I'm a firm believer in the value of getting undergraduate students engaged in research and scholarship early in their time at the university. It's important for a whole host of reasons. It increases retention and enhances complex problem-solving skills in students. And, well, undergraduates often make amazing discoveries that lead to academic articles. In fact, one of the things I'm most proud of in my career is that I've published 22 peer-reviewed papers with undergraduates as co-authors.
I also think getting students doing research and scholarship is important because it was important for me when I was an undergrad. I wouldn't be where I am now if I hadn't started doing research in the lab and field with David Dussourd and Deane Bowers when I was an undergraduate.
The Environmental Program has supported undergraduate research for many years. But I'd like to announce today that we're increasing our support. This year, we will make available nearly $50,000 to support environmentally related research and scholarship by undergraduate students at the University of Vermont. There are several awards this year, but today I'm just going to tell you about my favorite one, the Ian Worley Award. (Note that the forms and deadlines on our website are outdated). Please share this with your colleagues, students, classes, and others.
The Ian Worley Award
These awards foster and celebrate creative, integrative, imaginative, and innovative approaches in addressing current and future environmental challenges.
Who can apply? – Any imaginative undergraduate Environmental Studies major or minor, undergraduates enrolled in any 200‐level ENVS course, and UVM faculty members who regularly teach Environmental Studies courses.
What projects can I propose? – You may propose any creative or innovative project, whether in art, education, journalism, activism, community partnership, or academic research, etc., that addresses an environmental issue. We invite you to propose projects with new and even untested paths of mind and thought that address critical responses to persisting environmental ills or the sudden appearance of unforeseen threats, and/or the enhancement of flourishing environments and Earth’s well-being. Check out the projects of previous winners, and use these themes as guiding principles:
– New paths of mind and thought
– A broadly interdisciplinary approach
– Creative, integrative, imaginative, and innovative approaches – The potential to be a catalyst for change
How much can I ask for? - Anywhere between $500 and $7500. Multiple awards may be given.
When's the deadline? - Apply by March 23 to receive full consideration, though some applications may be considered throughout the spring semester.
How do I apply? - Send a single .pdf or .docx file to Nathan.Sanders@uvm.edu with Ian Worley Award in the subject line.
The proposal should have the following format:
1) A Cover sheet that indicates: a) name of project, b) name of proposer, c) contact information, d) faculty sponsor, if you are a student, e) proposed budget total, f) any additional funding support, g) project timeline.
2) A project description with details on the proposed project or idea, not more than 2 single-spaced pages in 11 pt font. The description should explain how the idea meets the award criteria, why the applicant is prepared and qualified to carry out the project, expected timeline and outcomes. You should include enough detail so the project is clear and understandable to the ENVS award review committee.
3) A budget description that includes an overview paragraph with budget rationale, and a detailed budget, line by line, of all equipment, items, travel, etc. necessary to complete the project. Proposed award budgets must be between $500-7,500 total. If additional funds are necessary to complete the work, explain how you will obtain them.
4) An equipment and necessary facilities description, if appropriate. State how these items will be obtained, and if costs are involved how those costs will be paid.
4) Letter of support from faculty sponsor (if a student proposal) indicating strengths of the idea and willingness to serve as sponsor, not more than 2 paragraphs long. This can be emailed separately to the Program Director if the letter writer prefers.
5) A resume of the proposer not more than 2 pages long.
6) Additional supporting and explanatory documentation is welcome, if concise. Check with the Program Director for appropriateness.
Note: If your project or creative activity involves human or animal subjects, we will need documentation for IRB clearance.
For questions on the application process, allowable expenses, or review process, please contact Nate Sanders, Director of the Environmental Program, Nathan.Sanders@uvm.edu (ie, me).
If you would like to work with Nate
Please email him a summary of your research experience and research goals, along with a CV.