Research Excellence Prize
The Brandeis Library's Research Excellence Prize recognizes students who apply sophisticated information literacy skills to the selection, evaluation and synthesis of sources for a research project. In addition to highlighting exemplary student scholarship, the Award serves to encourage students to engage with library resources and make use of library services.
Five prizes of $250 will be awarded:
- An award for research completed in a University Writing Seminar (UWS).
- An award for a research paper or project completed by an undergraduate student outside of UWS
- An award for a research paper or project completed by a graduate student. Dissertations are not eligible for this award.
- An award for research which makes use of materials in the Brandeis University Archives & Special Collections. This award is open to both undergraduate and graduate students. Dissertations are not eligible for this award.
- An award for a digital research project. For a digital project, a student might present their research through data visualization, mapping, or multi-media. A digital project could be completed alongside a research paper or the project may be independent of a research paper.
The application deadline is May 14, 2021.
To be eligible to win a Research Excellence Prize, applicants must be current Brandeis University students. We will accept work that was produced between May 14, 2020, and May 14, 2021.
Types of Research Considered
In addition to research papers, students may submit other types of research projects that make use of library resources and services and demonstrate research skills. These projects can be from any academic discipline and might include:
- Literature reviews
- Web pages displaying research findings
- Audiovisual materials, such as videos
- Creative writing assignments
Team projects are eligible for the award. If a team project is selected, the award will be split evenly among team members.
To have their work considered for the Research Excellence Prize, students are asked to submit an online application. Students will be asked to upload their research project and to write a research process essay as part of the application. The research process essay should be between 500-750 words, and should consider the following:
- What resources did you consult in your research? (For example, the library catalog, WorldCat, an archival collection, specific library databases, etc.)
- Did you use library services, such as Research Help, Interlibrary Loan, University Archives & Special Collections, or library instruction?
- What stumbling blocks did you encounter while searching?
- How did you overcome these these stumbling blocks?
- At any point, did one source lead you to another source?
- Did you learn anything in the research process that changed your approach to the subject?
- How has your approach to doing research changed as a result of doing this project?
- How has your attitude about research changed as a result of doing this project?
Students will also need a recommendation from the instructor who taught the course for which the student completed the research project or from a faculty member who served as an advisor to the research project.
For papers written in a language other than English, students can submit a one-page summary of the paper, written in English.
Process for Selecting Award Winners
Research projects will be evaluated by a panel who will consider:
- the student’s research process
- the research tools and library services used by the student
- the types of sources used by the student
- the originality of the project
- the quality of writing or presentation
Wherever possible, submissions will be anonymized prior to the review process. In the case of digital projects, anonymization may not be possible.Many of the ideas described in this proposal were inspired by and based on similar awards from other colleges and universities:
- Duke University
- University of Notre Dame
- Tufts University
- University of California, Berkeley
- University of Southern California
- Wellesley College