2021 Valerie B. Edmonds Student Research Award

last modified 2021-01-15T14:49:02-04:00

The 2021 Annual Valerie B. Edmonds Student Research Award application deadline is 5 p.m. February 12, 2021. The winner and runner-up will be notified no later than March 12, 2021 and formally announced at the Honors Convocation on March 26, 2021. The winner will receive a $250 monetary prize and a commemorative plaque, and the runner-up will receive a $100 monetary prize and a certificate. Team awards will be divided equally among all members.

  • Individuals must be currently enrolled as undergraduate students at Mercer University (Macon campus) or the Macon Regional Academic Center. Students who completed degree requirements in December 2020 are also eligible. All class levels and disciplines are eligible.
  • All submitted projects must contain an element of library research. The use of primary and/or secondary sources must be demonstrated.
  • Individual or team submissions are allowed.
  • Each participating student or team may submit one project only.
  • Applicants must express their consent to have winning papers/projects exhibited at Tarver Library and included in the Archives. Photographs of the winners may be displayed on the University Library website. All application materials remain the property of the library.
  • Research must have been conducted while a student at Mercer University and using the University Library's resources and services.
Evaluation Criteria

Each Valerie B. Edmonds Student Research Award application will be carefully reviewed by a panel consisting of designated Mercer University faculty and staff.

Submissions will be judged on the following criteria:

  • Demonstrated ability to select, evaluate, and synthesize appropriate library resources and successfully use them in the creation of a research project or paper
  • Evidence of significant scholastic and/or personal learning and the development of a steady research pattern or habits that can be utilized in future academic endeavors
  • Ability to describe and analyze the applicant's research strategies, techniques, and learning process in a well-written introductory essay

Expectations for achievement will be commensurate with the applicant’s class year and the requirements of the discipline.

Application Procedure

Applications submitted by 5 p.m. February 12, 2021, 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.

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

  • Application cover sheet with student and supporting faculty member signatures. 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.

Submit application package using our Online Submission Form. (All documents must be PDFs to be uploaded).


The Valerie B. Edmonds Student Research Award recognizes excellence in undergraduate research projects that incorporate the use of the University Library's collections and services and demonstrate exceptional information literacy skills on the part of the undergraduate researcher. The intent of the Valerie B. Edmonds Student Research Award is to celebrate student engagement in original research in all academic disciplines and to promote extensive and meaningful use of library resources and services.

The award honors long-time librarian and student mentor, Valerie B. Edmonds, whose tireless service to students and faculty over a thirty-year career exemplified passion and commitment to scholarship and research.



2020 Recipients

Ashley Stephens. Winner
"Fundamentalism and the Fight for Academic Freedom: The Dismissal of Dr. Henry Fox from Mercer University in 1924"
HIS 295 (Historian's Craft), with Dr. Matt Harper as faculty support  

Elisabeth Colquitt. Runner-up
"Obstructing Quality Care: Barriers Faced by Nurses When Becoming SANE Certified”
SOC 495 (Independent Research in Sociology), with Dr. Laura Simon as faculty support

 Ashley Stephens Picture.jpgElisabeth Colquitt Picture.PNG


Previous Winners