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McClure Scholars

Photograph of a group of scholarship recipients

The W. K. McClure Scholarship Program offers UT students (undergraduate and graduate) financial awards up to $5,000 to support research and creative projects abroad aimed at enhancing and promoting education for world responsibility.

The scholarship can be applied to any project which offers the potential for the development of knowledge relative to significant issues or problems associated with world affairs and the reduction of international conflict, principally through legal, cultural, political, economic, social, and scientific studies.

The McClure Application typically opens Late Fall Semester with a Deadline at the end of February or beginning of March. Decision Letters will be sent out the First week in April. 

Begin McClure Application


  1. Students must be enrolled full-time at the University and must receive credit for the research and/or creative project funded by the McClure Scholarship. Any UTK student (undergraduate or graduate) may apply.
  2. Students must be in good standing with the University.
  3. While there is no absolute grade point criterion, successful applicants generally have a GPA between 3.0 and 4.0.
  4. Students must not have previously received a McClure Scholarship.
  5. The McClure Scholarship will not be awarded to support participation on a Study Abroad Program or for projects taking place simultaneously with a Study Abroad program

Selection Criteria

Historical photo of a group of men in suits looking down at globe and pointing.

(L to R): Bob McClure, Dr. Vernon Iredell, Chancellor Charles Weaver, W.K. McClure, Wallace McClure Jr., Dr. William Britt. ca. 1968.

A committee of faculty and administrators will review applications and select the scholarship recipients. Students will be selected based on the following criteria:

  1. Demonstrated connection between the project and the goals of the scholarship program
  2. Contribution of the project to the overall educational career of the student and to the broader community
  3. Academic quality and feasibility of the project
  4. Demonstrated commitment of the student and faculty advisor to the project
  5. Student’s demonstrated ability to initiate and sustain creative activities and research
  6. Projects must incorporate a significant amount of time abroad (minimum of 4 weeks)
  7. Both the project and the final report or project ending piece of work (written report, a visual report, an artistic production, computer-based production, pieces of creative writing, etc) must be completed before graduation.
  8. The committee may require a personal interview as part of the application process

Can the McClure Scholarship be used for a study abroad trip?

No. Student applicants cannot use the funds for study abroad. There are other funding sources for a PAO program. Click here for more information.

Is the McClure scholarship extended to postdocs?

No, unfortunately, this scholarship is not available to postdocs.

Is there a budget template that I can use as a reference? 

Yes: Click here to download.

Can the budget include travel expenses, including flights and food?

Yes, please include any expenses that will be used for the research trip.

If the budget slightly exceeds the limit of $5,000, can I personally cover the rest or consider seeking additional external sponsorships?

Yes, the applicant can choose to seek additional funding sources or personally cover any amount that is not awarded through the McClure Scholarship.

I noticed that “Materials and/or IRB status” is listed as a requirement of Project Description. Could you clarify what that means and includes? 

If the student is conducting research that includes humans as participants (surveys, focus groups, interviews) they cannot do this work until their IRB review is approved. Click here for more information. This link also has a worksheet to help the student evaluate if they need an IRB review.

The “other materials” references any other materials the applicant will need to complete the project. These should also match what is requested in the budget.

Do I need IRB approval at the time of submission? 

IRB approval is needed before traveling to do research, not necessarily before applying, but it would be helpful to get it before applying for the McClure scholarship as this can affect the applicant’s travel dates.

Where can I get the Faculty Mentor Information & Support Form?

Click here to download.

Could you clarify if “Academic history” refers to the unofficial transcript?

Yes, it does. Please provide any transcripts when applying. There is an option to upload them in the application.

Can the faculty mentor also write the letter of recommendation? 


Does the faculty mentor need to email in the faculty support form and recommendation letter, or does the applicant submit them together with the application? 

The faculty mentor can email both the support form and letter of recommendation to the applicant. There is an option in the application for the applicant to upload both.

What types of references are you looking for in the project description part of the application? Is this separate from the letter of recommendation and support form from the mentor? 

The in-country references are different from the letter of recommendation and support form from the mentor. The letter of recommendation is typically a UTK faculty mentor. In-country references could be individuals, companies, and/or organizations that the applicant will be working with or alongside of while in another country doing the research.

What types of literature citation are needed in the application?

Please cite sources that will support the research work the project description describes. This can also include any of the applicant’s own work.

Will I have to allocate additional funds in the budget for the CISI insurance?

No, international travel insurance is now provided if you are awarded the McClure Scholarship.