ACA Ledford Scholars Application

Students: Submit Your Ledford Scholars Application (due by Feb. 11, 2022)

CAOs: Submit Your Endorsement Letter

Faculty Mentors: Submit Your Endorsement Letter

The Ledford Scholars program, named for Colonel Lee B. Ledford, offers financial assistance for summer research projects to undergraduate students enrolled at ACA member institutions. Undergraduate students from all disciplines, applying various methodologies, are eligible.

The program provides stipends for students wishing to participate in undergraduate summer research at a rate of $10.00/hour for up to 360 hours total ($3,600 maximum). While applicants will estimate the anticipated number of hours worked, final payment for a Ledford Scholar will be based upon actual hours worked. Additionally, an allotment of up to $1,000 for reimbursement may be furnished for reasonable project-related equipment and travel expenses.  For example, laboratory supplies necessary to complete one’s research or travel to and from one’s research site would be allowable; general summer lodging or tuition for summer courses would not be eligible. Ineligible projects include mission trips, class trips, or travel for students traveling alone. The application requires an estimated budget; applications that furnish a precise and itemized explanation of anticipated expenditures will be received more favorably. As total award allotments each year are based upon applicants’ budget estimates in their proposals, it is important that expected hours/costs be anticipated as closely as possible to actual needs, so we can fund the maximum number of applications.

The application must have the support of a faculty member who will agree to serve as a mentor throughout the research project (and the mentor’s endorsement letter is included as a part of the student’s application). Please review the expectation of faculty mentors by referring to the Ledford Faculty Mentor Guidelines.


Applicants must:

  • Be a full-time student during the academic year in which the application is made;
  • Return to an ACA institution for at least one semester following the research term;
  • Have graduated from a high school or been home schooled in a designated Appalachian or contiguous county as defined by the Appalachian Regional Commission (see for the listing of these counties); and
  • Have a 2.0 GPA or better on a 4.0 scale.

Research projects:

  • Must receive the endorsement of a faculty mentor and the Chief Academic Officer of the student’s institution;
  • Cannot have more than two Ledford supported students participating; and
  • May include travel necessary to achieve the research goals if the faculty mentor (or equivalent designate) accompanies the student.


Participation in the Ledford Scholars Program carries certain responsibilities for the student researcher:

  • Public presentation of research outcomes at one’s home campus during the fall term after the project;
  • Provision of a short (4-6 minutes) video of presentation of one’s research findings, which will be highlighted on the ACA website; and
  • Submission of a final project report to the ACA in the early fall semester.

Award funding in the amount of actual hours worked and research reimbursements, up to the initial award, will be provided to the student’s institution following completion of the final report. See the Ledford Scholar Application Guidelines for a full description of program policies and procedures.

** For more information or to apply, visit:

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