Library Research Award

The Brandeis University Library Research Award recognizes undergraduate students who apply sophisticated information literacy skills in 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. Two prizes of $250 will be awarded. Information about the 2018 awards will be posted here during the Fall 2017 semester.

Award Requirements

To be eligible to win a Library Research Award, applicants must be current Brandeis University undergraduates.

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:

  • Web pages displaying research findings
  • Audiovisual materials, such as videos
  • Posters
  • 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 Award, students are asked to submit an online application. As part of the online application, students will be asked to upload their research project and write a research process essay. The research process essay should be between 500-750 words. In this essay, students should consider the following:

  • 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?
  • What resources did you consult in your research? (For example, the library catalog, WorldCat, an archival collection, the names of library databases, etc.)
  • Did you use library services, such as research help, Interlibrary Loan, Archives and 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?

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. The recommendation form is available online.

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

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