Skilling Award

The Van Skilling Awards were created at the request of David Van Diest Skilling, '55 for the purpose of supporting student research-based projects, with a strong preference for projects that support thesis or independent study. 

Applications for the Skilling Award are open year round. To apply for a Skilling Award, follow the instructions below. 

The Van Skilling Awards for Independent Work in Economics and Business


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. Work done under the auspices of another researcher or as a research assistant is not eligible for this award. Skilling grants will be awarded for both individual and small group projects. 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 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. Work involving human subjects should be vetted in advance by the Institutional Review Board (IRB). Proposals submitted without this review and approval by IRB will be returned for revision and resubmission. If the work involves sensitive or private proprietary information, applicants must also obtain appropriate approval and consent. 

*International students will receive the $500.00 less taxes, paid up front/subtracted from the total, when applicable. Please contact the Finance Office with any questions at 719-389-7844.


Proposals are welcome at any time throughout each academic year. Students submitting a proposal must do so via email to Sophie Braker, Academic Admin. Assist. in the Economics & Business Office, at and use “Van Skilling Award Proposal,” as the subject. Students will be notified of the department decision within one week of acceptance of the proposal. The department will make awards on the basis of the merits of the proposal, the contribution of the proposal to the applicant’s education and indication of the individual’s 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 (see Application section). 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.

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. 


To apply for a Skilling grant applicants 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 the applicant(s) 
  3. Specific aims of the proposed project 
  4. Reasons for pursuing this work including its contribution to the applicant’s education at Colorado College 
  5. How work will be accomplished (procedures, research methods, activities, expected expenses and requested award amount, etc.) 
  6. A description of the output (i.e. a paper, a report, a journal, a business plan, etc.) 
  7. Applicant’s preparation for this independent work including courses, work experience, extracurricular experience that will enable completion of the project 
  8. Available resources including library resources, faculty resources, other. What does this award allow the applicant(s) to do that could not be done without the grant? 
  9. Resume(s) must be attached 
  10. Transcript(s) (unofficial is acceptable) 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

Faculty Sponsor

Each proposal must be sponsored by a faculty member from the Economics and Business Department.* with whom the student will seek guidance while completing the work. Applicants will request their department faculty sponsor provide a written statement of support be received via email sent directly to Sophie Braker.  

*Proposals are not complete until the sponsor’s statement of support email is received.


Recipients will have one academic 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 are required to make a presentation of their work to students and members of the department at the Senior Research Symposium. Students also are highly encouraged to disseminate their work by other means such as an article in the Catalyst, Cipher or through other publications/presentations. 


Please contact Sophie Braker, Academic Administrative Assistant, by emailing her at with any questions about the Skilling Award. As students develop their proposal they should talk to their faculty sponsor. Students may also wish to consider applying for a Venture Grant or Life of The Mind Grant from the College, grants which support learning in a broader sense. Contact CC’s Student Opportunities Manager, Lisa Schwartz (  in the Advising Hub for full details or visit  

Report an issue - Last updated: 10/02/2023
David Van Diest Skilling '55
Van Skilling Holding Book

Van Skilling was a frequent visiting lecturer in the Economics & Business Department, as well as chairman of the CC Board of Trustees. Van was the Chairman and CEO of Experian Corporation, which he formed after spending 27 years with TRW in a variety of positions in finance, planning, marketing, project and general management. His sharp, persevering personality and his knack for adventure are warmly remembered by all who knew him well. 

 Award Winners


  • Ella Engel
  • Saigopal Rangaraj
  • Dafna Williams
  • Willow Ma
  • Mia Thurber
  • Zoraiz Zafar


  • Cara Shi
  • Saigopal Rangaraj
  • Kiran Singh
  • Mathias Walder


  • Kevin Caruana
  • Mia Dorris
  • Jack Gates
  • Charlie Good
  • Hannah Kip
  • Laura Vogelsang
  • Matt White
  • Felix Zhu


  • Claire Altieri
  • Tenzing Coburn
  • Elianna Clayton
  • Hayden Cogswell
  • Jack Gu
  • John Koerner
  • Eli Kranefuss
  • Aidan Longhurst
  • Keller Mochel
  • Emily Ng


  • Emily Abbott
  • Ali Baird
  • Beau Burns
  • Amy Bolton
  • Anna Brent
  • Lilly Chen
  • Riley Hutchings
  • Christian Kitchen
  • David Lamis
  • Eyner Roman Lopez
  • Patrick Mahoney
  • Nomfundo Mncina
  • Daniel Krueger