Research Fellowships and Scholarships

With small classes that average 16 students, faculty get to know Illinois Wesleyan students by name and give them the individual attention they deserve. Benefiting from an exclusively undergraduate setting, students work alongside faculty in research, or collaborate with them on their own designs, artwork, musical compositions or other works of fine art.

Illinois Wesleyan offers unique and significant opportunities to encourage and recognize student research. In fact, nearly every program listed below was created by former faculty members, university leadership or alumni who wanted to offer students the same opportunities they enjoyed.

In addition to the creative and scholarly fellowships listed below, Illinois Wesleyan students can apply for grants and scholarships through the Financial Aid department. Students may also work with the Associate Provost's office to apply for post-baccalaureate awards.

ScholarEckley Scholars and Artists

The Robert S. and Nell B. Eckley Scholars and Artists Program supports summer research and creative activity for several students each year, enabling them to stay on campus over the summer to work under the direction of faculty mentors. The program was established by the late President Emeritus Robert S. Eckley, his wife Nell and the Eckley Family Foundation.

Award: $4,000 (must be a currently enrolled student to qualify)

Eckley Scholars:



phone appIWU Entrepreneurial Fellowship

Entrepreneurially minded students of any academic major who have a business idea are invited to submit proposals for the opportunity to pursue an entrepreneurial idea under the supervision of a faculty member and guidance of a successful entrepreneur.

Award: $5,000 stipend (must be a currently enrolled student to qualify)




Social EntrepreneurshipZoellick Fellowship in Social Entrepreneurship

Todd Zoellick, a class of 2000 graduate, donated funds to allow the Action Research Center to offer the Zoellick Fellowship in Social Entrepreneurship to IWU students.

Award: $1,500 to help implement a business idea 




Megan ThompsonJohn & Erma Stutzman Peace Fellows Program

The John and Erma Stutzman Peace Fellows Program was created in 2007 to encourage talented Illinois Wesleyan University students to pursue focused study in areas involving peace, conflict resolution, and social justice, areas that reflect the broader University mission. Students are awarded a stipend to support their selected projects.

Award: $1,000 (must be a currently enrolled student to qualify)

Peace Fellows:



Weir FellowsElizabeth Weir Action Research Fellowships

These fellowships are distributed through Illinois Wesleyan's Action Research Center (ARC), which links Illinois Wesleyan students with research projects involving local not-for-profit organizations. Candidates should develop projects that make a meaningful impact on the community.

Award: Up to $1,500 (must be a currently enrolled student to qualify) 

Weir Fellows:



CrileysCriley Student Research Endowment

The Criley Student Research Endowment, established in 2008 by alumni in honor of retiring biology faculty Bruce and Norma Criley, provides summer research opportunities in the sciences.

Award: $4,000 (must be a currently enrolled student to qualify) 

Criley Research Fellows:



Ben WhiteMark Israel Endowed Summer Research Fund in Economics

Mark Israel '91 established an Endowed Summer Research Fund in Economics, providing students with the same experience he valued as a student — the opportunity to perform topical economics research, working in close collaboration with members of the economics faculty.

Award: $4,000 (must be a currently enrolled student to qualify) 




BookLuis Leal Endowed Scholarship

The Luis Leal Endowed Scholarship is available to qualified students who carry out Hispanic Studies research off campus in an IWU-affiliated program. 

Award: Up to $1,000 (must be a currently enrolled student to qualify) 




Wesleyan Awarded $300,000 Grant for Humanities InitiativesAndrew W. Mellon Foundation Humanities Scholars

The summer Humanities Scholars program was made available by the Mellon Foundation between 2013 and 2015. It was open to students in all disciplines for projects grounded in the humanities — Greek and Roman Studies, English, History, Modern Languages and Literatures, Religion, or Philosophy. Each scholar will collaborate with a faculty member.

Award: $4,000 (must be a currently enrolled student to qualify) 

Mellon Scholars:



Bill Murphy Research Fellowship Scholar


  • Matthew McGill '17