Interested in the Undergraduate Research Library Fellowship for Summer 2020?

About the Fellowship

The University Libraries’ Undergraduate Research Library Fellowship provides undergraduates the opportunity to see how scholarship is communicated and disseminated through work in libraries that is often invisible to the casual user.  It will position students with an interest in academic research to experience more deeply the type of partnerships many researchers have with libraries around projects that enhance the work of their discipline. Experience might be with scholarly communication, metadata, primary resources and artifacts (as found in our Archives or Special Collections), development of open education resources, knowledge discovery tools, bibliography/resource curation of a discipline, digitization, and more. Projects can result in learning objects, digital images, curated exhibits, or performances, depending on the project.

This is a paid fellowship of $4,000 for a 10 week; 40 hours/week project, paid hourly. Fellowship projects must be completed during Summer 2020.


The award is open to undergraduate students from all majors who are returning the following autumn semester (Autumn 2020) and will require that students commit up to 40 hours per week on the proposed project over a period of 10 weeks during the summer term under the mentorship (supervision) of a faculty librarian.

How to Participate

Contact and meet with a faculty librarian or professional staff member from the University Libraries to develop a project plan. To identify faculty librarians and professional staff available to work on fellowship topics, review the list of topic areas below and click on the topic area you are interested in. Contact information for the faculty librarian(s) and/or professional staff in that area are provided. After you have identified the individual you would like to work with, please contact that person directly. 

Review Criteria

The selection committee considers the following when judging submissions:

  • Student’s cover letter, GPA, and proposal
    • Is the writing clear and persuasive?
    • Does the student have a good grasp of the research area and methods?
    • Is the student likely to follow through and complete a worthwhile project?
    • Is the project highly original, independent, or ambitious?
    • Would this experience contribute greatly to the student’s future plans?
  • Faculty librarian ‘s (advisor for project) letter
    • What is the advisor’s opinion of the student’s academic potential?
    • Does the advisor have a good plan for supervising the student?
    • Is the advisor’s letter compelling?
  • Second letter of recommendation
    • Is the letter well written and supportive?
    • Does the writer know the student well?

How to Apply

Applications require a completed application packet, which includes the following:

  • A personal statement describing academic goals and interests and offering a rationale for the project (1-2 pages)
  • A research proposal identifying the research question or topic to be investigated; the methods to be used in the research; the product or performance to be created; the timeline and major steps involved in completing the project; and any budget items associated with the project (3-4 pages)
  • A letter of support from the library faculty advisor describing the student’s ability to commit to and complete the project, and a general workplan for advising the student during the fellowship period
  • A letter of support from an academic advisor who knows the student’s work well, that addresses the student’s interests and ability to meet the requirements of the fellowship

All student materials and all faculty support letters should be emailed to by 5:00 pm on Thursday, February 27, 2020.

What Will I Need to Do if Awarded This Fellowship?

A mid-project report will be due by end of June 2020 and a final report by end of August 2020.   Those who receive fellowships are strongly encouraged to apply to present at the Research Festival sponsored by the Office of Undergraduate Research & Creative Inquiry in November 2020.

Project Topics Areas

The following are potential areas for projects.  More information about the types of projects that may be completed within each area, as well as the available faculty or staff sponsor(s) for that area, can be accessed by clicking on the link.

If you have a project idea that does not fit into one of these categories, contact Craig Gibson (, (614) 292-5466) or Beth Black (, (614) 688-5428)