Awards, Grants, & Honors
Please don't forget to learn about the many awards at Barnard, particularly those that require you to submit an application. The latter include the research & travel grants, the essay contests, and the scholarships & fellowships available through the Dean of Studies Office.
Some honors are awarded by the Department of Political Science; others, by committees at Barnard, such as the Committee on Honors (CoH), the PBK Committee, and the like. There are related links in the left menu and in the right margin. Here follow the awards that are administered by our department.
Distinction for the Senior Essay
The senior essay/thesis advisor and a second reader award a Pass with Distinction for an exceptional essay (thesis) written in the student's third and final colloquium. On average no more than 6% of senior essays have been so rewarded. (Note: a grade of "A" for the colloquium does not automatically confer distinction.)
Jolie Ermers Memorial Research Grant (2006)
This grant is awarded each fall and spring by the Department to a Barnard political science senior major who is seeking to defray travel expenses or conference fees related to the Political Science major. Please note that an application is required. Applications are accepted on a rolling basis.
Phoebe Morrison Memorial Prize (1969)
Upon recommendation of our department, the Morrison prize is awarded each May to a political science senior major planning to attend law school. The prize amount varies from year to year depending on endowment fund income. In 2014 it is funded at $241.
Political Science Quarterly Prize (2000)
The PSQ prize is awarded each semester by the Department to a Barnard political science major for excellence in analytical writing in public or international affairs in a paper that has been presented in colloquium work. At the end of the semester instructors each can nominate one essay written by a major in her or his colloquium. The nominated papers are judged by a faculty member. This $125-prize was established by Dr. Demetrios "Jim" Caraley on behalf of the Academy of Political Science.
Caroline Phelps Stokes Prize (1910)
The Stokes Prize is administered by the Columbia Department of Political Science. Students are nominated by the Barnard or Columbia Faculty, usually by early April. Winning papers have traditionally been seminar papers involving considerable original research. There is no length requirement, but colloquium papers in the 25-page range are not likely to come out on top, unless truly exceptional.
Requirements: the nominee's name should be submitted to the Director of Undergraduate Studies, currently Professor David Chambliss Johnston. The essay, accompanied by a letter of recommendation from the Department Faculty, the student's permanent address and social security number, should be submitted to: Andres Zepeda, Department of Political Science, Columbia University, 736 International Affairs Building, Mailcode 3320. This $300 cash prize is awarded to a student who has been a degree candidate at Barnard or Columbia College for at least one academic year and who has written the best essay in course or seminar work on any topic concerning human rights. Established in 1910 by the bequest of Caroline Phelps Stokes.
Research & Travel Grants
Grants and Fellowships
Please note that each of these grants require you to submit an application.
Peter Juviler and Dennis Dalton Human Rights Fellowship Fund (2017)
The Peter Juviler and Dennis Dalton Human Rights Fellowship Fund supports summer research and internships for students studying human rights, social justice, and peace studies. Two students who would not otherwise have the funds to do summer research will be awarded $2,500 each. This fund is open to all students and cannot be combined with any other Barnard College grants. To apply, you must submit a proposal, budget, a letter of support from a Barnard or Columbia faculty member, and a letter of support from an affiliate organization by February 1, 2018. Email attachments to firstname.lastname@example.org or deliver hard copies to the Dean of Studies Office, Milbank 105.
Below are guidelines for the application:
The Proposal (two pages maximum, double spaced, one-inch margins): A narrative description of the research project and how the funds will contribute to its success. Questions to consider: a. Where do you intend to go? b. What will do there and how long you will need to stay? c. Have you made contact with any on-site individuals or institutions whose cooperation will be critical to your research? If yes, provide details. d. How has your research grown out of your academic pursuits?
Letter of Recommendation: The faculty letter of support should be written by a person familiar with your project and should address both the importance of this project and your qualifications.
Propose Budget: A one-page detailed budget, preferably in chart form. Provide details regarding expenses including transportation, daily living costs such as lodging and food, and other fees or costs associated with your project. A letter of support from an affiliate organization: The affiliate letter should be written by a person who you will work closely with and has an understanding of how you will engage with the organization.
If your project involves human subjects, please go to https://barnard.edu/irb, click on the “Student as PI Worksheet” link, and submit the completed form with your proposal. Proposals will be reviewed and assessed by the Faculty Committee on Honors at our February 2018 meeting. Bear in mind that although some members of the Committee may be experts in your field, most will not be; it will be wise to tailor your proposal accordingly. Please direct any questions to Dr. J. Paul Martin of Human Rights Studies (email@example.com) or Dean Evelyn Leong, (firstname.lastname@example.org). You may also make an appointment with Dean Leong at https://deanleong.youcanbook.me/index.jsp.
Tow Foundation Travel Fellowship (2002)
Barnard rising seniors seeking funding from the Tow Foundation for travel expenses related to research for their senior essay (thesis) should contact Dean James Runsdorf (also at 212-854-2024) in the fall of junior year. Since 2002 the Tow Foundation has donated $25,000 each year to support senior research-related travel. There is more information on the Global Barnard site.
Lucyle Hook Travel Grants (1987)
The Lucyle Hook Travel Grants are awarded by the Committee on Honors (CoH) to promising Barnard rising or current seniors with enriching, eclectic senior projects who demonstrate originality and self-direction. Students seeking funding for travel and other research expenses related to their senior essay project should speak with Dean Runsdorf by early October of the senior year. Expenses may be incurred during the summer prior to the senior year as well as during the senior year, i.e. the rising or current senior may apply in the fall for either the previous or the following summer. The applicant should submit a full description of her essay with a detailed estimate of expenses, along with a letter of recommendation from her (prospective) senior essay advisor. Traditionally about $1,500 is available each year, with most grants in the $100-$500 range. There is more information on the Global Barnard site.
Jolie Ermers Memorial Research Grant (2006)
If you are a Barnard Political Science rising or current senior major who is seeking to defray travel expenses, conference or other research fees related to the Political Science major, you are eligible for this grant. Expenses may be incurred in the semester or summer prior to the senior year and during the senior year.
Applications are accepted on a rolling basis. Grants are awarded by the Department Chair. $1,000 is available annually, with each grant limited to $250. To apply, please submit the following to the Political Science Department Office:
A succinct description (of at most one page) of your project;
A detailed estimate or actual list of expenses;
A brief written recommendation (can be emailed) from a colloquium instructor (current or former);
Your permanent address and Social Security Number.
The Barnard Political Science Faculty established this grant in 2006 to honor Jolanda Maria Ermers (1955-2005), sister of former Political Science Department Administrator, Nell Dillon-Ermers. A historian with an active interest in women's rights, Jolie wrote her thesis on the correlation between women's rights and infanticide in medieval France. As a program director for the Dutch government's NCDO, she organized conferences in 2001 and 2002 that focused on religious freedom and human rights. In 2002 Queen Beatrix of The Netherlands, at her annual awards ceremony, recognized Jolie's initiative and acknowledged the positive difference she made in society. (The NCDO aims to foster international cooperation through conferences, exhibits, documentaries, and the like.)
Scholarships, Fellowships & Prizes
These awards and prizes are administered by the College's Committee on Honors and announced at the annual Honors Assembly, traditionally held in late April. A student is nominated by the Department Faculty. Nomination for one award does not preclude a student's eligibility for others. However, no more than one candidate can be nominated for each award. Please note that the Baxter prize is for juniors. Award amounts vary from year to year depending on endowment income. Nomination deadline is usually the second Friday in March.
Requirements for I and II: nominations must be accompanied by at least two letters of recommendations from the Department Faculty, commenting on the nominee's academic achievement, personal attributes, and promise. (Relevant letters already on file in the Dean of Studies Office may be substituted.)
I. Fellowships and Scholarships:
Candidates must plan to enroll this fall in graduate or professional school of approved standing. Last year's graduates who will begin graduate or professional school this fall are also eligible, but they will be at a disadvantage if they are unavailable for a campus interview with the Committee on Honors;
Nominee must submit a one-page statement describing her primary interests and future plans. A list of extracurricular activities may be appended. Nominee may be interviewed by the Committee on Honors.
The Alpha Zeta Club Graduate Scholarship (1936) is awarded for promise of distinction in the pursuit of higher degrees. Particularly for students entering the professions, including law and health. (2009: three recipients, $1,200 each; 2010: $3,300 will be available.)
The George Welwood Murray Graduate Fellowship (1930) is awarded for promise of distinction in graduate study in the humanities or the social sciences. (2009: two recipients, $2,500 & $2,000; 2010: $4,200 will be available.)
II. Prizes: Graduate study is not required. Nominee will not be interviewed.
The Ann Barrow Hamilton Memorial Prize (1978) is awarded to a graduating senior who will pursue a career in journalism and who is judged to show the most promise of success in that field based on scholarship, writing ability, and desire to succeed. (2009: one recipient, $250; 2010: $500 will be available.)
The Katherine Reeve Girard Prize (1964) is awarded to a student (traditionally a senior) whose interests are in the international aspects of her major. (2009 one recipient, $300; 2010: $250 will be available.)
The Annette Kar Baxter Memorial Prize (1984) is awarded to a junior in any field who has distinguished herself in the study of some aspect of women's experience. A copy of the paper or project that led to the nomination must be submitted. (2009: one recipient, $900; 2010: $2,000 will be available.)
Columbia Political Science Prize
The Caroline Phelps Stokes Prize (1910) is administered by the Columbia Department of Political Science. Students are nominated by the Barnard or Columbia Faculty, usually by early April. Winning papers have traditionally been seminar papers involving considerable original research. There is no length requirement, but colloquium papers in the 25-page range are not likely to come out on top, unless truly exceptional.
Requirements: the nominee's name should be submitted to the Director of Undergraduate Studies, currently Professor David Johnston. The essay, accompanied by a letter of recommendation from the Department Faculty, the student's permanent address and social security number, should be submitted to: Andres Zepeda,Department of Political Science, Columbia University, 736 International Affairs Building, Mailcode 3320.
The Caroline Phelps Stokes Prize is a $300 cash prize awarded to a student who has been a degree candidate at Barnard or Columbia College for at least one academic year and who has written the best essay in course or seminar work on any topic concerning human rights. Established in 1910 by the bequest of Caroline Phelps Stokes.
Essay Contests & Calls for Submission
Elie Wiesel Prize in Ethics
Since 1989 the Elie Wiesel Foundation has sponsored the annual Essay Prize in Ethics contest to "challenge college students to analyze the urgent ethical issues confronting them in today's complex world." Each year the foundation awards three cash prizes and two honorable mentions, ranging from $500 to $5,000. Full-time juniors and seniors are eligible to compete. Please note that you must have a Faculty Sponsor review your essay and sign the entry form. Enclose a letter from the Registrar's Office that confirms that you are registered full-time at Barnard. The entry form and guidelines are available through the link above. Deadline around late November.
Journal of International Affairs Essay Contests
Founded in 1947, the Journal of International Affairs is a leading foreign affairs periodical edited by the graduate students at the Columbia University School of International and Public Affairs. The Journal is published bi-annually and has readership in over eighty countries. It has earned worldwide recognition for its unique single-topic format, and for framing heated debates in international affairs for over sixty-five years. It sponsors student essay contests, including:
The Andrew Wellington Cordier Essay Contest, and
The Global Public Policy Network (GPPN) Essay Contest.
For deadlines and other details, please visit the JIA contest page.
Calls for Paper Submission
Information to come. Thank you for your patience.
Awards administered by the College
A Barnard Faculty ruling allows each department and program to nominate up to 20% of its graduating majors for Departmental Honors. The Department of Political Science traditionally nominates the top 20% of its majors based on the grade point average for all courses completed for the major. Once the Registrar has processed the grades from the second semester of senior year, the Committee on Honors (CoH) makes the final decision. This information is not yet available at graduation time, but it is indicated on the transcripts mailed to the newly minted graduates.
Note: a Class consists of the graduates within one academic year, i.e. the October, February and May graduates. Thus, the October 2014 and the February and May 2015 graduates make up the Class of 2015.
Barnard College aims to award Latin Honors to the top 35 percent of each graduating class, based on overall grade point average, with the top five percent of the class receiving summa cum laude (with highest honors), the following ten percent, magna cum laude (with great honor), and the final twenty percent, cum laude (with honor). Once all grades have been processed, the CoH makes its decision.
Phi Beta Kappa
The Phi Beta Kappa Society (ΦΒΚ, also PBK) is an academic honor society with the mission of "fostering and recognizing excellence" in the undergraduate liberal arts and sciences. Founded at the College of William and Mary on 5 December 1776, it is the oldest such society in the United States. Today there are 283 chapters and over half a million living members. The Barnard PBK Committee selects juniors and seniors based on overall excellence. ΦΒΚ stands for philosophia biou kubernetes "Love of wisdom, the guide of life."