Discovery Fund

What is the Morehead-Cain Discovery Fund?

Launched in 2008, the Discovery Fund is one of the more recent innovations to the Morehead-Cain Program. Through the Discovery Fund, each scholar may apply for grants of up to $8,000 over the course of his or her four years at Carolina.

Discovery Fund grants allow scholars to say “yes” to opportunities that will accelerate their life experience and increase their self-awareness. The Discovery Fund provides opportunities to explore new ideas, develop practical skills, and connect with Morehead-Cain Alumni.

The Discovery Fund . . .

Inspires self-discovery

  • challenging scholars to dream, develop, and explore
  • encouraging scholars to be active participants vs. passive observers in the world
  • feeding their insatiable curiosity

Cultivates leadership

  • strengthening scholars to have the courage to see a need and take action to meet it
  • inspiring scholars to engage in thought leadership
  • enabling scholars to gain practical experience and skills that will enhance their development as leaders
  • prompting them to bring their learning experiences back to campus

Catalyzes connections

  • mobilizing the Morehead-Cain network of doers
  • giving scholars the tools to network with interesting people
  • sparking conversations within the community

Enables scholars to embrace the journey

  • empowering them to embody grit and perseverance in “stretch” experiences
  • equipping them to navigate obstacles and pivot to new directions
  • emboldening them to counter fear with ambition and excitement for the journey

We know scholars have big ideas, but we encourage them not to try to do everything all at once. Often the best way to move ahead is through small steps, even at the risk of failure. This is what the Discovery Fund is all about.

How do scholars use the Discovery Fund?

The Discovery Fund presents an opportunity for scholars to individualize their Morehead-Cain experiences. Each proposal is reviewed on a case-by-case basis, considering the background, experience, and trajectory of the scholar.

Scholars can apply for Discovery Fund grants beginning the second semester of their freshman year, and can submit individual or group proposals.

Scholars have used the Discovery Fund for participating in workshops/retreats/clinics, presenting at conferences, shadowing/networking/informational interviewing opportunities, conducting research, pursuing innovative ideas, and unique skill acquisition.