Dean’s Undergraduate Research Awards (DURA)
Next Deadline: March 8, 2019
Submit Application to Joseph Plaster
The Sheridan Libraries DURA is intended for students working on research projects that specifically utilize primary source materials in the rare book, manuscript, and archival collections of the Sheridan Libraries. The awards support research conducted over the summer months, and are meant to be used as cost-of-living stipends for awardees for the duration of their research. In recent years, awards have consisted of $1,250 for a four-week research period, up to a maximum of $3,750 for a 12-week period of funding, although levels may vary. Any additional research expenses during the research period must be drawn from the total amount of the student award, though some costs such as digitization may be possible without charge. Students typically live in Baltimore for the summer months, and use the Libraries’ collections for intensive research; a minimum of 25 hours per week of work with the designated research materials is required.
Applicants must identify a faculty mentor or a curator/librarian, who can help applicants identify materials for research, formulate project proposals, and conduct research. Research outcomes might take the form of a traditional research essay, a digital exhibition, a video, or something else entirely.
The fellowships are restricted to freshman, sophomore, and junior applicants; seniors graduating in May 2019 are not eligible.
Your two- to three-page, single-spaced proposal must address the following:
- the specific topic to be explored and question(s) you want to investigate;
- specific rare book, manuscript, oral history and/or archival materials in the Sheridan Libraries’ collections and (if relevant) at other archives that you propose to examine;
- qualifications for conducting the research (e.g., your undergraduate status, general academic interests, related classes, personal experience, work experience, related research);
- your timeline for completion of the project scheduled in weekly intervals, including how often you and your mentor will meet about the project;
- expected outcome of the project (e.g., honors thesis, essay, exhibition, digital project);
- an itemized award budget
One letter of recommendation from your proposed faculty or curatorial DURA mentor is to be submitted with the application.
If you need guidance on finding materials for your project, feel free to contact Special Collections staff. We also co-sponsor awards with the Alexander Grass Humanities Institute.
Special Collections Freshman Fellows
Application Deadline: TBA Summer 2019
Full Application Details
Freshman Fellows is an academic opportunity designed to introduce students to conducting research with rare books, manuscripts, and archival material. Freshmen can choose from different “time capsules” of themed collections from Special Collections resources or propose their own topic to explore! Fellows will work with Special Collections staff, who will serve as mentors and provide one-on-one research guidance. The program culminates in the creation of an end product of the students’ choosing that focuses on their research. Each fellow will receive a $1,000 stipend.
Past Fellows have translated and researched 16th century Latin texts; explored collections of advertisements, women’s magazines, and books to discover how the 19th century Dress Reform movement impacted first wave feminism; traced the development of student life on Homewood Campus from the 1920s to today; and examined how editors changed Shakespeare’s language through the centuries. They have shared their research through curated displays in the Special Collections Reading Room, poster sessions, and public talks. Feeling inspired? Consider applying to be a Freshman Fellow! We will accept applications for the 2019-2020 academic year later this summer; read our newsletter for complete details on the 2018-2019 program and application process. If you do have questions about the program, please contact Heidi Herr.