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Project Inspiration

Honors EXCEL Program projects are as diverse as the students that undertake them. 

All projects will have two things in common: they will have a clear tie to the service mission of the university and they will result in a work of scholarship appropriate to the project. The outlines below give ideas to get you started. Or, use the project library (under development this fall) to identify projects that need ambitious and talented students.

Disciplinary Research

Research works to produce new knowledge through deep and focused study. It is one of the core missions of any university. 

At West Virginia Universities, research spans the humanities, social sciences, STEM disciplines and clinical practice. Research is for anyone who has a question about the world that hasn’t been answered yet. 

These projects will likely culminate in a thesis and thesis defense or poster presentation.

Project examples


Students may choose to intern for several weeks with professionals in their field. Internships may occur at businesses, in non-profits or in government offices. 

The project goals and guidelines are often set by the internship site. Internships are useful for anyone who wants to apply their skills directly to current projects with mentorship from individuals in the workforce. 

These projects will likely culminate in a technical report and a presentation to stakeholders.

Project examples

Creative Work

Creative works may include visual art, curation, photography, writing, music, theater, dance, film or design. Projects should be of substantial scope and depth.  

These projects will likely culminate in a design booklet and a presentation on campus.

Project examples

Study Abroad/Global Engagement

Students who are studying abroad may choose to enhance that experience with an independent project. 

Ideally, projects will be developed while at WVU, with a specific component that must occur in another country. 

These projects may culminate in a thesis or project report and a presentation on campus.

Project examples

Community Engagement/Community Development

Students are encouraged to work with community groups to develop solutions to local problems. 

Projects will pair students with faculty and stakeholders to consider needs not being met by government organizations or the business sector. 

These projects will likely culminate in a technical report and presentation to stakeholders.

Interdisciplinary Projects

Students may choose to work together on a larger project.  In these cases, each student must ‘own’ a separate part of the project. 

Each project will have its own methods and products, even as the students work toward the same goals.

Project examples