Kirmser Undergraduate Research Awards

The Kirmser Undergraduate Research Awards recognize students who have used library resouces to complete a research project for a K-State course during the current academic year. Each year, we award winners in three categories:

  • Freshman ($1,500 award)
  • Nonfreshman undergraduate student ($1,500 award)
  • Group project ($3,000 award minimum for the group)

Applications are due in late April.

Award nominations

Instructors may nominate students for the Kirmser Award. The awards committee will contact the students and encourage them to apply for the award.

Nominate a student for the Kirmser Award

Eligible projects

Research projects must have been completed as a requirement for a K-State course during the current academic school year. Projects may encompass any academic topic and can be in any format. Projects must be completed solely by students. Co-authored papers with professors are not eligible.

Students should apply for an award in the category in which they are eligible.

  • Individual freshman category: Students enrolled at K-State as a freshman (according to credit hours) at some point during the application period.
  • Individual nonfreshman category: Students enrolled at K-State as an undergraduate student (but not a freshman) at some point during the application period.
  • Group category: All group members enrolled at K-State as undergraduates at some point during the application period.


Application requirements

All submissions must include an essay, sources list, project files and completed faculty support form. Applications are evaluated based on the use of library resources.

View the evaluation rubric

Complete the faculty support form

Submit application materials

Reflective essay
The reflective essay (maximum 1,000 words) should describe the library research performed. It should include an explanation of the decisions made on where to search, how to search and the selection of sources used. The essay will evaluate critical thinking skills and evidence of understanding of the research processes.

Learn more about getting started on your essay

Sources list
Applicants should not rely solely on textbooks or readings selected by an instructor or research mentor. Applicants may use such sources in the project but should also include materials discovered independently through their own library research. Applicants may use materials accessed through any library — not just K-State Libraries.

Contact libaward@k-state.edu with any questions.

Current and previous winners


View all previous winners


About the donors

The Kirmser Undergraduate Research Award was established in 2014 to recognize and promote outstanding scholarship among K-State’s undergraduates. The award is funded by a gift provided to K-State Libraries by Philip and Jeune Kirmser.

Philip Kirmser was hired by K-State in the early 1940s and taught for two years before entering the Navy. While at K-State, his wife, Jeune, earned her master’s degree in English, later earning a master’s in school social work at another university. In 1954, Phil was re-hired by K-State and remained there until his death in 2012. Jeune was an English teacher and school social worker in Washington, D.C., and St. Paul, Minnesota, and was a freelance writer for many years. For more than 50 years, she was the “public” of the Manhattan-Ogden USD 383 School Board.

The Kirmsers grew up in a rather poor but well educated immigrant households during the Great Depression. Remembering how much they had to struggle in the beginning, they felt the need to help future generations achieve their own desired level of education. This gift to K-State was the best way they could impact generations of students. They felt K-State played an important part in their lives, and they gave this gift as a token of affection and appreciation.

Kirmser Undergraduate Research Award
1117 Mid-Campus Drive North
Manhattan KS 66506
(785) 532-3014

libaward@k-state.edu