Independent Minds, Working Together

Copeland Fund for Independent Study

What is it?

In honor of his presidency, Wooster's Board of Trustees established in 1995 the Henry J. Copeland Fund for Independent Study and raised $1 million in gifts to endow this program. The Copeland Fund is now in its 18th year of operation, and we expect to be able to award approximately $90,000 in the current academic year.

Each year, we invite students to apply to one of two programs.

Consideration of applications for the first program occurs in the fall of the academic year and is intended primarily for seniors enrolled in Senior Independent Study (I.S. 451).

Consideration of applications for the second program takes place in the spring of the same academic year and is intended primarily for rising seniors who will be working over the summer on their Senior Independent Study (I.S.) projects. Seniors who are taking 451 in the spring semester also are welcome to apply for funding during this latter competition.

We invite each eligible student to consider how support from the Copeland Fund for Independent Study might enhance his or her senior project in significant ways. The Committee has no preconceived notions of what a successful request might involve. Preference will be given to proposals that (a) involve the completion of projects of unusual distinction and promise and (b) demonstrate why the project involves expenses above and beyond those normally incurred in undertaking Independent Study. The Copeland Fund Committee makes grants for many purposes, such as:

  • to subsidize travel to major libraries, art galleries, museums, and science laboratories at other institutions;
  • to interview important figures in a student's major field of study;
  • to develop appropriate research tools such as questionnaires;
  • to pay for registration at a major conference specific to an I.S. topic;
  • to purchase supplies and small items of equipment, with the understanding that these become the property of the College; and
  • to support other efforts central to enhancement of the senior project.

These grants are highly competitive. Students interested in applying for Copeland funds should discuss their needs carefully with their advisors and complete the online Copeland Fund Application.  You can view a PDF version (.pdf) of the Copeland Fund Application prior to completing the online form.  The application asks you to describe your senior project, explain how assistance from the Copeland Fund will aid in the successful completion of your project, and provide an estimate of your proposed expenses from the fund. The application must include a statement from your advisor.

Proposals for the fall program must be submitted by Monday, September 30, 2013, at 5:00 p.m. If you have questions, contact Cody Leary (Physics).  Proposals for the spring program must be submitted by Monday, April 7, 2014, at 5:00 p.m.

All grants from the Copeland Fund will be determined by a faculty committee that consists of Cody Leary (Physics), Bryan Alkemeyer (Comparative Literature/English), Kent Kille (Political Science), Kara Morrow (History/Archaeology), and Olivia Navarro-Farr (Sociology/Anthropology/Archaeology).

We encourage you to consider applying for assistance from the Copeland Independent Study Fund in support of your senior project.