Apply now for undergraduate research prizes

Dr. Ron Schuchard

Applications are now being accepted for the Rackoff and Schuchard undergraduate research prizes! Prizes will be awarded through the generosity of the Betsy and Wayne Rackoff Fund. Dr. Wayne Rackoff (75C), vice president of clinical oncology at Janssen Research & Development (a Johnson & Johnson company), was among the first generation of Emory students in English courses to have access to primary materials in what was then known as “Special Collections.” The experience made a lasting imprint on his intellectual life and led him to become a long-time supporter of the archival collections. “We wanted to do something meaningful enough to attract students to a place that’s unique to Emory,” Rackoff says. “I hope these prizes will encourage students who might not have used the archives before to discover the value of this resource.”

The Schuchard Prize, named in honor of Dr. Rackoff’s archival mentor, Ronald Schuchard, Goodrich C. White Professor Emeritus of English, will award $1000 for the best paper, project, or honor’s thesis written on the basis of primary source material submitted for a class offered by the Department of English and $500 for an honorable mention. The prizes may also be awarded for alternative projects, such as the curating and mounting of exhibitions based on archival materials in the Rose Library.

The Alan Rackoff Prize, named in honor of Dr. Rackoff’s late brother, an Emory student in the class of 1973, will award $1000 each academic year for the best paper, project, or honor’s thesis written on the basis of primary source material submitted for a class in any academic department with the exception of English, with $500 for an honorable mention.


Emory University faculty, librarians, and archivists may nominate current undergraduate students in good standing. Undergraduate students in good standing may self-nominate after consultation with a faculty member.

How to apply

For this cycle, faculty, librarians, or archivists may nominate up to 3 original research projects, papers, or honor’s theses completed for course credit after January 1, 2015. A completed paper or project, personal statement of research (from self-nominating students) or a nomination statement (from nominating faculty, librarians, or archivists), and the contact information of a faculty reference, are required.


All application materials must be submitted via the Rose Library award site no later than 5 p.m. on April 1, 2016.


For over 35 years Emory undergraduates have been encouraged to experience the intellectual awe, joy, and rewards of original archival research; for the past five years undergraduates have been the Rose Library’s top users. Since the inauguration this year of Emory’s Quality Enhancement Plan (QEP), “The Nature of Evidence,” more and more faculty are bringing undergraduate classes for instruction and hands-on experience, with many students returning independently to research and write course papers and honors theses. Archival veterans who have gone into graduate programs send testimony that their archival research made them more competitive and successful in competing for awards, including Rhodes, Marshall, Fulbright, and institutional fellowships.