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Excellence in Research Award

The Excellence in Research Award, sponsored by the University Libraries, is awarded for an excellent paper in any subject that demonstrates outstanding research using library and information resources. Any student paper written in the sophomore or junior year as part of regular class work is eligible to be considered for this award. The paper needs to have been written in the current academic year, that is, Fall 2021/Spring 2022. Applicants must also submit a one-page research statement. Up to two $500 cash prizes may be awarded.

Note: papers done as a senior project in the junior year are excluded and group projects are not eligible.

Criteria for Assessment:

  • Paper is well written and exhibits use of numerous, diverse, and relevant sources of information pertaining to the topic.
  • Paper shows a skillful synthesis of sources and thoroughness in the research process.
  • Paper displays high quality of scholarship in relation to the assigned goals for the project.
  • Research statement shows a thorough understanding of how to access and integrate information resources relevant to the topic area.

Student Guidelines:

  • Paper should be 7 pages (double spaced) or more in length, with pages numbered, excluding covers and appendices.
  • Please submit the paper in Word in 12 point font.
  • Please also submit a separate, one-page description of the research process, e.g., what strategy was used to search for information; why some avenues of research were pursued and others discarded, what resources were most helpful, etc. Students should submit the paper and the description of the research process electronically to Charity Braceros-Simon,
  • Award Amount: up to two awards of $500 each are available.
  • Deadline: all paperwork must be in by the last day of finals, May 6, 2022 at 5:00 p.m.

Faculty Support:

The faculty mentor who worked with the student during the production of the paper is asked to submit a separate statement that includes:

  • Name of student author:
  • Title of research paper:
  • Name of faculty mentor:
  • Course #/Title:
  • Copy of the assignment

Also, please verify that the paper:

  • was written as part of regular course work in the sophomore or junior year
  • uses numerous and diverse sources of information including scholarly materials
  • is written in a style appropriate for the subject discipline and is well-cited, in line with disciplinary requirements

Additionally, please comment on the value and quality of the paper in relation to the assignment.

Faculty should submit the statement by e-mail to Charity Braceros-Simon,

Previous Winners of the Research Award:








  • No winners selected this time period.







  • Lauren Kaijiura: The Effects of 17-ß Estradiol on Regeneration Rates and Neoblast Proliferation in the Planarian Dugesia dorotocephala
  • Amanda Strauss: She was always a Weakly Woman: an analysis of gender and insanity in 19th Century America


  • Travis Harris: Wave-Particle Duality of Bucky Balls
  • Jacqueline Grace: Age dependant lateralized prey delivery and chick rearing of Caspian Terns
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Willamette University

Mark O. Hatfield Library

900 State Street.
Salem Oregon 97301