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Kenan Award

Students should read the Policies for Grants to understand the expectations for applicants and awardees before applying. Only applications which are compliant with all policies will be considered eligible for review. 

The application portal has now closed. Applications for the 23-24 cycle were due by 11:59pm on January 24, 2024.

Decisions for this year's competition will be communicated by the end of Friday, March 1, 2024.


This opportunity, established by the William R. Kenan Endowment Fund of the Academical Village, supports up to five awards for research in support of the interpretive and educational programs of the Academical Village. These grants support research projects that increase public understanding of the Academical Village, i.e. the University of Virginia, under the supervision of a UVA faculty mentor to be carried out in the summer following application for the award. These projects may include architectural or field internships, development of exhibitions and other educational opportunities to inform and engage the public (of all ages) in the history, evolution, and restoration of this World Heritage site, preparation of materials on historic preservation for publication and public distribution, and other educational outreach initiatives. Projects can be from any discipline.

Faculty Mentor

Interested students should discuss the proposed project with a UVA faculty mentor who will advise them in their work early in the process of developing a proposal. The UVA faculty mentor will be asked to complete the Research Mentor Support Form via the application, commenting on the student’s proposal in no more than 500 words and, upon the project’s completion, will submit a brief narrative assessment of the student’s project.


Kenan Awardees may be granted up to $5,000 to pursue their objectives, and faculty mentors receive research support in the amount of $500.

The Kenan supports undergraduate and graduate researchers by providing a summertime stipend to cover living expenses (rent, utilties, food, etc.). The Kenan does not fund other expenses such as travel, supplies, etc.


Undergraduate and graduate students are eligible to apply for a Kenan Award. The program welcomes proposals from all subject areas and schools at the university.

Application Process

Students will submit a project proposal, timeline, resume, and unofficial transcript. Applicants will also be asked to provide the contact information for their UVA faculty mentor, who will complete the Research Mentor Support Form, and for an individual (who is not their faculty mentor) who can complete the Recommendation Form, speaking to their qualities as a student and/or researcher. Faculty reviewers will assess each application based on merit, taking into account such considerations as clarity of the research question, appropriateness of methodology, the project’s feasibility, the applicant’s preparation for undertaking the project, and the alignment with the goal of the endowment.

The project proposal is expected to be written in the style of a grant application. Proposals should not exceed 2 pages (single-spaced, 12-point font, with 1-inch margins) and should include the following sections:

  • background and question(s)
  • method(s)
  • anticipated outcome(s) - which may also address potential limitations of the study
  • significance of the work
  • how the proposed work contributes to an increase in public understanding of the Academical Village.

Proposals should be uniformly cited using a citation style appropriate to the field of the project and include a bibliography (which will not count toward the page limit).

Submitting Joint Applications

Each student interested in applying to the Kenan Award should submit their own application.

Kenan Award Recipient Projects