Bonnie W. Oldham Library Research Prize

Bonnie W. Oldham Library Research Prize

The Bonnie W. Oldham Library Research Prize is designed to attract outstanding research projects from courses taught in departments across The University of Scranton campus. It recognizes excellence in research projects that show evidence of significant knowledge in the methods of research and the information gathering process, and use of library resources, tools, and services.

Any University of Scranton student(s) at any class level in any discipline who has completed a research project in any format for a credit course at The University of Scranton during the Summer 2022, Fall 2022, Intersession 2023, or Spring 2023 semester is eligible to participate in the 2022-2023 competition. Please note that only one project per course may be submitted by each student.

Three prizes will be awarded to an individual student or group of students whose projects fall in the following three categories: Undergraduate Foundational (100-level courses), Undergraduate Upper-level (200- to 400-level courses), and Graduate.

Application must include the following:

  1. Completed application form where all components of the application package will be uploaded.
  2. Description of Research: A 500-700 word description of the research methods and information gathering process used. Include also how you used library resources, tools, and services to complete the research project. Group projects should only submit one Description of Research for the application. Read our tips to help you describe your research.
  3. A final version (or almost complete draft if necessary) of the research project.
    • Written projects: Submit your document.
    • Media projects: Submit the research project in its media format (e.g. the PPT file of your poster slide or slide deck), or the URL in a Word document if a Web project.
  4. A statement of faculty support from the instructor who assigned the research project submitted by the faculty through the faculty support form.
    • It is your responsibility to share this form with the course instructor who assigned the project. Students waive their right to read the statement of faculty support for their project.
  5. A bibliography or other appropriate listing of sources consulted.
    • Use bibliography format and conventions appropriate to the discipline.
    • Visit our Citation Help resources for more guidance.
Submission Deadlines:
  • Monday, December 12, 2022 at 4:00 pm for projects completed in courses during Summer or Fall 2022
  • Monday, May 1, 2023 at 4:00 pm for projects completed in courses during Intersession or Spring 2023

NOTE: When submitting an application for a multi-semester research project, please use the submission deadline for the date that the project is “due.” Although there are two different dates to submit an application, only one judging will take place.

Other Dates to Remember:
  • Winner Notification: Monday, May 8, 2023
  • Awards Ceremony and Reception: Thursday, May 11, 2023 at 2:30 pm in the Library’s 5th floor Charles Kratz Scranton Heritage Room

A judging panel composed of University of Scranton faculty and staff will judge entries on the evidence provided in the application package. Expectations for achievement will be commensurate with the applicant's class year, the course level of the project (e.g., 100-level, 200- to 400-level, or Graduate level), and the requirements of the discipline. Judges will be invited from the faculty in each of the University's three colleges, the Library faculty, the Library Advisory Committee, and the Center for Teaching & Learning Excellence (CTLE).

Submissions will be evaluated based on how well they provide evidence of the following criteria, which have been newly updated in 2022-2023:

  • Demonstrates use of library resources, including collections, services, and/or spaces.
  • Demonstrates through use of sources appropriate levels, types, and breadth of scholarship for research need.
  • Demonstrates personal learning and understanding of the research process.
  • Demonstrates an Ignatian dimension to research through topic, methodology, findings, and/or reflection on the research process that represents one or more Ignatian characteristics applied to research.

New this year: View the full judging rubric to better tailor your application to the selection criteria. You can also read our tips to help you describe your research.

In the event the judging panel determines that none of the applications submitted for the research prize is meritorious, then no prize will be awarded.

Three prizes of $500.00 each will be awarded to the winning individual student or group of students in the following categories: Undergraduate Foundational (100-level courses), Undergraduate Upper-level (200- to 400-level courses), and Graduate. If won by a group, then the award will be split equally among the group members. Monetary awards are subject to taxes.

Winning projects and essays will be publicly displayed in the Weinberg Memorial Library and preserved in the Library’s Digital Collections, with access open to the public.

Photographs of winning students and their faculty mentors will be taken at the award reception and published in Library promotional materials.

Professor Emerita Bonnie Oldham came to the University in 2004 as one of the evening reference librarians in the position of Coordinator of Distance Learning Services and transitioned to a daytime schedule in 2009 when she became Information Literacy Coordinator. In that capacity, her main responsibility was to oversee the Information Literacy Program in support of the learning needs of students as well as the teaching and research needs of faculty and staff. Bonnie was instrumental in the creation of the Library Research Prize, established in 2011. This prize recognizes excellence in research projects that show evidence of significant knowledge in the methods of research and the information gathering process, and use of library resources, tools, and services. The award was named in honor of Bonnie at her retirement in May 2017. Upon her untimely death in September 2017, Bonnie established an endowment fund for the research prize so that it will exist in perpetuity. Bonnie earned an A.B. in History from Chestnut Hill College, an M.L.S. from Kutztown University, and an M.S. in Organizational Management from Misericordia University.
The Weinberg Memorial Library thanks the DiMenna-Nyselius Library at Fairfield University for their guidance in the initial development of our Library Research Prize for undergraduate students.
Contact Donna Witek, Information Literacy Coordinator, at donna.witek@scranton.edu.