Hunter Scholar Award

The purpose of the Hunter Scholar Award is to promote and support faculty research which fully and successfully integrates Hunter Library’s valuable resources and services.  The winner of the Hunter Scholar Award will receive release time, a graduate assistant, and other support for their proposed research project.  The Hunter Scholar Award winner is announced in early spring, with the research project being completed the following fall and spring semesters.  This award is jointly provided by Hunter Library, the Graduate School and Research, and the Office of the Provost.


  • Release time for one course in the fall semester and one course in the spring semester, as approved by the applicant's department/college
  • A Graduate Research Assistant for the two semesters
  • $400 in support funds (can be used for supplies, travel, or other expenses related to the project as pre-approved by the Dean of Library Services)
  • A private study room in Hunter Library for fall and spring semesters


  • All full-time tenured and tenure-track faculty members are eligible for this award.
  • Recipients of this award within the last five years are not eligible.
  • Recipients who have received this award twice previously are not eligible.


  • The Hunter Library Scholar Award recipient must develop the project in the fall semester with the Hunter Library Liaison associated with the recipient’s program/department. The recipient will present results the following fall semester separately to university community and the general public.
  • The recipient must submit a final written summary the following spring to the Provost and the Dean of Library Services.
  • The recipient will serve on the following year’s Hunter Scholar Award selection committee.

Application Guidelines

  • Preference will be given to applications that demonstrate a regionally related component of the research project.
  • Applicants should demonstrate how library resources and services will be used in the project. Applicants are encouraged to contact the Hunter Library Liaison that is associated with their department/program to assist in the development of this aspect of the application. Good proposals will clearly demonstrate how a robust use of library resources and services is critical to the success of the research project.
  • Graduate student involvement is paramount to a successful project. Good proposals will show the benefit to the graduate student, clearly outline the role of the student in the project, and address the educational impact of the project on the graduate assistant’s learning.
  • Applications that forgo the use of a graduate assistant or the course release(s) will not be considered. Course releases must be used as one fall course release and one spring release.
  • Applications will not be evaluated based on the applicant’s previous internal or external funding. However, preference will be given to applications that outline opportunities for possible external funding based on the Hunter Scholar’s research project.
  • Length of employment at Western Carolina University is not a consideration factor in the selection of the recipient.
  • Application Due Date: January 17, 2019
  • Download the Hunter Scholar Award Application, type in your responses and click the Submit button; this emails the application to Sarah Steiner, Head of Research and Instruction Services at Hunter Library.


  • The Hunter Scholar Award Committee will consist of the Head of Research and Instruction Services, two members from the Research Council, a representative from Research Administration, and the current Hunter Scholar. Award Committee recommendations will be provided to the Dean of Library Services. Applications will be evaluated using this form.
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