The Ignite Fund

Your liberal arts education provides you with the intellectual tools to identify problems and to devise solutions. Now we want to see what you can do with these tools — solve problems, create knowledge, and put your Jesuit background to work. 

At Holy Cross, we believe that a liberal arts degree prepares you to make a positive impact in the world. The Ignite Fund is Holy Cross’ way of saying, in the words of Ignatius, “go, set the world on fire.” Holy Cross invites students to follow these words by providing funds to match student's questions and ideas to the world’s needs. Financial support is available for student-initiated entrepreneurial projects, student-initiated research projects, and travel to present at research conferences.  

Project Fellowships

Ignite Project Fellowships provide students with the opportunity to put their entrepreneurial ideas into action. We fund student-initiated, student-implemented projects designed to put the Jesuit principles you’ve absorbed during your time at Holy Cross to work. If you have a big idea that you’d like to see put to the test, a project you’ve been working on that needs more resources to implement, a need in our world that you’d like to positively impact, or a skill or talent that you think can help others, the Ignite Fund can help you make it happen. 

Funds to Support Your Research

Holy Cross students don’t just learn from world-class researchers — they conduct their own research. And just as faculty needs resources to make their work happen, student researchers need funds to help their work take shape. The Ignite Fund provides up to $500 in equipment, access fees, books, software, and more, to students interested in creating new knowledge. 

Conference Travel

For students who have already done research and want to disseminate their work through a formal conference presentation, Ignite funding (normally up to $850 annually for domestic travel and $1500 annually for international travel outside of North America) is available to support travel and conference registration fees.  (Summer research students should apply for conference travel funds through the Weiss Summer Research Program Group page on MyHC).

Faculty Advisor

We want to ensure student have someone they can turn to for support as needed, so we suggest finding a Faculty Advisor for your Ignite Fund project. Occasionally, we check in with this person for a recommendation, but only when the project is complex. In sum, there is nothing formal required of the faculty advisor on our end.


The application deadlines for 2023-2024 are October 3rd, December 5th, February 27th, and April 9th. Students will typically receive a response to their application within two weeks after these deadlines. If an expedited review is needed for travel purposes or you haven't heard a response within two weeks after the deadline, please contact the J.D. Power Center.

Please note that if you are thinking about developing a program that involves bringing minors (children under the age of 18) to campus, the Safety of Children in College Programs policy and procedures must be followed. To learn more, please contact Denielle Burl, Chief Risk and Compliance Officer.

Helpful Information for Applicants

  • Please read this Google Doc for additional guidance and policies as you prepare your Ignite Fund or Weiss Summer Research conference travel application. 
  • The Marshall Memorial Fund is also available to support projects that are simultaneously beneficial to the Worcester community and academic learning at Holy Cross.