Student Project Fund

Four member of the robotics team work in their bay

The funds support a diverse group of individual and team projects including students from all CWRU schools and extends to team projects involving close collaboration between CWRU students and international and national institutions including the Cleveland Institute of Art and other universities.

All the money available in the 2020-2021 Student Project Fund has been allocated as of 12/16/2020.

The Student Project Fund will reopen for applications in August of 2021. Please sign up for our mailing list for updates and reminders.

Funded In Part by Major Gifts from

  • Ben Gomes and Deborah Weisser
  • Dr Jeffrey Duerk
  • Charles Bear
  • Fran and Jules Belkin
  • Case Alumni Association


The Student Project Fund supports:

  • Individual & team-based extra-curricular and personal projects.

  • Competition-based projects.

  • Entrepreneurial projects and prototypes.

The Student Project Fund does NOT support:

  • Course-related projects.

  • Funded research projects.           

Quick Links


  • Individual Projects: funding offered to full-time CWRU undergraduate (min. 12 credit hours) and full-time CWRU graduate students (min. 9 credit hours or 1 credit hour of thesis).

  • Team Projects: Student teams with diverse membership from areas such as engineering, science, art, humanities, and others are encouraged to apply.


  • Applications are considered for awards until the application deadline or the yearly budget is exhausted, whichever comes first.

  • The scope of the project must be technically feasible with realistic deliverables achievable before the reporting deadlines found below.

  • Funds are available up to a maximum of $2500 per project.

  • Award amounts will be determined by the review committee.

  • The funds are primarily intended to provide resources for materials, equipment, manufacturing costs, and other related expenses.

  • Funds may be used to pay for prototyping or machining services when the work can not be performed at think[box].


Funding will NOT be awarded for any of the following:

  • Food, drinks, or entertainment

  • Stipends for project team members or others

  • Contractors or consultants

  • Marketing materials, prizes, or giveaways 

  • Travel or travel related expenses

  • Expenses that do not appear on an approved budget

Reporting Requirements

Student(s) must submit an interim and final report by the dates enumerated in the Student Project Fund Agreement linked above.

  • Interim Reports are due Feb 1 or by the applicant's graduation date, whichever comes first. Submit an Interim Report >>

    • The report must include:

      • A description of the project goals and the progress to date

      • Photos, drawings, and/or renderings

      • A spreadsheet showing a summary of project expenses to date

      • Scans of all receipts indicated on the spreadsheet.

  • Final Reports are due May 1 or by the applicant's graduation date, whichever comes first. Submit a Final Report >>

    • The report must include:

      • A description of the completed project

      • Photos, drawings, and/or renderings

      • Results from any competition(s), or presentations

      • A spreadsheet showing a summary of project expenses

      • Scans of all receipts indicated on the spreadsheet

Review Criteria

A committee will review all proposals and applicants will be notified by email as to the status of their application. Proposals will be considered under the following criteria:

  • SMART Goals: Has your team selected goals that are Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, and Time-bound?

  • Technical Feasibility: Can your team realistically reach the goals you set out given the team's existing skillset?

  • Monetary Feasibility: Is the requested funding appropriate for the project goals?

  • Innovation / Functionality / Creativity: Does the project involve a creative aspect, a technically challenging or educational aspect, or a new idea or process? We’re looking for projects that will help you develop your professional and technical skill sets.                   

Review Committee

  • Ian Charnas, think[box] Director of Innovation and Technology

  • Jason Bradshaw, think[box] Director of Design and Manufacturing

  • Raymond Krajci, think[box] Operations Engineer 

  • Mandeep Bansal, think[box] Manufacturing Specialist  

Fund Administration

Receiving an award from the think[box] Student Project Fund provides a valuable learning and life-skills opportunity for students to develop and experience a number of critical professional practices that include: project planning and management, budget ownership and management, fiscal responsibility, and professional reporting. Therefore, students who are awarded funds are fully responsible for their use and management. Students are expected to keep accurate financial records, and a summary of transactions plus scanned receipts must be included in the interim and final reports. Please be aware that monetary awards of $600 or more are taxable and recipients will be issued a Form 1099 at the end of the calendar year. Please consult a tax professional if you have questions.       

Fund Disbursement

Before disbursement can begin, award recipients will be required to sign an agreement indicating acceptance of terms outlined for the student project fund. Award recipients will then receive payment of 50% of the total award value. A payment for the remaining 50% of the total award will be issued after completion of the interim reporting requirements. When the final report is due, students must return unspent or undocumented funds to think[box]. Contact Us to Arrange the Return of Funds >>