressed to “Cherng Summer Scholars Committee”
    • One letter must be from your research or artistry mentor. Ensure they read the accompanying faculty mentor document.
    • Your second letter should be from a faculty member with whom you have taken a class or have worked. Letters should not be submitted if written by TAs, lab technicians, or graduate students.
    • If you have research experience in the past year, your supervisor there must provide a letter of recommendation or you may explain why you didn’t obtain one.
    • If your research or artistry project requires you to be away from campus, you must provide an additional third letter of confirmation from the agency or institute where you will be conducting your primary research or artistry.
    • Letter writers should be able to describe your interest in research or artistry, your potential as a scholar, your intellectual ability, and your critical thinking skills. Letters about character and leadership are not helpful for this application.

Misrepresentations in the application or while participating in the program will result in disqualification from the process or revocation of the award.

Selection & Notification

On average, it takes four weeks to review applications and make final selections. As soon as decisions are made, we will contact students by MU email. Regardless of status, all applicants and mentors will receive official notification.

Our intention is to notify all applicants by the end of March, 2020; this is subject to change.