Awards FAQ

 Purpose

Q: Why is the Library doing this?
A: The Library recognizes that research is becoming both easier and more difficult at the same time. We want to encourage use of Library-subscribed databases as well as a systematic, thoughtful, and creative approach to research.

Q: How many awards are there?
A: There are four awards: one award of $300 for a paper/project done for a 100- or 200- level class, one award of $300 for a paper/project done by a First Year student, and one award of $750 for a paper/project done for a 300 level class, not including independent studies (350s) or honors theses (360s and 370s), and one award of $750 for a paper/project done for an independent study (250s or 350s).

Q: Who is funding the award?
A: The awards are being generously funded by the Wellesley College Friends of the Library.

Eligibility

Q: Who is eligible for this award?
A: Any Wellesley College student registered for a Wellesley College course.

Q: What if I'm a transfer student or a Davis Scholar?
A: As long as Wellesley College considers you a matriculated Wellesley College student, you are eligible. Transfer students and students admitted under the Davis Scholar program would be eligible, but students here on an exchange program or post- bac students would not be eligible.

Q: What courses are eligible?
A: Any Wellesley College 100, 200, or 300 level course, with the exception of 360s, and 370s, taken for Wellesley College credit, is eligible.

Q: My paper/project is from a course I took credit/non-credit. Is it eligible?
A: Yes, it is eligible.

Q: What about research work completed for a course at another academic institution?
A: Courses taken at other institutions, including MIT, exchange programs, and semesters abroad, are not eligible.

Q: Are groups or teams eligible to participate?
A: Yes, group or team papers/projects are eligible. In this case, the monetary award would be divided among the team members. In the case of groups or teams, only one research strategy essay should be submitted, but it is expected that each team member will have contributed to the essay.

Q: Are only papers eligible? Are other types of projects eligible?
A: Multimedia projects are certainly eligible for this award, as long as the project involved substantial library research.

Q: What about science projects? Are they eligible?
A: Science projects are eligible as long as library research was involved in the final project. If the project was only laboratory experiment based, the project would not be eligible.

Q: I am a graduating senior. Is my paper/project eligible?
A: As long as your paper/project was completed before 2nd semester of your senior year, it is eligible. You must be a current Wellesley student at the time the awards are given out in the Spring.

Q: May I submit my paper/project more than once?
A: No, papers/projects may only be submitted once, even if they didn't win the first time. However, students who did not win are welcome and encouraged to submit another paper.

Q: May I submit multiple papers/projects at the same time?
A: No, a student may only submit one paper/project in a given year.

Q: I haven't completed the course for which the paper/project was done. Is it still eligible?
A: If the course was dropped, the paper/project is not eligible. For other circumstances, please contact Laura O'Brien, awards coordinator, with details.

Q: I completed my paper/project during a semester prior to the ones considered for this year's awards. May I submit it anyway?
A: Eligible papers must have been completed during the Spring or Fall of the year prior to the award year.

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Evaluation Criteria

Q: How will my paper/project be judged?
A: Your paper/project will be judged on the quality of the research that went into the paper/project, not the quality of the paper/project itself. Accordingly, your research strategy essay will also be afforded great weight [ essay tips ]. The paper's bibliography will be considered as well. 

Q: What resources can I use for my paper/project?
A: You may use, but are not limited to, printed resources, databases, Web resources, primary resources, and materials in all media to complete research projects. Remember also, research and instruction librarians are here to help you get started and you are encouraged to consult librarians if needed.

Q: How can I find reliable sources for my paper/project?
A: We have a website to help you get started. You are also encouraged to come to a library reference desk or make an appointment with the librarian who works with your subject area.

Q: Is there a length requirement for papers/projects?
A: No, there is no length requirement.

Q: My paper/project was completed in a foreign language. Is it still eligible? Must I translate it?
A: Yes, papers/projects completed in languages other than English are eligible and no translation is necessary. A 1 page abstract or summary in English is required. The required 500 - 750-word essay describing your research strategies must be written in English.

Q: Does the research for my paper/project have to be done at Wellesley?
A: No, research can lead to many different places, both real and virtual! The actual research can happen anywhere. However, the research paper/project must have been completed for credit and for a Wellesley College course or independent study.

Q: Must I use only Wellesley Library resources or Wellesley-subscribed databases? May I use sources found on the wider Internet?
A: You may use any source you think is appropriate to the research for your paper/project. Part of the evaluative process is to determine what information a source (from the library's resources, or the wider world of Internet sources) will contribute to your paper/project, and how to evaluate the accuracy and reliability of Web sources. Help in evaluating Web sources.

Q: I got help from a librarian who suggested some sources to use. Is that OK?
A: Part of learning good research techniques is to know the people who can help you along the way. Making an appointment with a research librarian is encouraged if you are unsure where to start, or what to do next.

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Evaluation Committee

Q: Who will judge my paper/project?
A: Your paper/project will be judged by a committee composed of faculty, librarians, and members of the Friends of the Library Steering Committee.

Q: Will longer papers/projects be judged more favorably than shorter papers?
A: The length of the paper is not a factor in evaluation. The course assignment will determine the length and evaluations will be based on the quality of the research that went into the paper/project.

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Application Procedure

Q: What must my application include?
A: Please refer to the Application Procedure on the main Student Library Research Award Page.

Q: Should my application materials be submitted all at once, or may I submit pieces at a time?
A: You may submit/update your application materials within the Student Library Research Award Online Application system at any time between the time applications open and the time applications close. See the main Student Library Research Awards page for dates.

Q: What does "final version" of my research paper or project mean? / Can I revise or rewrite my paper or project before submitting it to the awards?  
A: The "final version" of your paper or project refers to the final version submitted for credit or grade within the bounds of the course. If, as a part of the course, you revised your project after receiving your professor's comments and then submitted the revised version for credit or a grade within the class, then that revised version is eligible for submission to the awards. You are not expected or desired to revise your paper or project for submission for these awards. The "final version" submitted should reflect the work completed within the bounds of the course or independent study.

Q: Where do I send my application?
A:  Projects that cannot be submitted digitally using the Student Library Research Award Online Application can be sent or hand delivered to Laura O'Brien, Clapp Library.

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Application Deadline

Q: What is the deadline to submit applications?
A: Please refer to the dates and times on the Application Deadline section on the main Student Library Research Award Page.

Q: My application will be just a little late, is that OK?
A: The application deadline is firm. No exceptions will be made. You are encouraged to contact your supporting faculty early to ask for their letter of support. 

Q: I've submitted my entry! When will the winners be announced?
A: The committee requires time to read all submissions and meet to select the winning entries. All applicants will be contacted via email prior to the announcement of the winners, which takes place in April.

 

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