Buley Library offering research grants to students


Philip Zoppi – General Assignment Reporter

The Buley Library has announced that it will give out two undergraduate research grants. The two students who are awarded this grant will receive $500 each.

All students are encouraged to submit research projects they have worked on while earning their undergraduate degree during the 2015 calendar year.

Shirley Cavanagh, head of Access Services Division and a librarian at Southern, wanted to give students a chance to be rewarded for their hard work on research.

“We decided that we wanted to support library research and students who use and support our library,” said Cavanagh. “A lot of other universities award and recognize their students for their research and we wanted to do the same.”

Anything from a historical thesis, policy paper, musical composition or scientific study are eligible to apply for this award.

The application deadline is on Feb. 1, 2016. Any piece of work submitted after that time will not be eligible for the award.

All of these research projects can be from completely different fields of work, so deciding which one deserves the grant is a tough job. Cavanagh detailed what goes into picking which research project will be awarded this grant.

“Several other librarians and one other faculty member will be judging these papers,” said Cavanagh. “They have to demonstrate that they have used some library resources and show academic excellence.”

That’s one of the main aspects of the research projects that the Buley Library will be looking for. Demonstrating the use of library resources and research in the research project is something every project needs to have.

To give every student an equal opportunity at receiving this grant, Buley Library decided that one freshman or sophomore and one junior or senior will receive this grant. This way juniors and seniors don’t have a competitive advantage over students who have been at Southern less than them.

Cavanagh said the main reasoning behind giving out one award to upperclassman and one award to underclassman is that they feel like upperclassman have much more experience with library research and have probably taken more research based courses.

Any research project that an undergraduate student completed in the 2015 calendar year is eligible for this award. This means the spring, summer or fall semester.

The nice thing about that is most students have probably already completed the research project they’re going to submit so applying for this grant won’t add any work to their workload.

Cavanagh and other librarians also decided that students must get a faculty member to support and explain why they’re submitting that piece. This will most likely come from the faculty member that originally had this research project submitted to them for credit in a class.

Cavanagh and the Buley Library really just wanted to give their students a chance to be rewarded for some of their hard they do in the library.

“It’s basically to get our undergraduate students, who we already know are doing a lot of library research, to show academic excellence and expand on academic scholarship. Hopefully we can get more and more people to get recognized.”

These research projects can be submitted on the Buley Library home page or in person at the Buley Library.

Photo Credit: Staff Photo 

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