Undergraduate Research Awards

The Giovale Library Undergraduate Research Awards recognize students producing outstanding research projects such as papers, videos, posters, and blogs that demonstrate information literacy and the effective use of library resources.

A judging committee comprised of Giovale Library librarians will select two winners:

  • First place: $250 Amazon gift card
  • Second place: $100 Amazon gift card

View the award rubric and application information below to understand how submissions are judged.


To be eligible for the Giovale Library Undergraduate Research Award you must:

  • Be currently enrolled as an undergraduate at Westminster College.
  • Have completed the research project under consideration for a credit course or under the direction of a faculty member at Westminster College during either the May/Summer 2018, Fall 2018, or Spring 2019 semester.
  • Agree to allow Giovale Library and Westminster College to use your research project and application materials to promote the award and undergraduate research conducted at the college.




To apply for an award, submit your research project, a complete bibliography, and answer a series of questions on your library research experience using the online application form. You will also need to include the name of a faculty sponsor. The faculty sponsor should be the professor who advised the project or taught the class in which the work was completed. Please inform your professor that you are applying for the award.

Please apply using the "apply" button below. You will be asked the following questions as part of the application:

  • Please provide an abstract or paragraph summary of your project.
  • What is the topic of your project and how did you determine it? Reflect upon the process of adapting your interests to the scope of the project, the time you had available for research and writing, the required length of the project, and the nature of the information you found.
  • Describe your process for finding sources for your project. How did you utilize the library or its resources? Did your process evolve? Please be specific.
  • How did you determine which sources to use in your paper? Describe your evaluation process.
  • What lessons did you learn about the general research process?
  • Is there anything else that you think is important for us to know as we evaluate your submission?

Judges rely heavily on what they learn of your research through the application questions. Be mindful in your answers.


2019 Award Winners

First Place

Jessica Taghvaiee

Jessica Taghvaiee

Paper: “The Zapatista Movement: From Novel Rebellion to Complicated Anti-Neoliberal Organization”

Faculty Advisor: Gary Marquardt

“Through this project, I learned how to narrow down a broad historical topic to a specific period of time and group of people. I learned how to collect, examine, and classify sources by their ideas and relate them to specific periods of time. I also learned how amazing the world of research is in that we can often be led in different and even new directions depending on how we utilize the resources and advice around us.”

Jessica Taghvaiee

Second Place

Jonathan Jacob

Jonathan Jacob

Paper: “Models for the Collaborative Management of Protected Lands Between Indigenous Communities and Governmental Agencies”

Faculty Advisor: Xiumei Pu

“This research acted as a fantastic opportunity for me to hone in and refine my research skills. One of the main things that I learned from this research is the importance of creating strong and directed research questions before diving into finding sources. If one’s research questions and topic are not directed or specific enough, one will end up being drowned in an excess of sources that are loosely related to a broad topic, making it extremely time-consuming to identify the most relevant sources and/or very difficult to synthesize the information into something valuable for the research.”

Jonathan Jacob
Hazel Burnett

Hazel Burnett

Paper: “Occupational Gender Inequality Seen Through Children’s Drawings”

Faculty Advisor: Kristjane Nordmeyer

“I think the biggest lesson I learned about the research process was how to pace myself. At the beginning of the year, the thought of my thesis was overwhelming, but I realized when I worked on it in small increments throughout the year, it became much more manageable.”

Hazel Burnett