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Undergraduate Research Award

Application Deadlines: 03/02/2015

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Cover Sheet

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.

 

Award Specifics

Upon the 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.


In addition, 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 decision.


Failure to comply with the above requirement may result in a reduction or loss of the award.

 

Eligibility

Students in 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.
  • The significance of the contribution that the proposed project will make to the applicant's intellectual development in their chosen field of study.
  • The 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 department.
  • 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 Competitive Awards).


(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 Undergraduate Club.


(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.