Awards of $200 are given to two students who demonstrate excellent research—and significant learning about research—in their final projects for courses with a Bibliographic Research in Writing (BRW) designation. The awards were established in 2011 by the Aubrey R. Watzek Library in memory of Jim Kopp (pronounced "cup"), who was the director of the Library from 1999 until his death in 2010. While initially connected to the first-year Core, they shifted in 2020 with the changing curriculum to retain an emphasis on the explicit teaching of research methods and approaches.
As the director of the library, Jim provided leadership during a decade of unprecedented growth and change. Jim was a kind and humorous man with a passion for scholarly inquiry and a dedication to the library's role in the liberal arts education.
The awards are sponsored by the library and supported by the office of General Education and the Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences. Donations to support these awards are much appreciated and may be made via the Library's Online Giving Form.
As BRW-designated courses are offered year-round, there will be two application deadlines, at the end of the fall and spring semester respectively. Applications from both the fall and spring will be reviewed in the summer, with two awards given to the strongest work from the entire year. An award ceremony will be held in the fall.
The application will collect information about the student that is intended to enable as blind a review process as possible. Applicants will be asked to submit the following components:
After the application is submitted, a brief notice will be sent to the student's professor.
For its first decade, the James J. Kopp First-Year Research Award was open to students in the spring semester of the first-year Core class, which required a substantial research assignment.