Library About Research Prize

Library Research Prize

The Library Research Prize recognizes exemplary scholarship through effective research strategies and demonstrated use of the library’s resources, services, and staff.

There are two $1,000 prizes, one for undergraduate students and one for graduate students. They are awarded annually at the conclusion of the Spring semester.

Selection Criteria

Research projects should demonstrate:

  • Sophistication, originality and/or unusual depth or breadth in the use of library collections, including, but not limited to, print sources, databases, primary resources, and materials in all formats.
  • Exceptional ability to locate, select, evaluate, and effectively use library resources in the creation of a project in any format 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.


Individual or Team Applicants must:

  • Be currently enrolled Fairfield University undergraduate or graduate students.
  • Complete a research project for a credit course at Fairfield University during Summer 2022, Fall 2022, Winter Intersession 2023 or Spring 2023 semester. A draft version of the project is acceptable if final version is not completed by application deadline.
  • For team projects, all members must contribute towards the project. If a team project wins, award will be split equally among members.
  • Agree to contribute research projects and essay to a display about their research mounted by library staff for public exhibition (in library and online). Winners will be contacted for permission to add their submission to DigitalCommons@Fairfield.

* Cannot be work done as a formal collaboration with a faculty member or other non-student researcher, or be research commissioned by an organization or business.

Application Procedure

Application must include the following:

  • Completed online application.
  • A 500-700 word essay describing your research strategies and use of library tools and resources.*
  • A draft or final version of the research project, submitted electronically.*
  • A statement of faculty support from the instructor of the class for whom the work was prepared. When you upload your application online, an email with a link to an electronic form will automatically be sent to the instructor named in your application. This form is how the statement of faculty support is provided. It is your responsibility to speak with your instructor well in advance of the deadline so that he/she is aware that you are applying for the Library Research Prize and that a link will be sent to provide their statement of support.
  • 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 or cite them. Note: The bibliography may differ from your Works Cited or References List since it will include not only your quoted and cited sources, but also your background reading material.

* The essay is the most important piece of your submission. While the content and quality of your final project are important, the selection committee is more interested in the investigative journey you undertook to create that project and how your research skills and understanding/use of library services, resources, and collections have improved as a result.

* Written projects should be approximately 7-30 pages. 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.


Submissions will be judged based on how well they meet the selection criteria. A panel composed of Fairfield University librarians and faculty will judge entries on the evidence of the applicant's research strategy, process, and personal learning, which will be summarized in the 500-700 word 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.

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

Library Research Prize Reception

Prize winners will be honored at a reception held in the Library, which is attended by University administration, faculty, and staff. Family and friends of the winners are encouraged to attend.

  • The Dean of the Library will present the awards on the first reading day of the Spring semester.
  • The winners (individuals or groups) will give a 10-15 minute presentation about their research projects, followed by a Q & A session.
  • A reception will follow.


Thank you to Fairfield University's Charles F. Dolan School of Business, College of Arts & Sciences, Graduate School of Education and Human Development, Marion Peckham Egan School of Nursing & Health Studies, 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.

2022 Winners

Win $1,000

Student Application Deadline: TBD 2023
Faculty Support Deadline: TBD 2023
Winner Notified: TBD 2023
Reception: Tues. May 2, 2023 (3:00-4:00PM)


2022 undergraduate student winner Caroline Timmerman 2022 graduate student winner Rev. Dious Joseph

2022 honorable mention Nikki Koval 2022 honorable mention Molly Lamendola