Planning Your AMS Project Proposal Skip Navigation

Planning Your Proposal

Planning your AMS proposal should be an exciting endeavor. AMS allows you to take your academic interests and inspirations and turn them into incredible learning experiences.
Hannah Fitton '14 working with a skull at a table.

How to Get a Project Idea

We frequently hear from AMS students who are eager to submit a proposal and take advantage of the Alumni Memorial Scholarship funding, but they just aren't sure what to propose!

If you are struggling to find inspiration for a proposal, try the following:
  1. Review some past project experiences of other AMS students.

  2. Think about your favorite academic subjects and classes then consider — is there anything you've learned about in the classroom that you would like to learn more about first-hand?

  3. When doing the readings for your classes, do they leave you with any unanswered questions? Could you design a project to help answer these questions?

  4. Don't dismiss any ideas as unrealistic or impossible. Write them all down.

  5. Brainstorm your project ideas with your peers. Even chatting with your roommates, parents, or friends can help inspire new ideas, or help to refine some that initially seemed unobtainable.

  6. Schedule a meeting with faculty members who work in the fields you're most interested in exploring. They may have ideas, existing projects, or contacts you'll find useful.

Early Preparation

Advice from Hannah Fitton '14: "I started writing my AMS proposal draft very early (October for a February deadline). This helped because I had lots of time to go to my AMS advisor for help, talk with my contacts with the field school, and with my professors."

Here are some general steps to help you through the planning process:
  1. Determine a project idea that you are passionate about and qualified for, and that is relevant to your academic experience.

  2. Research the topic area and location for your project. Are there special clearances or requirements concerning what you want to do in that country or region in the U.S.?

  3. Begin to make some notes:
    • List the goals of your project.
      - List the experiences you have had, courses you have taken, language skills, etc. that qualify you to carry out this project.
    • Write a sentence or two about the potential impact of your project on your academic goals.
  4. Discuss with faculty, your AMS advisor, past student recipients, and others. Be open to their advice and past experiences. Identify and ask a faculty member if he/she will be your mentor, working with you as you prepare and complete your proposal.