Purpose | Nomination and Award Process | Timeline | Nomination Criteria | Nomination ChecklistMentor & Scholar Responsibilities


The grant is designed to target students with untapped talents and students who are on the brink of academic success in need of inspiration and encouragement, or who could benefit from an opportunity to grow beyond his/her own expectations or those of others.

The Presidential Emerging Scholar Grant is a unique and affirming grant, which may be bestowed upon a Montana State University undergraduate in recognition of their potential. Unlike other prestigious grants, selection is not based on academic performance or scholarly research, campus involvement or financial need. It is based on the student's potential to succeed. This grant allows a student on the brink of academic success to participate in a project outside of the common classroom experience, and work directly with a faculty mentor. 

Nomination and Award Process Overview

Faculty or staff mentors will be asked to identify candidates for this grant and also to mentor the student on their journey towards scholarly and professional achievement. The Emerging Scholar Grant could transform the life of a student, in terms of their own expectations of what may be possible for them to achieve. Key to the success of this initiative is the role of the MSU faculty mentor, who will identify, mentor and provide academic guidance to the student on the proposed project.

A confidential on-line nomination process is available for faculty or staff to propose a student that in his/her opinion exemplifies the type of student the grant is intended to encourage. Nominations are evaluated by a review committee, which makes recommendations to the President. (at least two faculty members from different disciplines; one representative from the Office of the Vice President of Student Success; One Academic Dean; and one former Emerging Scholar Grant recipient). The President is ultimately responsible for the approval of each Emerging Scholar Grant.

These funds awarded are solely used to fund the project carried out by the student. Any expenses incurred by faculty during the duration of the grant will be their own responsibility.

Nomination and Award Timeline

With recognition for fluctuations of the calendar each year, the nomination and selection process will fall generally within the following timeframe.

Please note that our process has changed-nominations will only be accepted ONCE per academic year, in the fall. 

Nomination Period


Review Period

11/01/19 – 11/15/19


Grant Award Notification



Nomination Criteria

All nominations must meet the following:

  1. The student nomination can be provided by any MSU faculty, tenured or adjunct, Executive in Residence, or staff.
  2. All undergraduate students in good standing are eligible.
  3. An individual undergraduate can receive only one grant.
  4. The mentor recommending the student must provide evidence of their ability and willingness to provide the oversight to mentor the student through the completion of the project.
  5. The extra-curricular project, be it research, outreach, experiential or artistic endeavor, must be described sufficiently by the mentor to provide evidence of value and impact to the overall educational experience and success of the student.
  6. The nomination must provide evidence that the project would not otherwise be available without this grant.

Nomination Checklist

Each application must contain the following information:

  1. Student name, major course of study, academic year and current GPA.
  2. Letter of support from the faculty mentor describing:
    1. what makes this student stand apart from their peers;.
    2. what challenges does this student face or has he/she overcome;.
    3. attributes that identify the candidate’s potential;.
    4. evidence of the student’s motivation to succeed; and.
    5. how this project will add value to the students’ academic achievement..
  3. Budget summary identifying what the grant is to pay for: stipend, equipment, hotel, travel, conference fees, food, and appropriate supplemental books; and
    1. Evidence of financial need to pursue the project.

There will be no bias or preference shown for or in opposition to a specific major, gender or residency of a student in the nomination process.

Mentor and Candidate Responsibilities


The candidate and his/her mentor will need to submit a detailed proposal to the Vice President of Student Success liaison within two weeks of notification of the award. Requirements for the proposal and oversight of funds will be available with the notification letter.

Project Completion

Within twelve months of receipt of the grant, the student will complete the approved project with oversight provided by the faculty or staff mentor. Upon completing the project/program, the student will submit a final report and present their project. Guidelines for the project will be available with the notification letter.

Award Presentation

Faculty or staff mentors and students will attend an award ceremony hosted and attended by the MSU President, the MSU Provost, the MSU Alumni Foundation President & CEO, and inspirational donors.