Cherng Summer Scholars

The Cherng Summer Scholars program is 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.

Applications for the Summer 2021 program will open December 01, 2020 and be due on February 20, 2021.

Please contact  Ava Drayton ( regarding any application and procedural 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.

Please note that 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 2021 Details

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 by December 01.

  • 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.
  • For Summer 2021, we expect to fund up to fifteen scholars.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • If selected, the scholarship will be dispersed into your student account in two installments (week 1, week 6), and will be processed by the MU Office of Financial Aid. 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.

Developing a Project & Selecting a Faculty Mentor

  • A Cherng Summer Scholars project may be inspired from a course you have taken, the research or artistry of a current mentor, or an idea of your own. No matter the impetus, the project proposal should be entirely developed and written by you. Primary intellectual and technical ownership of the project must lie with the student, never the mentor. A research project should be hypothesis-driven and provide educational experiences, while artistry may be more conceptual and involve performance.
  • 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 reach out to Ava Drayton before submitting an application.
  • You are encouraged to select a mentor that has the expertise needed 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.
2021 CSS Faculty Mentor Information Sheet

Application Details

Once you have gathered the following required materials, please go to Scholarship Universe. Once here, use your Mizzou pawprint to sign in and search Cherng Summer Scholars. All application materials will be uploaded on this platform, as well as the letters of recommendation.

  1. Student Information
    • Be prepared to enter some of your personal information.
  2. Prior Research Experience
    • Please upload a document that outlines one or two prior relevant research or artistry experiences. In this document include the following:
      • Research mentor name and department
      • Time span and total hours you worked on the project
      • Project duties and responsibilities
      • Program name (if the experience was through a MU program)
      • If you were compensated (payment, scholarship, course credit or volunteer)
  3. Project Information
    • Faculty mentor Information: name, email, academic department.
    • 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, fifth, and ninth weeks, and all check-in points between.
      • Please also include a brief summary of how your plan to use your funds if selected.
    • 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.
    • A Current Student Academic Profile
      • Include most recent fall semester grades, found through MyZou.
    • An Updated Resume or CV
      • Your membership in the Honors College must be listed under the Education section of resume.
  4. At Least Two Letters of Recommendation
    • You will input your recommender’s information and they will add their letter to your application. Letters of recommendation need to be added DIRECTLY to ScholarshipUniverse by the letter writer by February 20, 2021. You will be able to see if this action has been completed but be sure to give your recommender plenty of time to complete this action.
    • One letter must be from your research or artistry mentor. Ensure they read the above faculty mentor document.
    • Your second letter should be from a faculty member with whom you have taken a class or have worked. Letters written by TAs, lab technicians, or graduate students will not be accepted.
    • If you have research experience in the past year, your supervisor from that experience must provide a letter of recommendation or you may explain why you could not 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, 2021; this is subject to change.


Please contact Ava Drayton ( regarding any application and procedural questions.