Beagle II


The Beagle II Award promotes discovery and exploration by Stanford undergraduates who possess a strong intellectual curiosity, a passionate interest in a particular subject, and a keen spirit of intellectual adventure. 

The award takes its name from the H.M.S. Beagle, the ship that carried Charles Darwin on a voyage of scientific discovery around the world from 1831 to 1836. Darwin began his voyage at the age of 22, soon after completing his Bachelor of Arts degree at Cambridge University. The natural phenomena Darwin observed on the voyage eventually prompted a radical change in his thinking about living organisms, providing major inspiration for his theory of evolution. In a similar manner, many researchers and scholars today have done some of their most creative, path-breaking work in their early years. The Beagle II Award aims to provide a parallel opportunity to research-minded undergraduates—an opportunity to cultivate and act upon scientific curiosity outside the bounds of the standard curriculum and research resources. We also hope that the Beagle II experience will encourage students to take greater responsibility for their education, preparing them for independent scholarly challenges and discoveries in graduate school, professional school, and beyond.

One to four applications will receive up to $7500, or up to $12,000 in the case of two or more students sharing the same voyage, to be used for travel and study costs for a voyage of scientific discovery, as well as for summer earnings replacement. Students applying for the Beagle II must adhere to the following guidelines established by Undergraduate Advising and Research:

  • All Stanford undergraduates (sorry, no grads)—of any year and any major—are eligible to apply.
  • The Beagle II supports Stanford undergraduate voyages. You must be enrolled in undergraduate study in the quarter when you apply, and carry an undergraduate status throughout the period of your project. You will need to be enrolled in undergraduate studies in the quarter when funding is disbursed.
  • All Beagle II recipients must return to enroll in Stanford undergraduate course work for at least one quarter of full-time study after completion of the voyage.
  • Previous independent travel and research are not a requirement, but are often viewed as a “plus” by the Selection Committee.
  • For joint applications students are encouraged to submit one application; however, each participant will be required to write an Autobiographical Sketch (please see the online application for more details).
  • If students intend to apply jointly, their application should make clear alternative sources of funding, received or pending, as may be needed to carry out the proposed plan of travel and study.
  • Beagle II Awards may be combined with other departmental and university awards; check with the relevant departments and offices to be sure they allow complementary funds.
  • The voyage must last at least eight weeks in length, and all applicants must return to the Stanford campus and enroll full-time for at least one quarter upon completion of the voyage.
  • Beagle II Awards have been specifically designed for summer study and travel, but applicants with good reasons to travel at other times (better weather in Southern Cone, etc.) should propose an alternative timetable and argue its merits.
  • Travel must be completed by the end of Winter quarter, 2019-20.
  • This award cannot be used for institutional summer programs, such as Earthwatch, School for Field Studies, or for formal language instruction
  • Preference will be given to applications that creatively integrate travel into the design of study and research, but that also show a realistic, unhurried schedule that allows time for thoughtful good work and local interaction.
  • UAR cannot support, in any manner, travel to or work in locations where (a) the U.S. Department of State has issued a Travel Advisory of Level 4 ("Do Not Travel") or Level 3 ("Reconsider Travel") for the country destination; (b) the U.S. Department of State has issued a Travel Advisory of Level 4 or Level 3 (or associated language "Do Not Travel/Reconsider Travel") for the specific cities or regions within a country; or (c) there is other reliable information of significant health or safety risks.
  • If your application entails work off campus, you will not receive funding until you provide UAR with evidence that you are well-prepared for ethical, cultural, methodological and administrative aspects of off-campus work.
  • UAR may disqualify any application in the event of unaddressed safety or ethics concerns.

Consult UAR's budget guidelines and policies when constructing your project budget.

As a requirement of funding and for the final $500 per person of the award, each Beagle II recipient is expected to submit a Final Report equivalent to twenty pages of text by the end of the first full academic quarter following return from travel (i.e., normally mid-December). The report can be submitted in a variety of styles and media--as a website dedicated to your “voyage,” for example, or as a video documentary, a written research report, a photo essay for your hometown newspaper, or sections from your own journal. In whatever form it takes, the report should include the equivalent of at least a page or two on personal growth (i.e., what you learned about yourself along the way). In addition to the Final Report, awardees will normally be asked to present highlights of their summer experiences at subsequent informational meetings for prospective Beagle II applicants. We will also expect Awardees to play an active role in the selection of recipients for the next year of Beagle II awards.

Application Process and Deadlines

Applications are now being accepted for the 2019 Beagle II and will close Tuesday, January 22, 2019 at 11:59PM.

For those interested in applying an application workshop will be held on Thursday, November 29, 2018 from 4-5PM. Please be sure to RSVP if you plan to attend!

Applications should include:

  • Cover Page
  • Précis (Voyage Summary)
  • Autobiographical Sketch
  • Proposed Voyage of Discovery
  • Detailed Travel Itinerary
  • Budget
  • Eligible Faculty Endorsement

**NOTE: Additional details about the application materials can be found here.

Apply Now

If you have any additional questions, please email