Undergraduate Research Awards

Applications Due: Sunday, April 14, 2019

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.


2018 Award Winners

First Place


Kaitlin Bradley, for her paper, “The Economic History of Venezuela Through the 20th Century: Re-Evaluating Venezuela's Economic Crisis"

Faculty Advisor: Gary Marquardt

“This research process has taught me about the importance of revisiting and reevaluating previous work and questioning sources and research methods. The importance of diverse and interdisciplinary research became apparent … I learned to be flexible in my research without losing direction. While I’ve made significant progress in understanding the Venezuelan economic crisis through my research, that same research has taught me to not become complacent in my understanding of the topic, to always keep researching and looking for new perspectives and explanations.”

Kaitlin Bradley, Reflective Essay

Second Place


Jessica Taghvaiee, for her paper, “The Non-Citizen Nightmare: An Analysis of Racist U.S. Immigration Policies”

Faculty Advisor: Leonardo Figueroa-Helland

“… researching for this paper taught me a lot about the resources that were available to me through Giovale Library. I was able to have access to physical materials, explore multiple social science databases, use interlibrary loan, and even talk to a librarian about my research thanks to the resources Giovale Library provided me with. By using these resources and having the willingness to ask for help, I was able to conduct research that helped me write a thorough and scholarly-backed paper on the racism of US immigration policy. Knowing how much work I put into researching for this paper, I am proud of the final result.” 

Jessica Taghvaiee, Reflective Essay