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Fifth Annual MCEAS
Undergraduate Research Workshop (URW)


Call for Participants


We invite all MCEAS Consortium members to encourage their undergraduate students working on an honors thesis, senior capstone or advanced research paper in any discipline having to do with the Atlantic world up to 1850 to join us for the Fifth Annual MCEAS Undergraduate Research Workshop this spring. Is your school not yet a member? Please contact Dan Richter to find out how to join.

The Workshop dates will be February 15 and April 26-27, 2013. To foster an engaging academic experience, the Workshop will be limited to ten undergraduates and a maximum of two per any Consortium institution. Students from Consortium institutions who have not previously participated are especially encouraged to apply.

For more information about the program, contact Brooke Hunter, 2013 MCEAS/URW coordinator and Associate Professor of History at Rider University, at

Applying for the Undergraduate Research Workshop

Applicants should:

  • Submit a single file (Word or PDF) containing (1) a brief description of the proposed research project (500 words maximum) and (2) a one-page résumé highlighting academic experiences. Project descriptions should address the following: research question, purpose and significance of project, approach and/or method.
  • Request a letter of support from their faculty mentor to be sent separately. Letters of support should address the following: the project type (e.g., capstone seminar, honors thesis, independent study), student’s qualifications and preparation for the project, faculty relationship to the student’s project, stage of project development, and impact of participation to the student’s learning.

Application materials will be accepted electronically through e-mail addressed to: Brooke Hunter, MCEAS/URW Coordinator at The application deadline is January 25, 2013.

Applications will be reviewed by a small committee and decisions announced in a timely fashion. Applicants will be evaluated on the following criteria: strength of the work as evidenced by the abstract and student’s academic record; letter of support; impact of the Undergraduate Research Workshop on the student’s development; adherence to the format requirements.

Workshop Events
Attendance at Workshop events is mandatory for all participants including undergrads, grad mentors and faculty sponsors.

Works-in-Progress (February 15)
This meeting takes place on Friday, February 15 from 10:00am to 2:30 pm. It focuses on research and gives undergraduates the chance to meet one another and with their graduate student mentors. Student project abstracts will be circulated in advance. In the morning, students will deliver five-minute presentations on their research. Lunch gives undergrad mentees and grad mentors one-on-one time. In the afternoon students will have the opportunity to tour archives and gain hands-on experience with primary sources.

Conference (April 26-27)
The second event is a 1 ½ day meeting (Friday-Saturday, April 26-27) culminating in a professional-style conference with 10-minute formal paper presentations by undergraduates and comments by graduate student mentors. Past undergraduate participants have used a 10-page section or chapter of their project that works well as a discrete topic for the conference paper. Students meet informally with the MCEAS Friday Seminar speaker and then attend the seminar, followed by dinner. Participants then spend the night in Philadelphia. The conference takes place on the following Saturday. Breakfast and lunch will be provided.

Accommodations & Travel

The McNeil Center will provide participants (faculty and undergrads) one night’s lodging at a hotel for the April Conference. Participants will also be reimbursed for travel expenses up to $100 (e.g., airfare, train fare, parking). Original receipts and a W-9 form are required for reimbursement. The Center will not pay for food, additional nights or fees incurred at the hotel.


The MCEAS Undergraduate Research Workshop was established in 2008 to extend the benefits of the Center to undergraduate students enrolled at member institutions, by holding a workshop for seniors writing an honors thesis or capstone research paper in early American studies. The Workshop provides a structured environment in which students can come together with undergraduates from other institutions, as well as graduate students and faculty, to discuss the ideas, source materials, and methods of their own research. A highlight of the program is the mentoring given each undergraduate by a MCEAS graduate or postdoctoral fellow. The Workshop meetings are held in conjunction with the Center’s regular Friday Seminar so that undergraduates can experience the process of scholarly seminars first hand. The Workshop has exceeded our expectations, allowing undergraduates to join the exceptionally supportive and successful community of scholars at the McNeil Center. Undergraduate Research Workshop participants are now enrolled in PhD programs in History, attending law school, and working in public history.

2012: 7 undergrads participated from Catholic University, Gettysburg College, Johns Hopkins University, NYU, Stockton College, University of Pennsylvania and Ursinus College.

2011: 10 undergraduates participated from Brigham Young University, Fordham University, Stockton College, Rider University, SUNY Stony Brook and the University of Pennsylvania.

2010: 9 undergraduates participated from Brigham Young University, Millersville University, Stockton College, Rider University, the University of Pennsylvania, and Ursinus College.

2009: 8 undergraduates participated from Bryn Mawr College, the Johns Hopkins University, Stockton College, Rider University, SUNY Stony Brook, and the University of Delaware.