Cherng Summer Scholars

The Cherng Summer Scholars program is a full-time, nine-week, summer research or creative scholarship program for MU Honors College students. The program is supported by a gift from Peggy and Andrew Cherng and the Panda Charitable Foundation. Recipients will receive a $7,000 award and access to a $1,000 research or creative scholarship project expense account.

Cherng Summer Scholars will participate in individually designed research or creative scholarship projects, under the mentorship of an MU faculty member in the field. This program is open to any MU Honors College student that has prior experience in their research area. This experience can be within a classroom setting but priority will be given to applicants that have done research on their own time, either through a scholarship program or volunteering.

Applications for the Summer 2024 program are now open and are due by February 29, 2024 (deadline extended).

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


  • Active members of the Honors College and in good standing (3.5 GPA or higher)
  • Must have prior or current research or creative scholarship experience.
  • Selected scholars are not permitted to enroll in coursework at MU or any other institution while participating in the program, except for a required 1-credit research and creative scholarship 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. Dates for Summer 2024: Tuesday, May 28 – Friday, July 26

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 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.

  • Each Cherng Summer Scholar will receive a $7,000 research or creative scholarship 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 participate in all seminar sessions and give a public presentation of their work at the Office of Undergraduate Summer Forum.
  • 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 creative scholarship 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 creative scholarship may be more conceptual or involve performance or production.
  • Projects may be conducted on or off campus, but the latter will 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 applying.
  • 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 how 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.

2024 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. Your Information
  2. Personal Statement
    • Approximately one page, single spaced, and in 12 pt font.
    • Must include your prior research experience and how that has led you to apply for the Cherng Summer Scholars.
  3. Project Information
    • Faculty mentor Information
    • Project Proposal 
      • Project title using 6-20 words.
      • Approximately TWO pages, single spaced, and in 12 pt font.
      • Introduction to your topic and its significance, presenting a clear question or hypothesis to be tested or explored.
      • A description and explanation of research approaches, analyses, and activities.
      • Conclude with what you believe your results will yield.
      • Please cite no fewer than three academic references.
      • Include ONE additional page outlining a timeline of your summer with specific, achievable objectives at the end of the first, fifth, and ninth weeks, and a short summary of how your plan to use your $1,000 expendable funds if selected.
  4. A Current Student Academic Profile
    • Include most recent fall semester grades, found through MyZou.
  5. An Updated Resume or CV
    • Your membership in the Honors College must be listed under the education section of resume.
  6. 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 15, 2024. 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.
    • The first letter must be from your mentor. Ensure they read the above faculty mentor document.
    • The second letter should be from an MU instructor with whom you have taken a class or have worked.
    • One of the two letters must be from someone who has supervised or worked with you closely on previous research or creative scholarship.
    • If your research or creative scholarship project requires you to be away from campus, you must provide a third letter of confirming the nature of your situation.

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 mid-March; this is subject to change.


Please contact Scholarship & Research Coordinator, Ava Drayton regarding any application and procedural questions.