Faculty & Adjuncts

  • Winter Study 99s present unparalleled opportunities for experiential education. Sponsors play a crucial role in assuring the educational value of the WSP 99 experience by guiding student preparation, assisting in project design, and monitoring execution and analysis through appropriate evaluation. If you lack experience in the subject matter of a student’s proposal, the student must cite and consult with a faculty member who has relevant expertise. If neither you nor the student seeking guidance know an appropriate alternative sponsor, refer the student to [email protected]. When you agree to sponsor a Winter Study 99, you should strongly emphasize to the student the importance of submitting a well-thought-out, complete and detailed proposal. Proposals not thoughtfully completed will be denied. Projects that take students away from campus should be thought of as exceptional. The nature of the project should dictate its being off-campus rather than the desire to leave campus dictating the nature of the project.

    Here are some general tips for a smoother and quicker 99 preparation and evaluation:

    Sponsor’s Checklist

    Review the student’s 99 proposal confirming that it satisfies the following conditions:

    • Preparation: The student’s proposal should provide evidence of adequate preparation to engage in the project being proposed. Relevant prior coursework, research, work experience and a bibliography should be listed.
    • Intellectual Content: The proposed project should be focused, specific, and intellectually rigorous and feasible. Central research questions or problems to be addressed should be clearly indicated in the student’s proposal. It should demonstrate considerable effort on the part of the student to develop or further his/her knowledge of a subject. The student must explicitly and convincingly argue the intellectual nature of the project. Even when the project is a repeat of past Winter Studies simply pursued on as independent studies, the student(s) need to indicate explicitly how this project will be executed.
    • Reading List: The student should list readings already completed to research the proposal. The student should also list readings he/she intends to do during the course of the project. A bibliography consisting entirely of websites is not recommended. A Reference Librarian can advise on reference materials available in or through the library (The only types of projects for which the Committee does not require a bibliography are those sponsored by an outside institution, such as a language program).
    • Methodology: A well-thought out, thorough approach to the independent study should be detailed in the student’s proposal. It is the sponsor’s role to guide the student’s development of methodology. Care should be taken guiding interdisciplinary projects requiring hybrid methodologies. PLEASE NOTE: If a student’s project involves human subjects in some way (e.g., interviews), the methodology should be cleared with the Institutional Review Board. Here is more information about Williams College policy as it relates to human subjects.
    • Workload/level: Work associated with the project should engage the student for at least 26 hours per week.

    Here is the online Faculty Sponsor form.

    You must submit a faculty sponsor form for the 99(s) that you are sponsoring by October TBD, 2023. Department chairs need to let the Winter Study Coordinator know which proposals the department supports no later than October TBD, 2023.

    Note that all Winter Study work must be completed and in the sponsor's hands by the last day of Winter Study.