Facebook Pixel Honors Development Grant (HDG) | Western Kentucky University Skip to main content

Honors Development Grant (HDG)

HDGs provide up to $500 to offset costs associated with academic research, travel to a professional conference to present an academic paper, and/or the purchase of materials to support academic endeavors. HDGs can only be used to support activities closely related to Mahurin Honors College (MHC) priorities (CE/T projects, research, internship, Honors Augmentation Contracts (HACs), travel to academic conferences). Please carefully read these guidelines before starting the application below.


What are the eligibility requirements for HDGS?

All students in good standing with The MHC are eligible to apply for an HDG. Students who are not in good standing with The MHC may apply for an HDG if they have a Success Plan on file with their MHC advisor. Such cases will be reviewed on a case by case basis.


How can HDGs be used?

All requests must fall within standard WKU budget policies.

HDG CAN be used for*:

  • tangible items such as equipment or materials to be used for research or other academic endeavors *See notes below.
  • documentable travel expenses to support CE/T research or to present at a professional conference.
  • expenses related to travel to an internship with substantial unmet costs.
  • Study away (a National Student Exchange program or WKU faculty-led program in the USA)

*The MHC reserves the right to request two or more price quotes be obtained prior to purchase.

*All purchased items become the property of WKU.


HDGs CANNOT be used for

  • membership dues
  • subscriptions
  • living expenses
  • tuition
  • computers


HDGs might be available

To pay an outside vendor/contractor (artist, speaker, interpreter, etc.); however, the process takes at least 45 days after approval by the Honors Development Board. Before submitting a request that includes an outside vendor, contact the Assistant Director for Academics.


How is the funding determined?

The Honors Development Board (HDB) weighs the number of applications, the available funds and the strength of each application.  A strong application 1) clearly articulates how the funding will contribute to intellectual development, course of study, and/or research goals and the professionalism, 2) provides a detailed budget, and 3) if appropriate, specifies additional funding being sought from other sources. 


High priority proposals are those that significantly contribute to an MHC scholar’s intellectual development, course of study and/or research goals.


Highest Priority

Materials/travel to support/disseminate a CE/T project. Project is supported by other funding sources.


A class-based project that produces a product (e.g., film, paper, tool, etc.)


Lowest Priority

Class travel or conference attendance


For additional clarification, review the HDG evaluation rubric used by the HDB.


When is the HDG application due? 

The priority deadline for the HDG February 12, 2021.

The final deadline is March 12, 2021.

HDG applications turned in after the priority deadline will be considered after those submitted at the priority deadline, as funds are available.  HDG applications submitted after the final deadline will not be considered until the next semester.

HDG applications turned in during the summer will be evaluated on a case by case basis, if funding is available.


How will I be notified if I receive an HDG?

Upon approval, recipients are notified by email.  The approval process takes up to a month after the deadline. Plan accordingly.


How are HDG funds dispersed?

The HDG award letter details how scholars can access funds either to reimburse expenses (as in the case of travel) or to pay an invoice.

All receipts must be provided within 30 days of purchase.  After the 30-day deadline, funds will not be issued.

The HDG application should be submitted and approved prior to any purchases. While certain purchases may have to be made prior to approval; The MHC is not obligated to fund any unapproved purchases.


What is required of HDG recipients? 

In consideration of being awarded an Honors Development Grant (HDG), scholars are expected to do the following:

  • Submit photos and a brief reflection of the HDG’s impact**;
  • successfully complete the MHC curriculum;
  • meet with an MHC advisor each semester; and
  • write a thank you to donors for any private funds received. 

**Photos and Reflection: Please email three to five photos to honors.advising@wku.edu that capture representative moments of the HDG-supported experience (scholar conducting research, traveling, doing fieldwork, delivering a paper, working with colleagues or mentors, etc.). In the body of the email, please describe the location and people appearing in each photo.  In an attached document please provide your 1) Name, 2) Major, 3) Career goals, 4) Best aspect of your research project, 5) Why was this project important to your intellectual growth and/or research?


Please submit your photos and questionnaire to The MHC within a month of the conclusion of your HDG-supported project. Failure to submit these required materials may affect your eligibility for future funding from The MHC. Please be aware that the photos and information you submit will become the property of The MHC and may be used in online or print publications.

 Start your HDG Application

HDG Questions?

Susann DavisSusann Davis
Assistant Director for Academics



Some of the links on this page may require additional software to view.

 Last Modified 2/22/21