Branigan Scholars Grant Application Guidelines

The Edward Branigan Scholars Fund for Undergraduate Research in the Humanities

The Edward Branigan Fund was established in 1976 through the generous contributions of Mr. Branigan, a graduate of the Manhattan College Class of 1940, and matching gifts from Exxon. Enhanced by additional support from a National Endowment for the Humanities Challenge Grant, the Branigan Scholars Fund has provided the financial resources for students to pursue projects independent of their course work.

The aim of this program is to promote undergraduate research in the humanities by awarding several grants per year in excess of $3000 each for student-initiated projects. Each Branigan Scholar works closely with a Manhattan College faculty member, who serves as advisor. The Branigan Grants foster the Manhattan College tradition of strengthening humanities education through the development of students' scholarly interests and goals in close collaboration with members of the faculty.

Students enrolled in Manhattan College School of Arts or School of Science who are not seniors at the time of application are eligible to apply. The grant may be used to support a creative or traditional research project or to facilitate student participation in a conference or an internship experience. The Branigan Scholars Committee selects the award recipients and approves the final projects by a majority decision.

Proposals

Proposals should be organized to include the following information:

I. Comprehensive Description (three-to-four pages in length, typewritten, double spaced).

All the following are to be addressed in the proposal:

  • a description of the project, research, or activity planned; how the project was conceived; the basic premises or questions to be explored; the methodology or critical approaches.
  • objectives and goals; significance of project; how it will enhance applicant's intellectual development.
  • project schedule; research period (dates on which project will begin and will be completed); planned stages, week-by-week if possible, for completion of project.
  • role of faculty advisor.
  • any preliminary work (reading, study, research) completed prior to the grant period.
  • location of project; any limited travel within the United States.
  • qualifications of applicant; educational background; project-related courses and experience; major intellectual interests.

II. Bibliography

A one-page bibliography of primary sources and relevant texts that will be used; a short listing of other resources or collections. Style guidelines that are appropriate to the discipline (e.g., MLA, APA) must be followed.

III. Reference Letter Form (to be completed by faculty advisor)

  • Assess value of project; can objectives be achieved within project schedule; evaluate ability of applicant to complete project successfully; how will project contribute to applicant's intellectual development.
  • Discuss role as advisor; include the expected amount of time and number of meetings; confirm commitment to one in-person conference per week; agree to submit an interim report of student's progress and an evaluative assessment at the conclusion, which is to accompany the final project.

Requirements

Students

  • Student projects should be designed to be completed within a fixed period of time, e.g., a minimum of six weeks and a maximum of nine weeks of full-time work during a summer, depending on the nature of the project. All projects are expected to result in a definable product (i.e., a substantial research paper based on primary sources with bibliography, a descriptive/outcome paper for internships, conferences, etc.). Successful Branigan projects (available for review in the O'Malley Library Archives) have ranged from 35-70 pages in length.
  • Stipend distribution to students will be in installments with the final payment upon acceptance of the completed project by the Branigan Scholars Committee. Completed projects are deposited in the O'Malley Library Archives and may be utilized by the College in appropriate ways.
  • Grant recipients will give a presentation to the College community on their completed Branigan projects in the fall semester following the deposit of their projects.

Faculty Advisors

  • All projects require a Manhattan College faculty advisor (must be full time, tenured or tenure-track) with qualifications in an appropriate discipline to work closely with the applicant. The advisor must be available to the student during the grant period for a required minimum of one conference per week (in person, not by telephone). Faculty will receive a stipend of $1000 upon the acceptance of the final project.
  • Faculty advisors will submit, in paper and electronic copy, an interim report of the student's progress to the Chair of the Branigan Scholars Committee and a final evaluative assessment, which will accompany the completed project. No payments will be made to students or faculty without these reports.
  • It is the responsibility of the faculty advisor to review the student’s paper before it is submitted to the Committee to correct any typographical, grammatical, or stylistic errors and to ensure that appropriate and consistent formatting style (APA, MLA) for all in-text citations and bibliography is maintained.

Submission of Proposals for Branigan Grants

The application deadline is February 17, 2015.

Announcements of awards will be made after the Branigan Scholars Committee has reviewed and assessed the proposals; all decisions of the Committee are final. Each completed application must include a cover sheet, comprehensive description, work schedule, bibliography, budget (only if applicable), and advisor's recommendation (not to be sent separately).

The completed application, including the faculty advisor's recommendation, is to be submitted electronically by the student to Joan Cammarata, Ph.D., chair of the Branigan Committee: joan.cammarata@manhattan.edu

Submission of Completed Branigan Projects

Seven paper copies of the completed project are to be delivered to Joan Cammarata, Ph.D. in Memorial 425 by the appointed date, with an electronic copy also sent to: joan.cammarata@manhattan.edu. Deadlines are not extended and the student may forfeit the remainder of the grant if the project is not deposited by the deadline. After review of the completed project, the Branigan Scholars Committee will meet with the student and advisor to discuss the work and, when necessary, will provide suggestions for further revision.

Restrictions

  • Students who are seniors at the time of application are not eligible to apply.
  • The project must be initiated by the student and not form part of the student's present/future course work or tutorials; projects may not be used for academic credit.
  • A student may submit only one application per competition. If denied, reapplications (identified as such) are admissible in subsequent competitions for which the student is eligible.
  • A recipient of a Branigan grant may not apply for a second one.
  • Faculty advisors may not work with more than two Branigan scholars during a grant period.
  • Branigan projects are not eligible for Egan Awards.

Forms 

Reference Letter Form