AU Faculty-Student Research Award

The Center for Western Studies at Augustana University, founded in 1964 by writer and English professor Herbert Krause and expanded in 1970 by the Augustana Board of Trustees as “a study, research, and educational resource agency” committed to service to the region and the university, invites applications for a $4,000 annual research award made possible, in part, by a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities. The award provides $3,250 for the researcher and, as an option, $750 for a student assistant.* The proposed research must be based, in part, on the use of primary-source documents in the archives of the Center for Western Studies and address a topic related to the northern or upper Great Plains (defined as including but not limited to the Dakotas, Minnesota, Iowa, Nebraska, and Wyoming).  Use of the Center’s Krause Library of books and periodicals about the Great Plains and American West is also encouraged.

Eligibility: Applicants must be full-time faculty members at Augustana University who have been issued (or have a reasonable expectation of being issued) a contract for the academic year following award notification. Both new and on-going projects are eligible.  

Student Engagement: Applicants are strongly encouraged but not required to involve a student in some aspect of the proposed research. Upon the recommendation of the faculty member receiving the award, the student will be granted a separate award commensurate with his/her participation up to $750.  

*Beginning in the spring of 2023, a student has the option to apply for the Dr. Gary D. Olson CWS Student Research Award, which offers a stipend of $1,250 to a student planning to conduct original research in conjunction with the Faculty-Student Research Award or in fulfillment of an upper-level course, such as HIST 251, or senior thesis.

Award Committee: The Center for Western Studies’ Executive Director and Collections Committee serve as the Award Committee. 

Available Collections: The award recipient will confer with the CWS Collections Assistant to identify suitable research materials. A descriptive list of collections is available at

Requirements: The recipient will deliver a report of work completed to date at the Dakota Conference on the Northern Plains, sponsored by the Center for Western Studies, in 2024. The recipient will also be encouraged to seek publication in such scholarly journals as South Dakota History, North Dakota History, Great Plains Quarterly, Western American Literature, Western Historical Quarterly, Journal of the West, or Social Science Journal. The recipient must acknowledge the Center for Western Studies and the National Endowment for the Humanities in any publication. 

Schedule: The award will be given annually, and a recipient may not apply again for three years. Applications must be submitted to the Executive Director by June 2, 2023. The award recipient will be notified by June 16, 2023. One-half of the award amount will be available shortly thereafter, and the balance upon submission of a final report, due by August 2, 2024. The final report should be in draft form of an article intended for submission to a scholarly journal. Deadline extensions will be considered.

Questions about the award process may be directed to Executive Director Harry Thompson. Questions about available collections may be directed to Collections Assistant Liz Cisar.

Previous Award Recipients