The Elizabeth Long Atwood Undergraduate Research Award

The Woodruff Library's Elizabeth Long Atwood Undergraduate Research Award recognizes Emory College undergraduate students in all disciplines who:

  • use the Woodruff Library’s collections and research resources in their original papers, digital projects, or posters
  • show evidence of critical analysis in their research skills (i.e., locating, selecting, evaluating, and synthesizing information).

Undergraduate Research Award Details

Application Guidelines

Application Deadline

Applications will be accepted through Wednesday, March 20, 2019.

Number of Prizes

Up to three per year ($500 each). First-year students are encouraged to apply! Awards supported by the Elizabeth Long Atwood Fund.


To be eligible to win, applicants must:

  • be current Emory College undergraduates at any class level and in any discipline (humanities, sciences, or social sciences)
  • have completed their research project in the form of a paper, digital project, or poster since March 1 of the preceding year for an Emory University credit course
  • allow library staff to display their research project for public viewing following receipt of the Undergraduate Research Award

An evaluation panel comprised of Emory University faculty and librarians will focus primarily on the evidence of the applicant's research strategy, process, and personal learning, as summarized in the research essay. (Expectations for achievement will be commensurate with the applicant's class year and the requirements of the discipline. See more on award criteria below.)


Presented at the Emory Libraries Undergraduate Award Ceremony at the end of spring semester.

How to Apply

Applications will be submitted through the student application form and must include the following:

  • A 500-750 word essay describing your research strategies and use of library tools and resources. (See Research Essay tips.)
  • A final version of the research project, which may be in the form of a paper, digital project, or poster. Maximum length is 30 pages. Submissions may be portions of a larger work, such as a chapter of an honors thesis.
  • A bibliography or other appropriate listing of sources consulted (see Bibliography Tips).

Applications may also include (optional):

A faculty or librarian recommendation, submitted through the faculty or librarian recommendation form.

If you have any questions or to report issues with the forms, please contact the committee at:

Undergraduate Research Award Criteria

Submissions will be judged based on how well they demonstrate the following:

  • Sophistication, originality and/or unusual depth or breadth in the use of library collections, including, but not limited to, printed resources, databases and other secondary resources, primary resources, and materials in all media;
  • Exceptional ability to locate, select, evaluate, and synthesize library resources and to use them in the creation of a project that shows originality and/or has the potential to lead to original research in the future; and
  • Evidence of significant personal learning and the development of a habit of research and inquiry that shows the likelihood of persisting in the future.

An evaluation panel comprised of Emory University librarians will focus primarily on the evidence of the applicant's research strategy, process, and personal learning, as summarized in the research essay. Expectations for achievement will be commensurate with the applicant's class year and the requirements of the discipline.

  • Primary focus of judging should be the research essay and bibliography as evidence of the research process.
  • The project itself provides evidence of the appropriateness and synthesis of the research.
  • The optional faculty or librarian recommendation form should be used to learn about the initiative and independence shown by the student and to give an indication of the originality of the research and where it falls within its discipline.

An excellent submission should:

  • Demonstrate use of complex research tools such as primary resources, secondary resources, data sets, archival finding aids, and/or specialized databases
  • Utilize a variety of types of information sources
  • Make use of Emory’s collections and services to their fullest
  • Show originality of thought and the potential to lead to original research in the future.
  • Show evidence of significant personal learning and the development of research and inquiry skills
  • Show careful evaluation of quality of information sources
  • Include correct and complete citation of materials, with annotations if appropriate

Research Essay Tips

An important part of your entry is the research essay, which will serve as evidence of your research process. The judges will use your essay to evaluate your use of library resources and collections. Some possible questions to consider when writing your essay might include:

  • What did you learn about the process of doing research during the course of your work?
  • What discoveries did you make through carefully planned research, and what through serendipity?
  • How will what you learned through conducting research for this project inform your future research work?
  • What did you learn about finding and evaluating sources?
  • What new discoveries did you make about library tools, techniques, and services?

Bibliography Tips

Your bibliography is a crucial part of your entry. When creating your bibliography, remember:

Past Winners

Research Award Winners for 2018

  • Chris Cháirez Batterman, class of 2019, music major, winner for “ ‘Ser como el aire libre’: Resistance and ethnic identity in the music of Teatro Campesino during the Chicano Movement, 1960-1976.” Faculty recommendation from Dr. Laura Emmery.
  • Allison Lin, class of 2018, English major, winner for “On Masking and Unmasking: The Paradox of Censorship in Oscar Wilde’s ‘The Picture of Dorian Gray.’ ” Faculty recommendation from Dr. Laura Otis.
  • Nora Sullivan, class of 2018, creative writing and political science double major, winner for “African American Attorneys and Hope: Symbolic Victory in Macon, Georgia.”

Honorable Mention

  • Andrew Hoover, class of 2020, neuroscience and behavioral biology major, honorable mention for “William Arthur Shelton’s Journey to the Holy Lands and Beyond.” Faculty recommendation from Dr. Cynthia Patterson.

Research Award Winners for 2017

  • Andrea Abbate, class of 2017, English and sociology double major. Winner for sociology honors thesis, "Food Security vs. Food Sovereignty: A Qualitative Analysis of Food Justice Narratives and Activist Identities Among Community Gardeners in Atlanta." Faculty sponsor: Melissa Pirkey
  • Cloe Gentile, class of 2017, music and sociology double major. Winner for music honors thesis, "Larsen as a Lens: The Male Gaze and the Female Voice." Faculty sponsor: Lynn Wood Bertrand
  • Andrew Sullins, class of 2018, political science major. Winner for African American Studies: War Crimes and Genocide class paper, "Covert Killings: Civilian Casualties and the Use of Covert Drone Strikes in the War on Terror." Faculty sponsor: Carol Anderson

Honorable Mention

  • Gillian Hecht, class of 2018, history major. Honorable mention for History: The Professions in America class paper, "The Rise and Fall of the Emory Dental School." Faculty sponsor: Jonathan Prude

Research Award Winners for 2016

  • Hannah Conway, “Behind the Lens of the Civil Rights Movement: The Power of Photography to Both Reveal and Conceal.” Faculty sponsor: Carol Anderson
  • Samantha Keng, “Model Minority Awakenings: Vincent Chin, Asian America’s Emmett Till.” Faculty sponsor: Carol Anderson
  • Zixuan (Armstrong) Li, “Doner Kebab: Symbol of German Multiculturalism in the the Turkish Immigration Question.” Faculty sponsor: Astrid M. Eckert 

Honorable Mention

  • Emily Moore, “A Casket Full of Precious Memoirs”: The Town of Washington’s Conception of Its Own History” (Chapter 3 of Honors Thesis: “Strange Histories”: A Cultural History of the Legend of Lost Confederate Gold in Washington, Georgia). Faculty sponsor: Leslie Harris

Research Award Winners for 2015

  • Dominique Hayward, “Innocents’ Deaths.” Faculty sponsor: Carol Anderson
  • Abigail Holst, “The Atomic Bomb of Pesticides: A Historical Perspective on DDT.” Faculty sponsore: Elena Conis
  • Alyssa Weinstein, “Forgetting our History: America’s Failure to Protect Human Rights in Rwanda and Syria.” Faculty sponsor: Carol Anderson

Honorable Mention

  • Jacob Teich, “Overcoming the Ghost of Leo Frank: Atlanta Jews and the Civil Rights Movement.” Faculty sponsor: Carol Anderson

Research Award Winners for 2014

  • Fiona O'Carroll, "'The Instinct of Every Real Woman': The Ideas of the Anti-Suffrage Movement in the U.S., 1868-1920." Faculty sponsor: Patrick Allitt
  • Laurabeth Goldsmith, "Theresienstadt: Concentration Camp Camouflaged as the 'Model Jewish Settlement'." Faculty sponsor: Carol Anderson
  • Ryan Sutherland, "Exoticism and Musical Appropriation: The Javanese Gamelan in Debussy's 'Pagodes' (1903) and Russian Folk Music in Stravinsky's 'Le Sacre du Printemps' (1913)." Faculty sponsor: Elizabeth Clendinning

Honorable Mention

  • Chloe Burrell, "Cruelty: The Shifting Historical Definition of Marriage." Faculty sponsor: Judith Miller

Research Award Winners for 2013

  • Megan Corbat, “Descriptive and Substantive Representation of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Persons in Connecticut’s Legislature: Single-Axis, Intersectional, and Qualitative Approach”
  • Elizabeth Graham, “Cultural Relativism versus Human Rights: US Foreign Policy on Female Genital Circumcision”
  • James Zainaldin, “Asclepius at Epidaurus: An Interpretation of the Sacred Space of Healing”

Research Award Winners for 2012

  • Hannah Coleman, “Clinton’s Strategic “G” Word: The United States’ Failure in Preventing the Rwandan Genocide” (first-year student award)  Abstract
  • Zachary Domach, “The Anglo-Norman Kingdom and Rome: William the Conqueror, Lafranc of Bec, Alexander II, and Gregory VI”  Abstract
  • Hyeok Kang, “Big Heads and Buddhist Demons: The Korean Military Revolution and the Northern Expeditions of 1654 and 1658”  Abstract

Research Award Winners for 2011

  • Naveed Amalfard,"A Blind horse upon a Treadmill: A Document Analysis of Hammond's Mudsill Theory" (first-year student award)  Abstract
  • Emily Jastromb, "Facing History: Memory and Recovery in the Aftermath of Atrocity"  Abstract
  • Simon Mettler, "The Effects of Ballistic Missiles on International Crises"  Abstract

Honorable Mention

  • Katie Kamura, "The Hidden Casualties of World War II: The Struggle for Remorse, Redress, and Recognition in Japan and the United States"  Abstract

Research Award Winners for 2010

  • David Elkind, “Information Warfare: Missile or Missive?”
  • Patrick Jamieson, “Foreign Criticisms of the 1871 Paris Commune: The Role of British and American Newspapers and Periodicals.”
  • Shiva Kooragayala, “American Transportation.”

Research Award Winners for 2009

  • Reina Factor, “The New Book, or, Childhood's Gift: The changing view of childhood in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries." Presley Pizzo, “Typology of Sonority Profiles in Word-final Consonant Clusters.”
  • Christina Welsch, “The 'Great and Meritorious Services' of Lord Robert Clive: National identity, the East India Company, and the parliamentary enquiry of 1772-1773.”

Honorable Mentions

  • Sarah Fell, “Redefining a National Identity: The portrayal of women in West German Cinema during Allied occupation.”
  • Benjamin Hein, “Adenauer's Step Dance: The precarious pursuit of rearmament prior to June 25th, 1950.”