Library Research Prizes

The DiMenna-Nyselius Library Prizes are offered in two categories: undergraduate and graduate. We are thrilled to report the prizes have been increased to $1,000!  There will be separate $1,000 prizes for each category.

The prizes attract the very best research projects from courses taught in departments across the campus. It recognizes excellence in research projects that show evidence of:

  • Extensive use of library services, resources and collections, and
  • Significant knowledge in the methods of research and the information-gathering process


Application Procedure

Selection Criteria

Dates to Remember


Acknowledgment and Past Winners



To be eligible to win, individual or team applicants must:

  • Be Fairfield University undergraduates or graduate students at any class level and in any discipline (arts & sciences, nursing, business, engineering, Continuing Studies, masters programs).
  • Have completed their research project for a credit course at Fairfield University during the Summer 2013, Fall 2013, or Spring 2014 semester (a draft version of the project is acceptable if final is not completed by application deadline).
  • Agree to contribute to a display about their research mounted by library staff for public exhibition, to be viewed in the library and also via the Internet.
  • If a team project, all team members must contribute towards the application. If a team project wins, the award will be split equally among the team members.

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Application Procedure

Application must include the following:

  • Completed online application: individual or team
  • A 500-700 word essay describing your research strategies and use of library tools and resources (essay tips).
  • A draft or final version of the research project, submitted electronically.

1. Written projects: the product should be approximately 7-30 pages.

2. Media projects: submit a printout of the first "page" of the project and any other necessary "pages", along with the project in its media format, or the URL of the web project.

  • A letter of faculty support. Note to faculty: please use this online form. You may find it more convenient to compose your thoughts in Word and then copy/paste them into the online form.
  • A bibliography or other appropriate listing of sources consulted. When preparing your bibliography keep in mind these two points:

1. Use bibliography format and conventions appropriate to the discipline (citation style tips)

2. Cite all sources you used, even if you did not directly quote from them. Note: The bibliography may differ from your Works Cited or Reference List since it will include not only your quoted sources, but also your background reading material.

E-mail your complete application package to Joan Overfield, Library Director, DiMenna-Nyselius Library by Wednesday, April 16, 2014.

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Selection Criteria

Submissions will be judged based on how well they demonstrate the following:

  • Sophistication, originality and/or unusual depth or breadth in the use of library collections, including, but not limited to, printed resources, databases, primary resources, and materials in all media
  • Exceptional ability to locate, select, evaluate, and effectively use library resources in the creation of a project in any media that shows originality and/or has the potential to lead to original research in the future
  • Evidence of significant personal learning in the methods of research and the information gathering process, and the development of a habit of research and inquiry that shows the likelihood of persisting in the future.

A panel composed of Fairfield University faculty, librarians and other educators will judge entries on the evidence of the applicant's research strategy, process, and personal learning, which will be summarized in the research essay. Expectations for achievement will be commensurate with the applicant's class year and the requirements of the discipline. Separate judging will occur in the undergraduate and graduate categories.

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Dates to Remember*:

  • Application Due Date: Tuesday, April 21, 2015
  • Winner Notification: Tuesday, April 28, 2015
  • Reception: 2:30 pm Friday May 1, in the Library Conference Room

Award: $1,000.00 for both the undergraduate and graduate categories.

If a team project wins, the award will be split equally among the team members


Thank you to Fairfield University's School of Nursing, the Graduate School of Education and Allied Professions, and the School of Engineering for their financial support of the prizes, in addition to the Library's financial commitment.

The DiMenna-Nyselius Library thanks the University of California at Berkeley Library for their guidance in the development of our Library Research Prize for Undergraduates.

Announcement of the Winners

20142013 l 2012 | 2011 | 2010 | 2009 | 2008 | 2007

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