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Van Skilling Award




The Department of Economics and Business is pleased to announce the Spring 2016 competition for the Skilling Awards for Independent Work in Economics and Business. These awards have been made possible by a generous gift from Van Skilling ‘55 to support independent work by Economics, International Political Economy, and Mathematical Economics majors.  

PURPOSE: The purpose of the Skilling Fund is to encourage and support independent work in the disciplines of economics and business by students who have already declared one of the above majors.  Skilling Grants will be awarded for projects by both individuals and small groups.  Students are encouraged to consider group projects in which they can learn and motivate each other.  The primary goal of the Fund is to support research-based projects, with a strong preference for projects that specifically support thesis or independent study work.

AWARDS: Awards will be made in the amount of $500.  In the case of group projects, all eligible members of the group (i.e. those who have declared one of the above majors) will each receive an award of $500. While applicants are not required to provide a detailed budget, the proposal should clearly state how the award will be used to enable and enhance the proposed research beyond what would have been possible without the award.

COMPETITION: Proposals must be submitted to Gerri Anne Reed, Administrative Assistant, by noon on the THIRD Friday of Block 7, April 8th, via email to Students will be notified of the committee's decision by the end of the first week of Block 8. The committee will make awards on the basis of the merits of the proposal, the contribution of the proposal to the student's (s') education and indication of the individual or group's ability to complete an independent project. Funding is available for several projects to receive awards.

ACADEMIC CREDIT: Students may receive academic credit for this work with the consent of their departmental sponsor.  Academic credit will not be awarded automatically and the departmental sponsor is entitled to impose additional requirements for those students seeking course credit.

SENIOR THESIS: Senior thesis students may apply for Skilling Awards. However, thesis students applying for Skilling grants must describe how the receipt of this grant will enhance their thesis experience. Awards are not restricted to thesis students or seniors.

APPLICATION: To apply for a Skilling grant you must submit a proposal to the Department. Each proposal must include at least the following sections:

  1. Title of the project
  2. Name(s) and class year(s) of applicant(s)
  3. Specific aims of the proposed project
  4. Reasons for pursuing this work including its contribution to your education at the College
  5. How work will be done (procedures, research methods, activities, etc.)
  6. A description of the output, i.e., a paper, a report, a journal, a business plan, a business, etc.
  7. Applicant's preparation for this independent work, including courses, work experience, extracurricular experience that will enable you to complete the project
  8. Available resources, including library resources, faculty resources, computers, other
  9. What does this award allow the applicant(s) to do that could not be done without the grant?
  10. Resume(s) must be attached
  11. Transcript(s) must be attached

Proposals should be short -- from two to three typed, single-spaced pages (excluding resumes and transcripts). Please submit the entire application (proposal, resume, transcript) as a single .pdf to by noon on Friday April 8, 2016.

Each proposal must be sponsored by a member of the Economics and Business Department.  You are encouraged to discuss your proposal with an appropriate member of the department and to seek guidance while you are doing the work.

A written statement of support from a member of the Department must be included with your proposal.

REQUIREMENTS: Recipients will have one year to complete their work, although seniors must complete their work before graduation.  Upon completion of the project each individual or group is required to submit a brief written summary or abstract of the work (300 words).  In addition all award winners will be required to make a presentation of their work to students and members of the department at the Senior Research Symposium.  Students are highly encouraged to disseminate their work by other means such as an article in the Catalyst, the Disparaging Eye or through other publications/presentations.

NATIONAL RECOGNITION:  Outstanding research papers will be considered for additional funding to enable the researcher(s) to present their work at a relevant regional or national professional conference.

QUESTIONS: Please contact Professors Vibha Kapuria-Foreman, Mark Smith or Esther Redmount with any questions you have about the award program.  As you are developing your proposal you should talk to your faculty recommender or you may also consult with one of us.  Applicants may also wish to consider applying for grants such as a Venture Grant or Life Of The Mind Grant from the College, which support learning in a broader sense.  Information on these opportunities is available from the Dean’s Advisory Committee.