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

Honors Development Grant

General Information

Honors Development Grants (HDGs) are designed to support Honors students’ intellectual development by providing a maximum award of $500 to offset costs for:

  • Traveling to professional conferences to present academic papers
  • Conducting academic research or projects
  • Purchasing tangible items to support academic endeavors.
  • Working in an internship that closely relates to a student's major and/or future profession

*HDGs can only support activities closely related to Mahurin Honors College coursework

*HDGs cannot be used to pay membership dues, subscriptions, living expenses, or tuition.


Capstone Experience/Thesis Excellence Grants (CE/T Excellence) are for students who need additional funds to significantly expand the scope and impact of their CE/T projects.

  • Applicants must have an approved CE/T Proposal on file before applying.
  • Recipients are eligible for up to $1,500 in funds.
  • CE/T Excellence Grant awards are rare and are determined by the Mahurin Honors College based on the projects’ ability to gain a wide academic audience due to the additional funding; students not chosen for a CE/T Excellence Grant will still be considered for HDG funding of $500 maximum.
  • Apply by checking the appropriate box on the HDG application


All students in good standing with the Mahurin Honors College are eligible to apply for an HDG, and students must remain in good standing with the Mahurin Honors College to receive HDG funds. Students who are on warning may apply for an HDG, but they will have lower funding priority.

  • The Honors Development Board (HDB) will review each HDG request to determine funding according to the following criteria:
  • How clearly the project supports the student’s intellectual development
  • The strength of the applicant’s essay
  • The strength of the project advisor’s endorsement
  • Available funds
  • Number of applicants for available funds.


Letters of support written by faculty are private and will not be shared with students.

The Mahurin Honors College reserves the right to request two or more price quotes be obtained prior to purchase.


How to Apply

To apply for an HDG, please fill out the HDG application form; the link to the application is at the bottom of this webpage. Be sure to supply all requested information and materials. Receipts, invoices, and Project Advisor letter will need to be submitted separately.

Your HDG should be submitted and approved prior to any made purchases. The Mahurin Honors College understands that certain purchases may have to be made prior to HDG submission and approval; however, the Mahurin Honors College is not obligated to fund any unapproved purchases and students assume all financial obligation for expenses made prior to official HDB approval.

The Mahurin Honors College can only approve and fund expenses that are listed on the HDB application and documented (through receipts or invoices).



There are two deadlines per semester in which you can submit an HDG application. These deadlines will be posted on the Mahurin Honors College website and will be emailed to you at the beginning of each semester.

HDG applications turned in after a deadline will not be considered until the next deadline.

HDG applications turned in during the summer will be evaluated according to budgetary concerns. Summer HDG applications are less likely to be funded because it is highly likely that all available funds have been used during the previous academic year or will be needed for the upcoming year.



You will receive a detailed letter as to your funding options after HDG approval. It will take at least two or three weeks for payment after HDG approval.


Receiving HDG Funds

If approved, you may receive HDG funds in two ways:

  • Reimbursement for prior purchases- please submit original itemized receipts for purchases listed on your HDG application.
  • Payment on an unpaid invoice- please provide the original invoice and contact information as to where the purchase should be made.

The Mahurin Honors College will only pay for items that have been approved. If your project requires that you make purchases that you have not been approved for (i.e. buy different materials or make different travel plans), then you must contact the Mahurin Honors College immediately and seek approval for these different purchases. The Mahurin Honors College is not obligated to approve any changes to an HDG that was previously approved.

You must submit all receipts for reimbursement within 30 days of purchase or you will not receive reimbursement. After the 30-day deadline, funds will not be issued. You must make your purchases during the semester you were approved for your HDG.


If I receive an HDG, is anything else required of me?

Yes. The Mahurin Honors College wants to encourage other students to academically benefit from the research and travel experiences HDGs support, and we want to encourage you to reflect on the benefits of your HDG-supported experience. Thus, upon completion of your HDG-supported activity, you need to submit: 1) HDG Photos, and 2) an HDG Questionnaire

Please be aware that the photos and information you submit to the Mahurin Honors College will become the Mahurin Honors College’s property and may be used in online or print publications.

HDG Photos: Please email to honors@wku.edu at least three to five photos capturing representative moments during your HDG-supported experience (such as you 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.

HDG Questionnaire: At the same time you send in your pictures, please email to honors@wku.edu an attached Word document with the following information: 1) Name, 2) Major, 3) Career goals, 4) Best aspect of your research project, 5) Why is research important to you?

You should submit your photos and questionnaire to the Mahurin Honors College 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 Mahurin Honors College. By submitting the photos and essay you are giving the Mahurin Honors College permission to publish them at its discretion.


Submit Online Application


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

 Last Modified 9/14/21