Copeland Fund for Independent Study

What is it?

In honor of his presidency at the College of Wooster, Wooster's Board of Trustees established the Henry J. Copeland Fund for Independent Study in 1995 and raised $1 million in gifts to endow this program. The Copeland Fund is now in its 25th year of operation, and we expect to be able to award approximately $90,000 in the current academic year.

*See caption
Paige Ambord used a Copeland grant to travel to Morocco and conduct research for her I.S. on migration and transnational identity.

Programs offered twice a year

Each year, we invite students to apply to one of two programs.

Consideration of applications for the first program occurs in the fall of the academic year and is intended primarily for seniors enrolled in Senior Independent Study (I.S. 451).

Consideration of applications for the second program takes place in the spring of the same academic year and is intended primarily for rising seniors who will be working over the summer on their Senior Independent Study (I.S.) projects. Seniors who are taking 451 in the spring semester also are welcome to apply for funding during this latter competition.

What kinds of things are funded?

Please Note: Applications for travel expenses are not being considered at this time. The Copeland Committee will hold such applications for review when the College of Wooster resumes supporting travel for students. 

We invite each eligible student to consider how support from the Copeland Fund for Independent Study might enhance their senior project in significant ways. The Committee has no preconceived notions of what a successful request might involve. Preference will be given to proposals that (a) involve the completion of projects of unusual distinction and promise and (b) demonstrate why the project involves expenses above and beyond those normally incurred in undertaking Independent Study. The Copeland Fund Committee makes grants for many purposes, such as:

  • to develop appropriate research tools such as questionnaires
  • to purchase supplies, materials, and small items of equipment, with the understanding that supplies and equipment become the property of the College
  • interview important figures in a student’s major field of study
  • pay for registration at major conferences specific to an I.S. topic
  • subsidize students’ travel to major libraries, art galleries, museums, archives, and science laboratories at other institutions
  • support travel to conduct participant-observation and in-person interviews for their project
  • For additional ideas, see descriptions of grants that have been funded in the past.

Application process

These grants are highly competitive. Students interested in applying for Copeland funds should discuss their needs carefully with their I.S. advisors and complete the online Copeland Fund Application . You can view the Copeland Fund Application prior to completing the online application. The application asks you to describe your senior project, explain how assistance from the Copeland Fund will enhance your project, and provide an estimate of your proposed expenses from the fund. Your application will be forwarded to your I.S. advisor(s) with a brief recommendation form for them to complete.

Deadlines

There are two proposal deadlines in both the Fall and the Spring. The earlier deadline is intended to allow the committee time to make early awards of Copeland funds to time-sensitive applications. This will allow students who can demonstrate an early need for access to funds to begin their Copeland-related research in time to plan for activities such as the purchasing of scientific equipment or travel during Fall Break or Thanksgiving Recess. Proposals which do not qualify for early Copeland funding during the first round but could feasibly be completed later in the academic year, will be automatically placed for consideration in the second round.

Proposals for the Spring program must be submitted by

  • Monday, February 8, 2021
  • Monday, March 29, 2021

Consideration of applications for the second program takes place in the spring of the same academic year and is intended primarily for rising seniors who will be working over the summer on their Senior Independent Study (I.S.) projects. Seniors who are taking 451 in the spring semester are also welcome to apply for funding during this latter competition. Rising seniors who receive Copeland funding during the spring application cycle will not be eligible to receive funding again in the fall.

All grants from the Copeland Fund will be determined by a faculty committee that consists of the chair of the committee, James West (Biochemistry & Molecular Biology), Natasha Bissonauth (Women’s, Gender & Sexuality Studies), Rebecca Garonzik (Spanish), Brooke Krause (Economics), and Lilliana Morris (Chemistry).

We encourage you to consider applying for assistance from the Copeland Independent Study Fund in support of your senior project.