Student Research Award Program

About the ICS Student Research Award:

ICS has started a new ICS student research award that provides funds for undergraduate and graduate students to a) do research on an interdisciplinary topic, and b) collaborate with a community partner to connect that research to the public good. 

All student applications must have a faculty sponsor who agrees to oversee the research project (and advise on IRB approval, if necessary). Qualitative projects on topics of public interest will be prioritized. In keeping with the University’s commitment to experiential learning, we require ICS student research awardees to give a public presentation of their work at a CURS research symposium or other similar venue. In keeping with the ICS mission, we also require students to conduct a community engagement activity, which the ICS Director will advise.

Awarded funds of $250 can be used for material expenses such as travel, software, books, and materials. Any money left over after expenses are paid will be an award amount.

Learning Outcomes

  1. To produce intellectually rigorous research on an issue relevant to the public good.
  2. To collaborate with a community partner to connect research to real-life problems.
  3. To engage in research that transcends disciplinary boundaries.


  • Project narrative (500 words maximum)
  • Personal statement (500 words maximum)
  • Community engagement activity proposal (100-250 words)
  • Resume or CV
  • Budget (if applicable)
  • Recommendation letter and statement of support from faculty mentor (email to by deadline)
    • The letter should attest to the student's commitment to the project, intellectual development, and ability to work both independently and collaboratively with a community partner. Faculty member should indicate their willingness to mentor the student for this project during the award period.

Evaluation Criteria

  • Does the project address a relevant and timely topic?
  • Is the project topic qualitative and interdisciplinary?
  • Is the project plan/timeline feasible to be completed in one semester? 
  • Will the anticipated outcomes contribute to BGSU and the community? 
  • Is the proposed budget sensible?
  • Is the faculty member appropriate for the project proposed? Will the faculty mentor be consistently involved throughout the semester?  
  • Is the community engagement activity relevant to the research project?  Does it contribute to the public good?

Apply for the award


Awardees are selected by ICS Executive Board members based on the evaluation criteria.

Faculty mentors should email their recommendation letter to by the deadline.

Applications will reopen in Fall 2020.

Sample Applications and Recommendation Letters

Below are examples of applications and recommendation letters from recipients of the award and their faculty mentors. Students and faculty may find these useful to look over when applying for the award.

Congratulations to Madi and Melody, ICS Student Research Award Winners!


Melody Freeland is a first-year MA student in Spanish. Melody’s project focuses on investigating the possible uses of virtual reality technology in assisting math teachers working with students for whom English is a second language. Her faculty advisor is Dr. Cynthia Ducar (World Languages and Cultures).


Madison Stump is a fourth-year student in History. Madison will collect oral histories and create interactive trail signs for Wintergarden park. This project shows how personal stories play a role in connecting people to the land and fostering stewardship and conservation. Her faculty advisor is Dr. Amilcar Challú (History).