The Johns Hopkins Gazette: February 22, 1999
Feb. 22, 1999
VOL. 28, NO. 23


Arts and Sciences Announces Woodrow Wilson Research Program

Johns Hopkins Gazette Online Edition

The Krieger School of Arts and Sciences has created one more way for its undergraduates to get hands-on experience in demanding, graduate-level research projects. Perhaps the largest university-funded undergraduate research program in the country, the Woodrow Wilson Research Program at Hopkins will offer 20 incoming freshmen and 10 current freshmen $10,000 over four years to create their own scholarly research projects.

The grants will be made annually to support a wide range of research possibilities. The funds might enable a history student to spend a summer working in the national archives in Mexico City or provide a premedical student with a piece of computer equipment needed to analyze data.

The program is intended to support freshmen who in high school or during their freshman year at Hopkins have demonstrated a commitment to an area of study and an ability to focus on a specific topic. Along with the research funding, it will provide special faculty mentoring and a capstone seminar during the student's senior year. Applications are currently being accepted.

Named for the only U.S. president ever to have held a doctorate--received from Hopkins in history and political science in 1886--the Woodrow Wilson Research Program was initiated by Herbert L. Kessler, dean of the School of Arts and Sciences and the Charlotte Bloomberg Professor in the Humanities. Hopkins trustee J. Barclay Knapp Jr. was instrumental in working with Kessler to find funding and put the program together.

News of the program has already created a lot of interest among prospective students, said Robert Massa, dean of enrollment services.

"We sent a letter to some applicants and immediately heard back from quite a few," Massa said. "Since we're announcing this at a late stage in the admissions process, its effect [this year] will be that there will be a greater yield in the number of students who accept our offers of admission. Next year, we'll be able to use [it] more in recruitment. It's a terrific opportunity for students."

Kessler said he hopes the highly selective program will attract some of the country's most promising young scholars and enhance the university's commitment to offering its undergraduates uncommon opportunities in research. About 80 percent of Hopkins undergraduates engage in some form of independent study for credit.
--Leslie Rice