2018 Monroe F. Swilley, Jr. Library Student Research Award

The Monroe F. Swilley, Jr. Library is pleased to announce the 2018 Monroe F. Swilley, Jr. Library Student Research Award. This award recognizes students who incorporate the use of Mercer University Library’s collections and services and demonstrate active critical thinking in both the research project and reflection paper.  Research conducted by currently enrolled individual students or by student teams is eligible.  Each student author will be considered eligible.  Each candidate may only have one of their works submitted.

Requirements and Award Information

      • Discipline -- Research in all disciplines studied on the Atlanta campus, Regional Academic Centers or distance programs is eligible for the Monroe F. Swilley, Jr. Library Student Research Award.
      • Format -- Submissions must document use and application of library information resources in any format (online, print, archival, audio-visual, etc.). Research projects can be presented in any format (print, web-based, database, etc.).  Please provide a digital submission if possible. The text must be at least 90% English.
      • Time Frame -- Research must have been conducted no earlier than August 2017, while a student at Mercer University and using University Library's resources and services. All materials must be received by March 9, 2018, to be considered for the Monroe F. Swilley, Jr. Library Research Award.  Projects previously submitted for this award are not eligible for resubmission.
      • Research Conference -- Winners will present their research at the 2018 Mercer Atlanta Research Conference tentatively to be held on April 14, 2018, at the Atlanta Administration and Conference Center.
      • Award -- The winner will receive a $250.00 monetary prize and a commemorative plaque, and the runner up will receive a $100 monetary prize and a certificate. Team awards will be divided among all members.  Completion of a W-9 or (W-8BEN for international students without Social Security numbers) will be required to receive the prize.

Photographs of the winners may be displayed on the University Library website.  Award-winning research will be featured on the Library’s website and will be housed in University Research, Scholarship, and Archives (URSA).  All application materials remain the property of Mercer University Library.

Some examples of eligible research projects that could integrate information resources from the University Library:

            • Research paper
            • Lab or clinical research investigation
            • Photography/Film/Video
            • Database development
            • Website
            • Product or prototype development

Award Criteria

Submissions will be judged based on the demonstration of the following:

      1. Sophistication, originality, or unusual depth or breadth in the use of library resources including, but not limited to, printed resources, databases, manuscripts or archival collections, web resources, and all media;
      2. Exceptional ability to locate, select, evaluate, and synthesize library resources and to use them 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;
      3. Evidence of significant personal learning and the development of a pattern of research and inquiry that shows the likelihood of persisting in the future;
      4. Evidence of reflection on your own research process. This is a very important component of the entry because it calls upon you to think critically about the decisions you made as you created your research project. The self-reflection about research that you do here may enhance your thinking as you undertake future research projects as a student or a working professional. In 500-1,000 words, describe the processes you used in doing the research for your project. This description must be in essay format to be considered by the committee. Please do not use Q & A or bullet points.

    You are encouraged to address the following issues in your reflection.

            • How did you find your sources? (databases, bibliographies, Google, professors, friends?)
            • Why did you select the ones you used?  What criteria did you use?  What was it about these sources that made them appropriate?
            • Were there sources you identified but decided not to use?  If so, why not?
            • What, if any, difficulties did you encounter in doing your research?
            • What did you learn about research from doing the paper or project?
            • Please feel free to present any other information that you feel will add to your description of the research process.

    Submissions

    To be considered for the 2018 Monroe F. Swilley, Jr. Library Student Research Award, submit the following materials by March 9, 2018:

    Applications submitted by 5 p.m. March 9, 2018, will be given full consideration. Incomplete or late submissions will not be considered. Please ensure that all portions (see list below) are submitted. Unless requested by the applicant, submitted materials will not be returned. When possible, please submit copies in lieu of original documents or projects.

    Submit application package and any questions regarding the application process to:

    Kathryn Wright
    Archives
    Jack Tarver Library
    1501 Mercer University Drive
    Macon, GA 31207-0001

    or email electronic submissions to  with the subject "Swilley Award submission."  

    All application packages must include the following (click link for required form):

    • Application cover sheet with student applicant signatures, faculty statement of support, and faculty signature. Electronic submissions of this document are acceptable in .pdf format only.
    • A 100 word abstract/summary of the research project.
    • A 500-750 word essay describing research strategies as well as the application of library resources to the project.
    • A final version of the completed research project. Please make sure student names appear ONLY on the cover sheet and not on the project itself.
    • A bibliography or other appropriate list of sources consulted.