honors program

300 Lippitt Hall, 5 Lippitt Rd., Kingston, RI 02881

honors.uri@gmail.com – 401.874.2303

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University Honors Program

Scholarship Opportunities

The University Honors Program houses the Office of National Fellowships. Each year, students are selected and mentored by faculty committees to participate in many major scholarship competitions.

For many national scholarships, students cannot apply directly to the scholarship organization, but must be nominated by the University. To be considered for nomination, students submit an application to the faculty representative for that particular scholarship or to Kathleen Maher, Assistant Director for National Fellowships. The selection committee selects and nominates the official URI candidate(s). Nominees then complete their official scholarship application with guidance from Ms. Maher, a faculty member or both.


Megan O’Brien has been named a Goldwater Scholar (’09), a NOAA Hollings Scholar (’09) and a Fulbright Scholar (’12)!

URI students have won or been finalists in a wide range of such prestigious competitions, including the Boren, Fulbright, Goldwater, Madison, Marshall, Rhodes, Truman, and Udall. Congratulations to these recent URI students who participated successfully in the following national scholarships competitions:



Brittany O’Brien (Biological Sciences)


Kaylen Duarte (Journalism / Chinese)

Megan Banner (Microbiology / Pre-med)




Megan O’Brien (Marine Biology, Iceland)


Margaret Frost (English Teaching Assistant, Colombia)


Kristin Almeida (Graduate student, Library and Information Science)
Kristin was funded to do research in Mauritius.




Christopher Bobba (Chemical Engineering/Biological Sciences)

Russell Dauksis (Marine Biology)


Eily Cournoyer (Chemical Engineering)


Brian Bonk (Chemical Engineering)


Justin Schumacher (Pharmacy)


Sarah Decato (Chemistry)

Megan O’Brien (Marine Biology)

Elana Viola (Chemistry/Electrical Engineering/Mathematics)




Brian Bonk (Chemical Engineering)




Michael Canton (Marine Biology)

Eilea Knotts (Marine Biology)

Sarah Merolla (Marine Biology)

Benjamin Sevey (Marine Biology)

Callie Veelenturf (Marine Biology)

Brenton Wallin (Ocean Engineering)


Russell Daukis (Marine Biology)


Alexa Kretsch (Aquaculture)

Benjamin Negrete (Marine Biology)

Megan Nepshinsky (Marine Biology)


Connor Capizzano (Marine Biology)

Megan O’Brien (Marine Biology)

Harrison Zimmer (Ocean Engineering)




Johnathan Berard (History / Political Science)


Margaret Frost (Political Science/Spanish)


Andrew McQuaide (African and African-American Studies/Writing and Rhetoric)




Theresa Murphy (Env. Science  & Management / Marine Affairs)


Joanna Panosky (Geosciences)


Selected National Scholarships:

URI and Rhode Island Scholarships:

Michael P. Metcalf Memorial Scholarship

The Michael P. Metcalf Memorial Scholarship offers one-time awards between $2,000 and $5,000 for college sophomore and juniors to encourage personal growth through travel, study, and public service programs. Applicants must be Rhode Island residents. The award is for educational enrichment outside of the classroom and cannot be used for school tuition or participation in established study-abroad programs.

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Undergraduate Research Initiative: Awards for Scholarly, Creative and Artistic Projects

The Undergraduate Research Initiative provides funds to undergraduates to participate in original research or creative or artistic projects of their own design that are supervised by a faculty sponsor. Students chosen for support will receive a grant of up to $800 to help support his or her project. All undergraduate students in good standing (including part-time students) are eligible.

Submit proposals to:
Karen Markin, Director of Research Development
Click here for more information about the program.
Click here to download the ASCAP budget form (Excel spreadsheet)

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Honors Program Research Funding

The University of Rhode Island Honors Program has several funding opportunities for students who will incur expenses related to their Honors Project research. See Associate Director Carolyn Hames for more information.

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The Consortium for Graduate Study in Management

The Consortium for Graduate Study in Management is an alliance of fourteen schools of business in partnership with corporate America, working to facilitate the entry of minorities into managerial positions in business. The Consortium recruits college-trained African American, Hispanic American, and Native American United States citizens and invites them to compete for merit-based fellowships for graduate study leading to a Master’s Degree in Business.

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Ford Foundation Predoctoral Fellowships for Minorities

The Ford Foundation Diversity Fellowships seek to increase the diversity of the nation’s college and university faculties by increasing their ethnic and racial diversity, to maximize the educational benefits of diversity, and to increase the number of professors who can and will use diversity as a resource for enriching the education of all students. The Fellowship Program offers approximately 60 pre-doctoral fellowships of $20,000 per year for up to three years.

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Campus Deadline: September 1
Fulbright U.S. Student Program give recent graduates, master’s and doctoral candidates, and young professionals and artists opportunities for personal development and international experience. Most grantees plan their own programs. Projects may include university coursework, independent library or field research, classes in a music conservatory or art school, special projects in the social or life sciences, or a combination of these elements. The Fulbright Program also offers English Teaching Assistantships for graduates willing to teach the English language in foreign countries.

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Campus Deadline: August 1
The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation hopes to create a network of future leaders from around the world who will bring new vision and commitment to improving the life circumstances of citizens in their respective countries. The program offers a substantial number of scholarships to pursue postgraduate study at the University of Cambridge.

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Golden Key Honour Society

The Golden Key Honour Society offers twelve $10,000 scholarships for graduate or professional study at accredited institutions of higher learning. Applicants must be members of Golden Key. Judging criteria include academic merit, campus/community/work commitments and significant involvement in local Golden Key chapter.

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Internal Pre-Application Deadline: December

Campus Deadline: January
The Barry M. Goldwater Scholarship and Excellence in Education Program provides a continuing source of highly qualified scientists, mathematicians, and engineers by awarding scholarships to sophomores and juniors who intend to pursue careers in these fields. Each scholarship covers eligible expenses for tuition, fees, books, and room and board, up to a maximum of $7,500 annually. For campus procedures see here.

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The Hertz Foundation

The Hertz Foundation offers Graduate Fellowships in the applied physical and engineering sciences. The awards are based on merit, not need, and cover tuition at one of the tenable schools, as well as a personal-support stipend of $28,000 for nine months. The awards are renewable for five years upon a showing of satisfactory progress toward receipt of the Ph.D. degree.

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The Honor Society of Phi Kappa Phi

Every year, the Honor Society of Phi Kappa Phi awards sixty Fellowships of $5,000 each and forty Awards of Excellence of $2,000 each to members entering the first year of graduate or professional study in a variety of fields including biology, chemistry, engineering, political science, mathematics and psychology. Every chapter has of Phi Kappa Phi can submit one nominee. Please contact Prof. James Tackach, URI Chapter President, at jtackach@rwu.edu.

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Jacob K. Javits Fellowship

The program provides financial assistance to students of superior ability, as demonstrated by their achievements and exceptional promise, to undertake study at the doctoral and Master of Fine Arts (MFA) level in selected fields of the arts, humanities, and social sciences. Panels of experts appointed by the Javits Fellowship Board (Board) select fellows according to criteria established by the Board. Students must also demonstrate financial need by filing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).

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James Madison Scholarship

Campus Deadline: December
The James Madison Fellowship Program provides support for students pursuing a Master’s degree (or a MAT, Med, or MSE) in American history or in political science. After earning a master’s degree, each James Madison Fellow must teach American history, American government, or social studies in grades 7-12 for no less than one year for each full academic year of study under the fellowship. The maximum amount of each award is $24,000, prorated over the period of study.

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Campus Deadline: August 1
Marshall Scholarships finance young Americans of high ability to study for a degree in the United Kingdom. The scholarships are tenable at any British university and cover two years of study in any discipline, at either undergraduate or graduate level, leading to the award of a British University degree.

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Campus Deadline: August 1
The George J. Mitchell Scholarship is a national competitive fellowship sponsored by the US-Ireland Alliance. Twelve Mitchell Scholars between the ages of 18 and 30 are chosen annually for one year of postgraduate study in any discipline offered by institutions of higher learning in Ireland and Northern Ireland. The Mitchell Scholarship provides tuition, housing, a living expenses stipend, and an international travel stipend. Candidates are chosen based on academic excellence, leadership, and a sustained commitment to service and community.
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National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship

The National Science Foundation (NSF) awards approximately 1,000 new three-year Graduate Research Fellowships to graduating seniors or beginning graduate students who are expected to contribute significantly to research, teaching, and industrial applications in science, mathematics, and engineering. Applicants must be United States citizens or nationals, or permanent resident aliens of the United States.  Graduate Research Fellowships provide a stipend of $30,000 for a 12-month tenure period and a cost of education allowance of  $10,500 per tenure year.

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National Science Foundation Research Experiences for Undergraduates

This NSF program provides educational opportunities for undergraduate students with an interest in research. REU projects involve students in meaningful ways in ongoing research programs or in research projects designed especially for the purpose. Research projects are available in a wide range of fields and in locations throughout the US. Students participating in the program receive a normally fairly generous stipend. Deadlines and application procedures vary from program to program. Consult the NSF REU website at http://www.nsf.gov/crssprgm/reu/reu_search.cfm for a searchable database of available research projects.

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National Security Education Program: David L. Boren Undergraduate Scholarships

Deadline: January
The NSEP Boren Scholarships provide support for students studying abroad in countries and areas of the world that are critical to the future security of the US. Study of a foreign language must be an integral part of the study-abroad program. Scholarship awards range from $2,500 for summer study to $20,000 for an academic year. Award recipients must commit to working in the Departments of Defense, Homeland Security, State, or the Intelligence Community for at least one year upon graduation. Previous knowledge of the foreign language is not necessarily required. Study abroad in Western Europe, Australia and New Zealand is not supported by the NSEP. For campus procedures contact Kathleen Maher at kmaher@uri.edu.

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Rhodes Scholarship

Campus Deadline: August 1
The Rhodes Scholarships bring outstanding students from many countries around the world to the University of Oxford for two years of graduate study, with a possibility of renewal for a third year. All educational costs, such as tuition and fees are paid by the Rhodes Trustees, and each Rhodes Scholar receives a maintenance allowance adequate to meet necessary expenses for term-time and vacations. The Rhodes Trustees also cover the necessary costs of travel to and from Oxford, and upon application, may approve additional grants for research purposes or study-related travel.

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Rotary International

The Rotary Foundation’s Ambassadorial Scholarships provide funding for one academic year of study in another country in fields which will help address the humanitarian needs of the world community. The awards are designed to promote international understanding and friendly relations among people of different countries and provide a flat grant of (US)$23,000 or its equivalent. Applications must be submitted to the applicant’s local chapter.

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Soros Scholarship

Campus Deadline: August 1
The Paul & Daisy Soros Fellowships for New Americans provides opportunities for continuing generations of able and accomplished New Americans to achieve leadership in their chosen fields and to partake of the American dream. Fellows must have shown potential in the fields for which they seek further education; the capacity for creativity, persistence and work; and the commitment to the values of the United States Constitution and the Bill of Rights, which protect the American dream. Applicants must be either a resident alien or have been naturalized as a U.S. citizen; or be the child of two parents who are both naturalized citizens. Fellowships are available for two years; for each year the fellow receives a maintenance grant of $20,000 and a tuition grant of one-half the tuition cost of the U.S. graduate program attended by the fellow.

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Pre-Application Deadline: December
The Truman Scholarship is a $30,000 merit-based grant awarded to undergraduate students who desire financial support to attend graduate or professional school in preparation for careers in government, the non-profit sector or elsewhere in public service. The Foundation seeks candidates who have extensive records of public and community service, are committed to careers in government or elsewhere in public service, and have outstanding leadership potential and communication skills. Truman scholarships are based on merit; financial need is not a consideration. For more information on the campus process see here.

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Morris K. Udall Scholarship

Pre-Application Deadline: January
The Morris K.Udall Foundation awards approximately 75 scholarships to outstanding sophomores and juniors who study the environment and related fields. The foundation also awards scholarships to Native American and Alaska Native students in fields related to health care or tribal public policy. Udall scholars receive up to $5,000 or the cost of tuition. For more information on campus procedures see here.

Contact Us

General inquiries:

Honors Director:
Lynne Derbyshire, 401.874.4732

Associate Director:
Cheryl Foster, 401.874.4022

Associate Director:
Carolyn Hames, 401.874.2813

Assistant Director:
Kathleen Maher, 401.874.5875

Program Coordinator:
Deborah Gardiner, 401.874.2303

Program Specialist:
Caitlin Green, 401.874.9483

Honors Lecturer/Advisor:
Nancy Caronia, 401.874.2267

Pre-Health Lecturer/Advisor:
Brian Clinton, 401.874.2576


Morgan Breene, '14, an Anthropology and History major who earned a highly prestigious Marshall Scholarship to continue her studies of underwater archaeological sites in the UK. (Watch this short video to learn more!)

Alyssa Neill, '14, a Nutrition & Dietetics major and Honors student was one of only 61 juniors nationwide to be awarded the prestigious Truman Scholarship in 2013. Selected for her academic achievement, leadership ability and commitment to a career in public service, Alyssa received a $30,000 scholarship for graduate study, attended a Truman leadership institute, and has joined the ranks of a global network of Truman Scholars.

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