Undergraduate Research Award
Undergraduate Research Award
Consistent with the university-wide goal of increasing the amount
and quality of undergraduate research and the Taft Research Center’s mission to
provide competitive research support, this competitive program supports undergraduate
research excellence by offering an award of $2,000 to outstanding undergraduate
scholars. This advanced learning experience is designed to create incentives
for advanced research opportunities at the undergraduate level and to promote
both an undergraduate intellectual community and scholarship in the humanities,
broadly conceived. All awardees will be required to participate in the Taft
Undergraduate Club on a monthly basis. Senior undergraduates, directed by a
faculty mentor, will develop substantial and creative independent research projects, apart
from any other coursework, which is intended to culminate in a thesis or
expository work presented at the Taft Annual Research Symposium in the spring.
successful completion of the terms of the grant, awardees will receive $2,000
upon graduation from the University. Structured in this way, awards do not
interfere with a student’s loan considerations. If the student’s project
includes significant research costs, up to fifty percent of the award may be
used to offset those costs, on a reimbursement basis.
participating faculty members will receive $500 in remuneration for their time
spent mentoring students.
Students are required to engage in their particular research
projects and present their
research at the Taft Annual Research Symposium and the University Undergraduate
Research Conference, both held in the spring. They will also meet once a month,
as a cohort, to discuss their projects, intellectual or other related issues,
as the core of the Taft Undergraduate Club. Students are required to meet no
less than once per month with their faculty mentor and at least twice during
the year with the Taft Faculty Chair and Center Director (typically as part of
their monthly meetings). If a faculty member from the students department is
currently a Taft Center Fellow, students are also expected to meet with that
individual once per term to discuss their projects.
Awardees are required to register for three (3) credit hours per semester, for two
sequential semesters, under their department's designated Taft thesis/research
course section. The three (3) credit hour independent study course may
serve as an alternative opportunity to fulfill capstone requirements based on department
comply with the above requirement may result in a reduction or loss of the
their junior year, majoring in one of the Taft departments are eligible to
apply for this award but must be in contact with the undergraduate program
director for their discipline and, if different, a faculty mentor. This
includes students entering into a 4+1 MA program though it is open to all
students entering their senior year. Applicants must have a minimum 3.5 overall grade point average to be considered for this program.
Guidelines for Selection
The Taft Student Awards Committee will consider
awards in two pools. The first will be only for minority applicants, hereby
denoted the set-aside pool (diversity fellowships). This set-aside pool
of three (3) awards is dedicated to minority applicants. In all cases, if an
eligible applicant does not receive an award from the set-aside pool, the applicant
will still be considered for an award from the open pool.
Applications will be evaluated for:
- The quality or
promise of quality of the applicant's work as a scholar or creative writer.
significance of the contribution that the proposed project will make to the
applicant's intellectual development in their chosen field of study.
conception, definition, organization, and description of the proposed project.
- The current
state of the research, the schedule to do the research, and the timeliness of
the grant to ensuring the completion of the project.
- The likelihood
that the applicant will complete the project.
- The manner in
which the application fulfills the stated requirement.
- The letters of
support required from the faculty mentor and one other faculty member in their
- Grade transcript and evidence of academic achievement.
Terms of the Grant
Grant winners are required to complete all of the following:
(1) Apply for a nationally competitive
award over the summer, before the start of the fall term. (For more information,
see the Taft Program Coordinator and/or the Office of Nationally
(2) Meet with their research
cohort at least once a month during the academic year, to discuss their
projects, intellectual or other related issues, as the core of the Taft
(3) Meet at least twice
during the year with the Taft Faculty Chair and Center Director (typically as
part of their monthly meetings).
(4) Meet no less than twice per
month with their faculty mentor
(5) Meet with all current
Center Fellows from their department, to discuss their project.
(6) Students are required present
their research at the Taft Annual Research Symposium and the University
Undergraduate Research Conference, both held in the spring.