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Sherrod Library Graduate Student Scholarship for Excellence in Research


The Sherrod Library Graduate Student Scholarship for Excellence in Research recognizes graduate students who demonstrate research acumen and a successful, strategic search strategy in utilizing library resources to conduct research during graduate coursework. A $500 scholarship will be granted to the recipient of this award given once annually during the Spring semester.

Applicants must be

  • a currently enrolled graduate student in good standing
  • the sole author of a research paper (close readings, case summaries, and book or literature reviews are not eligible)
    • submitted for ETSU course credit during Spring 2023, Summer 2023, or Fall 2023.
    • between 10 and 20 pages in length
    • containing a minimum of 10 sources, more than 50% of which are peer-reviewed
  • nominated by the professor of record for the course in which the paper was submitted.

All graduate coursework prior to capstone, thesis, or dissertation is eligible. Chapters or sections of capstone, thesis, or dissertation will not be considered.

Nomination Process

A graduate student may ask faculty to nominate their research paper for this scholarship. Alternatively, faculty may begin the nomination process yourself by nominating a student’s paper for this award. Sherrod Library honors and respects the communication process between instructors and students and will not act as an intermediary for this application in any way. Incomplete applications will not be considered. Papers submitted from Summer through Fall semesters will be eligible for the scholarship given the next Spring semester. For example, papers submitted from Spring 2023 through Fall 2023 will be eligible for the scholarship given in Spring 2024. Nominations for this scholarship are accepted on a rolling basis.

Application Process

Application for this scholarship can be started either by student application or faculty nomination:

Student application form routed to the faculty contact to complete the faculty nomination portion.

  • Student application must include
    • an essay of 300-500 words describing student mastery of research strategy and its successful execution using Sherrod Library resources employed in the paper. The essay must be uploaded as a file.
    • the final version of the research paper uploaded as a file.

Faculty nomination form is routed to the student to complete the student application portion.

  • Faculty nomination must be provided by the professor of record for the course in which the paper or project was submitted.

An application form must have both student and faculty portions completed to be submitted for consideration.

Communication between student and faculty outside the form submission process is encouraged to avoid complications.

Once submitted online, applications cannot be edited. For the Spring 2024 scholarship, complete applications must be submitted by March 19, 2024. The recipient of the scholarship and the nominating faculty member will be notified by April 1, 2024. 

Evaluation Criteria

A panel composed of library faculty and staff will judge entries that meet the criteria listed in the Overview above. The 300-500-word essay should address the following and must reference concrete examples of these applications in the nominated work. Describe your

  • utilization of Sherrod Library online and/or physical collections to support an original argument or idea
  • steps, execution, and evolution of a personal research plan to locate primary and secondary research resources
  • strategy for evaluating the suitability and effectiveness of resources selected
  • method for surmounting unexpected roadblocks and other challenges

This thoughtful essay on which you describe your research techniques and reflect on your evolution and process of locating and applying academic research will be given the most weight in the judging process. Essays will be compared against the final version of the paper submitted by the instructor to verify that the resources referenced by the student are evident within the work.

Current and Past Recipients

Olusegun Oladimeji Olatunji, 2022 scholarship recipient. Read more.

Glory Okwori, 2021 scholarship recipient. Read more.

Narges Sareh, 2018 scholarship recipient.

Narges Sareh, 2018 scholarship recipient. Read more.

Ifeoma D. Ozodiegwu, 2017 scholarship recipient.

Ifeoma D. Ozodiegwu, 2017 scholarship recipient. Read more.