Winter Study Independent Projects (99s)

Winter Study can be a time for sophomores, juniors, and seniors to pursue independent projects of their own design in close collaboration with a faculty or staff member. Winter Study Independent Projects (99s) promote student exploration and can help students connect their academic interests to real world issues.

Students should submit their Winter Study 99 proposals no later than October 2, 2023 by 11:59 pm. Some departments may have earlier deadlines, so students should meet with their faculty sponsors as soon as possible.

Faculty sponsors should complete the online recommendation form, also due October 2, 2023 by 11:59 pm.

Students cannot revise a proposal AFTER it is approved by the faculty sponsor and the Winter Study Committee.

  • Research Projects: Students can pursue their own independent research during Winter Study. Students should explain what they hope their research will show, confirm, refute, or call to question by the end of the Winter Study period (3.5 weeks).

    Discovery Projects: The aim of discovery projects is to enable students to explore topics of interest or to lay the ground work for a future research project. The typical discovery project will be on campus, under consultation with the sponsor.

    Internships: The Winter Study Committee supports internships that provide “an opportunity for active intellectual exploration—that is experience shaped by thought.” Students should work with the staff in the Center for Learning in Action (CLiA) if they would like to pursue an internship, volunteer position or teaching apprenticeship. Students cannot receive pay for work done for Winter Study credit, though it acceptable to receive a small stipend to cover living expenses (travel, housing, meals).

    Language Study: Students may want to use Winter Study to pursue language study. The Winter Study Committee will rely on the supporting Language Department to review the content and rigor of the program to make sure it's acceptable for Winter Study.

  • 1. Find a Sponsor

    A sponsor should have expertise in the subject area of the project. Students should contact a faculty or staff member of the appropriate department. Students should do this early, since students have to consult with the sponsor while they develop their proposals.

    2. Guiding Questions 

    Students should think through the organization of their project. They should address these questions: WHAT, WHY, HOW, WHERE, and WHO. What is the project about? How will the student do the work? Why should the work be pursued? Where will the student be, and who will help them? For off-campus projects, the student must demonstrate the educational value of working elsewhere. 

    3. Reading List/Bibliography 

    Students should list the sources they have used to write the proposal as well as those they plan to read as part of this independent study, employing the style most common in the discipline (see, for example, scholarly articles in the field). Contact a research librarian for help with the bibliography. 

    4. Evaluation 

    The Winter Study Committee requires a paper of at least 10 pages or its equivalent, such as a performance, a multi-media presentation, or an exhibition. A daily journal is not adequate. If a student is proposing a GROUP project, each participant will be expected to produce individual papers (i.e., written separately and addressing different topics) or demonstrate how they contributed to the joint project. 

    5. Weekly Structure 

    Students are expected to be engaged in their project activities for a minimum of 26 hours per week. Students should outline the structure of their project, program or internship on a week-by-week basis (e.g., Week 1, Week 2, Week 3, Week 4). 

    6. Budget 

    The budget should itemize all anticipated expenses as accurately as possible. When estimates are used, a rationale for the amount of the estimate must be provided. The total amount requested should be noted, as well as the minimum amount required for the project to be undertaken at all.

  • Off-campus proposals must demonstrate the educational value of the student conducting the work elsewhere. Projects that take students away from campus, therefore, should be thought of as exceptional.

    Before proposing an off-campus 99, students should note that if they are enrolled in a 101-102 language course they may be required to participate in the Sustaining Program during Winter Study and thus must remain on campus.

    Although it is a College rule that students may not be paid for work earning credit, a student with an off-campus 99 project could receive living expenses, which may be offered for this purpose and not as pay. The request to receive this living allowance must be included in the budget and approved by your faculty sponsor and the Winter Study Committee.

    Students can include daytrips, fieldtrips, and over-night travel components in their on-campus proposals. Again, students must demonstrate the educational value of the trips and include the costs in their budgets.

  • Students can apply for the Roche and Gomez, Levien, and Gaudino fellowships to finance their plans.

    If a student applies for a fellowship, there is no guarantee they will receive it. The Winter Study Committee strongly recommends that students have a back-up plan to finance their proposals.

    Students can apply up to $1000 of financial aid to support their Winter Study proposal. Simply select "yes" on the 99-application (there is no need to complete the Financial Aid form).