The Odyssey Program

Funding Process and Guidelines

If you will incur expenses for your project, you may wish to apply for Odyssey funding. Under ordinary circumstances the schedule of deadlines for funding applications is the following:

  • October 1 for spring semester and winter break projects;
  • February 1 for summer projects (see below for more information on summer proposals);
  • April 1 for summer, fall semester and winter projects (see below for more information on summer proposals).

If the funding deadline falls on a weekend, submissions will be due by 5 p.m. the following Monday. Applicants who must have assurance of funding further in advance than these deadlines allow are encouraged to consult with the Odyssey Office. In cases where there are extenuating circumstances (such as timetables imposed by external constituencies), you may be given permission to apply during an earlier cycle than usual.

Funding proposals for summer experiences can be submitted either in February or April. If your plans are finalized before February 1 (e.g., you have been offered a summer internship placement or undergraduate research opportunity), we suggest you apply for funding during the February round. Please keep in mind that funding decisions on April proposals are not announced until early May.

A summer experience proposal that has been rejected for funding in February can only be resubmitted in April after substantial changes to the plans or quality of the proposal.

To apply for funding, use the on-line Proposal Form

Steps in the Funding Process  

1. You are strongly encouraged to come by the Odyssey Office early in the process for advice and suggestions as you prepare your proposal. Allow plenty of time to make revisions and to consult with your supervisor. It is recommended that you meet with your supervisor at least two weeks before the funding deadline. Note that resubmissions are not permitted if your proposal does not satisfy the requirements for Odyssey credit. The deadline is strict because many offices are involved in the process, and there is a timeline in place for the consideration of proposals by the CEL that cannot be delayed.

2. You are encouraged to use the proposal development worksheet and budget worksheet to develop your proposal. The Proposal Form should be used for your final submission.

3. Submit your Proposal Form for funding online; you may upload your budget worksheet but it is not required. Your supervisor must approve your proposal before it can be processed. Be aware that your project must be approved for credit BEFORE it can be forwarded to the Committee on Engaged Learning (CEL) for funding consideration. Only the proposals that satisfy this first step will be considered. You will receive an e-mail message from the Odyssey Office notifying you whether or not your proposal has been approved for credit.

4. After the funding deadline, the CEL will consider and evaluate all funding requests forwarded by the Odyssey Office. The committee will determine which requests are to be funded and the dollar amount of each grant. 

5. The CEL will then submit its recommendations to the Committee on Faculty (CoF) for review. Once the CoF approves the recommendations of the CEL, the Odyssey Office will notify you via e-mail of the outcome. Note that your award may be less than your request. 

 6. If you receive funding, you will be given a deadline by which you must accept or decline the award.  If you accept, you will work with the Odyssey Office to arrange the disbursal of your funds. If you do not receive funding, you will be given a deadline to alert the Odyssey Office that you still intend to pursue the project for credit so it can be included in your record. Otherwise, you will have to submit a new proposal for credit. 

Please note the following policies: 

  • The Odyssey Office will prepay as many items on your budget as possible.
  • For most items that cannot be prepaid you must bring receipts for reimbursement. Mileage is an exception to this policy; no receipts are required. Instead you must submit the total number of miles driven.
  • Cash advances will be issued only for per diems for meals, currently $35 per day for either domestic or international projects. No receipts are required for per diem expenditures.
  • Stipends are paid through the Hendrix College payroll office. The required paperwork must be completed before stipends can be issued. Taxes will be withheld from your paycheck. Because the College begins a new fiscal year on June 1, the earliest stipends can be paid to summer recipients is usually in the third week of that month. Please plan accordingly. Also, be aware that the Business Office ceases operations in the last weeks of May, and no payments will be processed until that office reopens in June.
  • If you are awarded funding for campus housing, those fees will be paid on your behalf to the Business Office. Please note that Odyssey does not pay for associated utilities.

7. All funds must be expended and all documentation submitted to the Odyssey Office by your selected project completion date. Any unexpended funds from your grant will be retained by the Odyssey Office. use award funding, and submit all documentation by my selected completion date. If you fail to participate in the project or are unable to complete the project prior to the completion date, you will refund to Hendrix the full amount expended on your behalf by the project completion deadline specified in the proposal.   

General Funding Policies

The Committee on Engaged Learning has issued some general working guidelines for those interested in obtaining funding for their Odyssey proposals. Each request received by the funding deadline is considered on its own merits in a competitive process. There are no category quotas, and there are currently no limits on the number of times you may submit funding requests.
 

1. Odyssey proposals with funding requests must be submitted online.

2. While excessively lengthy Odyssey proposals are not encouraged or required, successful proposals provide sufficient detail to allow a thorough understanding and review of the proposal, without being so long as to be cumbersome or tedious. The online form is divided into focused sections with word limits. 

3. Budgets that include student or faculty remuneration must also include the Hendrix share of FICA expenses (7.65% of gross salary). The recipient’s FICA expenses will be deducted from the gross salary.

4. Ordinarily, Odyssey funding will be available only for study abroad experiences that include a specific, well-defined, distinctive, appropriate, and worthwhile Odyssey-worthy project. Simply enrolling in a foreign study program, while eligible for Odyssey credit, will not merit funding.

5. Shared housing on campus for students engaged in summer research at Hendrix or qualifying with a PL experience in the local area is eligible for funding. For any student who lives off-campus at the time that funding is requested and has a continuing and unbreakable lease already in place, Odyssey will reimburse an amount equivalent to the cost of shared on-campus summer housing. Evidence of the lease must be provided. Students who do not have existing housing commitments will be expected to live in the Hendrix apartments. Please include housing in the budget submitted with your funding request. Attach a copy of your lease if appropriate.

6. Normally, Odyssey funding will not be awarded for:

•  tuition at other colleges or universities;

•  paid internships or professional field experiences;

•  equipment or hardware;

•  projects by seniors that take place predominantly or exclusively after their graduation;

•  faculty stipends for projects that are carried out during the academic year while classes are in session; or

•  travel expenses which benefit the participant beyond the life of the project, such as a passport or luggage (visa and immunization expenses may be allowed if specifically required to carry out the project).

7. Students who are on disciplinary probation or who are in financial arrears to the College (without a payment plan in place) are ineligible to receive Odyssey funding. At the time of a student’s applying for funding either individually with a group, the Odyssey Office will check on these issues with the Office of Student Affairs and the Business Office.  The Odyssey Office will not forward funding applications to the Committee on Engaged Learning (CEL) unless the situation is remedied by the time the CEL begins consideration of proposals for that funding cycle.

Therefore, all students applying for Odyssey funding will be asked to sign the following statement:

“By signing below, I/we request that the Office of Student Affairs and the Business Office provide to the Odyssey Office access to relevant information in student personal files and student financial accounts (i.e. whether a student is on disciplinary probation or is financially in arrears to the College). This permission is given with the understanding that all such information will not be shared outside the Odyssey Office and will only be used to determine eligibility for funding.”

Additionally, all students who will participate in a funded project are subject to the same review and must be in good standing regarding discipline and financial status to participate in the experience. Please note that this may impact group projects if one or more proposers become ineligible.

PLEASE NOTE THAT THE CEL DOES NOT EXPECT A SPECIFIC PERSONAL CONTRIBUTION AS PART OF STUDENT-INITIATED FUNDING REQUESTS. HOWEVER, IT IS IN YOUR BEST INTEREST TO KEEP YOUR EXPENSES REASONABLE, AND IT IS HELPFUL TO THE COMMITTEE TO KNOW WHICH ONES YOU CAN COVER YOURSELF. IT IS ALSO APPROPRIATE AND ADVISABLE FOR FACULTY AND STAFF TO REQUIRE PERSONAL CONTRIBUTIONS FROM STUDENTS PARTICIPATING IN GROUP PROJECTS THAT THEY DESIGN.

 

Funding for First-Time Travel to Present AC and UR Projects  

Odyssey will fund student travel (transportation costs, lodging expenses, registration costs, and a per diem for food) up to $1,000 per person who has been accepted for individual or small group presentation of undergraduate research or artistic creations at any state, regional, national, or international meeting organized for such presentations. The request must be the first one to come from a student during his or her Hendrix career, and the project must be approved for AC or UR credit by the Odyssey Office. Requests to use this travel money must be submitted online with a First-Time AC/UR Travel Grant Request Form and will be accepted by the Odyssey Office on a rolling basis as long as funds are available in a given fiscal year.

Students may apply for additional funding for:

•     any costs that exceed $1,000 for the first trip;

•     presentations at professional meetings after the first one.

However, these additional requests will not be automatically funded and, instead, will be considered in the pool of funding requests from students and faculty for the appropriate cycle.
 

A presentation is considered the required CULMINATION of a UR project, and it could be the culmination of an AC project. The project must be completed by May 1 of the fiscal year in which the travel grant is requested. It is therefore in your best interest to postpone applying for the travel grant until you are ready to complete your project.

Travel supported by a First-Time AC/UR Travel Grant should be completed before graduation from Hendrix. However, in rare circumstances, an appropriate professional conference or performance may occur after the student has been graduated. In such cases, travel will be supported if:

•     the above policies are followed;

•     the majority of the research or preparation occurs while the student is still enrolled;

•     the student applies for First-Time AC/UR Travel during her or his senior year (while still enrolled);

•     the student has not presented the research or performed the material before;

•     the conference or presentation occurs within three months of the student’s official graduation date; and

•     the Odyssey supervisor for the AC or UR credit submits a statement of support providing compelling reasons for a post-graduation presentation or performance.

Notes on Odyssey Funding Processes  

If your project involves a host or partner organization, you are required to fill out a Release of Liability form prior to beginning your experience. This precaution is to ensure your safety and must be in place before Odyssey funding is released. We strongly encourage you to complete this step as soon as possible.

If your project involves international travel, you must petition for permission to do so. This precaution is to ensure your safety and must be in place before Odyssey funding is released. We strongly encourage you to complete this step as soon as possible.

Your grant monies will not be sent to you automatically. You must consult with Sarah Donaghy (donaghy@hendrix.edu) at least two weeks before embarking on your project to discuss the disbursal of funding. Although the Odyssey Office prefers to pre-pay as much of your grant as possible, certain expenses, such as lodging and ground transportation, will require reimbursement with itemized receipts. Keep your receipts in a safe place, because you will not be eligible for reimbursement if you lose them. Take pictures of them with your phone during your project to have back-up proof, just in case. 

All funds must be expended and all documentation submitted to the Odyssey Office by your selected project completion date. Any unexpended funds from your grant will be retained by the Odyssey Office. use award funding, and submit all documentation by my selected completion date. If you fail to participate in the project or are unable to complete the project prior to the completion date, you will refund to Hendrix the full amount expended on your behalf by the project completion deadline specified in the proposal.

Stipends are coordinated through the Hendrix payroll office. If you have not previously been paid a salary as a student worker, you will be required to complete federal tax forms with Judy Sherrill in the Business Office. Payroll taxes will be deducted from your paycheck. 

 The Odyssey Office has a corporate credit card for online purchases payable in advance, such as airfare. If you or your parents would prefer to pay on a personal credit card to earn points, submit a receipt for reimbursement. 

If you want a check to be mailed to an individual or a business, contact Sarah Donaghy to obtain the proper W-9 form so the required information can be added to the Business Office’s payment system. This form requires a Social Security number or the federal tax identification number for the business, and it must be signed. In these situations, an invoice will be required for payment. 

The Odyssey Office does not do third-party hotel authorizations, because the hotels demand a copy of the cardholder’s identification, which increases the potential for identity theft. Submit receipts to Sarah Donaghy after you have completed your trip. 

 Per diem amounts of up to $35 per day can be awarded for food meals.  No receipts are required, but you must contact Sarah Donaghy with the exact dates of your travel at least two weeks before you depart to make the arrangements for the check to be processed. Cash advances from the other grant categories are not available to students. If you choose to be reimbursed for food, you need to submit the itemized receipt for each purchase, or the Business Office will not reimburse you. 

If your grant award includes summer housing, you must apply with Residence Life to stay on campus. The campus housing amount in your Odyssey grant will be transferred to the Business Office.   

Notes Regarding Travel  

Hendrix carries a medical emergency insurance policy that covers students when they are traveling abroad on institution-sponsored trips. For more information visit  https://www.eiia.org/international-travel/.

All students going abroad are required to attend an orientation session, which is held at the end of each semester. The Office of International Programs will address topics such as travel safety and cultural sensitivity. Information will be provided about the medical emergency insurance policy at the mandatory meeting and an identification card will be issued to each student. BE SURE TO CARRY THIS INSURANCE CARD WITH YOU DURING YOUR TRIP. 

As stated earlier, if your project involves international travel, you must petition for permission to do so. This precaution is to ensure your safety and must be in place before Odyssey funding is released. We strongly encourage you to complete this step as soon as possible.