Recognizing significant differences in research practices, we provide two award opportunities for undergraduate researchers. Humanities and Social Science scholars value drawing on both a breadth and depth in evidence (books, government documents, scholarly articles, films, news sources, etc.). Science scholars value depth in secondary sources (research/scholarly journal literature) and primary research. We want to honor both practices equally.
Submissions due: Sunday, March 31, 2024 at 10PM, virtually
Winners notified: Friday, April 12, 2024
Award Ceremony: Wednesday, April 17 2024 at 4PM in the Library Conference room, 3rd floor Armacost Library
Honors Convocation: Thursday, April 25 2024 at 8AM in University Chapel
Winners' research projects due in final form: May 31, 2024 via InSPIRe Institutional Respository
Congratulations to the 2023 ALURA recipients!
Arts, Humanities, & Social Sciences: Brandley Simms for "Diets and Dignity: The West African Starch Trade and the Making of Afro-Atlantic Cuisine."
STEM: Madisen Hallsten for "The Quantification of Organic Pollutants and Heavy Metals in Wildcrafted Medicinal Plants."
Arts, Humanities, & Social Sciences
The proliferation of electronic information has made undergraduate research a much more complex process than in the past. This award was established to reward those students who demonstrate thoughtfulness and creativity in their approach to research and whose work exhibits excellence in critical thinking. We seek submissions from undergraduate students across the curriculum whose research journeys have resulted in a research-based project (paper, poster, exhibition, performance, or other non-traditional research project).
Each ALURA awardee will receive recognition and $500.00 (although, in rare occasions, an award has been split between two scholars).
What do we mean by "research"? For this award we define research as an investigation into the existing scholarship and/or creative production in a particular subject area or in relation to specific research questions. If the primary focus of your project is lab experiments or data gathering and analysis, your Research Reflection Essay should discuss the current state of scholarship related to your research and how that work helped shape your hypothesis, methodology, etc.
Currently enrolled University of Redlands undergraduate students may submit completed research (or made significant progress toward completing) that
The ALURA Committee is looking for evidence of the following in both the research project and Research Reflection Essay:
*In the event the Selection Committee determines that no research project meets the criteria outlined above, there will be no award given for that year.
The Research Reflection Essay or responses to the STEM Reflection Questions is the most important part of your application. Please note that due to the nature of this award, this portion of your submission is heavily weighted, and therefore we encourage you to provide us with a thoughtful and thorough reflection of your research experience.
The research process will vary by discipline, and not every student will interact with library staff, services, and collections in the same way. While the traditional text-based academic genre of the research paper may have more obvious library connections, we encourage students engaged in other kinds of research to think carefully and creatively about how you have searched for, evaluated, and synthesized various information sources throughout your overall research journey. Your lab or field research is likely grounded in a comprehensive literature review, how did gathering and processing that information reinforce or change your research methods in the lab or field? Your research may have culminated in a performance or exhibit, likely informed by background investigation and inquiry; if so, how is that reflected in the final product?
Carefully review the ALURA Evaluation Rubric so that you know what the selection committee will be looking for in your Reflection Essay.
Meet with your subject librarian to discuss how to write an effective, award-winning Reflection Essay.
Each student application must include a Faculty Statement of Support as part of the application package. Your expert disciplinary assessment is an important consideration in the evaluation process. In your letter of support please specifically comment upon quality (including merit within the discipline and student ability); student engagement with library staff, services, and collections; and their collaboration with faculty, peers, and/or community experts in developing and completing the project.
We also ask that you commit to attending the Award Ceremony in April. At that ceremony student winners and their faculty sponsors speak about the research project and their experience of the research process.
Your letter should include:
The paper/project and Research Reflection Essay will be judged according to the evaluation criteria outlined on the ALURA Evaluation Rubric.