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Applications for Scholars' Day 2019

Deadline for submission: March 2, 2019

Please read the information below BEFORE submitting your application.


THANK YOU for your applications. The deadline has passed. You should have received an email acknowledging that we have received your application; if not, contact us ASAP.

Students: To present on Tuesday May 7 at the Brighton Campus: Student Presentation Application Form (Deadline: Saturday, March 2, 2019, 11:59pm)

To present on April 11 at the Downtown Campus: Student Presentation Application Form (Deadline: Friday, March 2, 2018, 11:59pm)

Faculty/Staff: To present on Tuesday May 7 at the Brighton Campus: Presentation Application Form (Deadline: Saturday, March 2, 2019, 11:59pm) 

Faculty who would like to open their classroom as a Scholars' Day Open House classroom, allowing members from the campus community to join your class during Scholars' Day (Tues. May 7), please send an email to Jennifer Markham (BIO) by April 12.

Launch Your Business! Application Form (Deadline: Saturday, March 2, 2019, 11:59pm) See the Launch Your Business! web page for details.

Scholarship-eligible participants: An annotated bibliography and short reflection is due by April 19, 2019 (11:59pm); additional material might also be required. If you have questions concerning your application, please contact Professor Michael Ofsowitz.

Scholars' Day Dates:
Brighton - May 7, 2019 (Tuesday, beginning 9:30am)
Keynote: May 8, 2019, speaker to be determined (Wednesday)

Please note: Students who are interested in presenting in Launch Your Business! on Scholars’ Day must complete a separate online application by March 2, 2019. More information is available here.


Students, faculty, and staff at MCC are invited to submit proposals to showcase their work. We are looking for proposals from the entire spectrum of scholarly and creative work associated with the MCC community. Applications must be submitted electronically using one of the forms linked above. An application will require an MCC e-mail address, an abstract (see our abstract page for a description), and at least a tentative title. Student applications will also require a faculty mentor (mentors do not co-present, but they may if the student is not competing for scholarship funds). Applicants eligible for a scholarship will be required to submit an annotated bibliography and short reflection in the weeks prior to Scholars' Day, and we may require additional material for consideration of scholarship awards. Please submit one application for each proposal. We look forward to your submissions, and hope to see you at the 2019 Scholars' Day.

From our FAQ:

What kind of work can get into Scholars' Day?

Scholars' Day is open to submissions from all disciplines, from the arts to the hard sciences. The common thread among presentation topics is scholarly research, which incorporates published literature. Projects suitable for Scholars' Day may include: analyses of existing works of art, literature, science, or technology; creations of new methods of doing something related to topics studied at MCC; or the actual collection and analysis of data pertaining to a research question. (These may be presented as posters, talks, or commentated performances.) Student presentations often originate as work done in class on term papers or projects; and although presentations targeted for Scholars' Day generally go somewhat above and beyond the expectations of the classroom, they might just be excellent works produced entirely as in-class projects. Presentations can also originate as independent work outside the confines of class requirements.

The work submitted as a Scholars' Day proposal need not be extraordinary. Although scholarship awards are given to a select few Scholars' Day presenters (generally for quality, complexity, originality, and skillful presenting), one needn't have an award-winning project to be accepted for presenting. Proposals should reflect the kind of work that generally goes into producing an "A" paper or project.

Faculty presentations are typically tangential to or completely independent of one's teaching, but they might also be analyses of pedagogical methods. We hope that faculty presentations (which are liberally accepted) strive for a level of scholarship that models the sort of inquiry or analysis one might expect at a conference of our community college peers, yet remain intelligible to our better students.

Advice for proposals:

Select a mentoring advisor who understands your topic. You may have more than one mentor, and we highly recommend choosing a mentor or mentors in the field(s) of your topic. In other words, if you wish to submit a proposal for a project in philosophy, do not rely on an engineering professor as your mentor: seek out a philosophy professor. If your topic is about psychology, find a psychology professor to work with. Examining genetics? Your English professor is not your best choice: find someone in biology. If your project spans two different fields, have a mentor from each, or at least consult with a professor from each.

Work with your mentor. Proposals that aren't accepted for inclusion at Scholars' Day frequently turn out to be those that were submitted without consultation with the mentor. Your professors are here to help you, and we're generally very impressed with how much they do to support and mold student projects into high-quality submissions (and final products). Start early enough, too, so that you have a strong proposal by the submission deadline.

Narrow your focus. We often give student submissions a second chance if the proposal looks okay but not quite up to standards, and the most common problem we see is that the proposal is way too broad. You will be presenting for roughly 15 minutes. That is not enough time to solve major problems of the world. You should examine a specific case or part of a larger issue. The more precise and limited your topic is in breadth, the better it will be. For example, instead of proposing a report on "sources of greenhouse gases in North America, and how to reduce global climate change," try to examine the relative contribution of one source and estimates of how much it can be reduced by changes in behavior. The research you conduct on this narrower topic will almost guarantee that you'll have a level of expertise beyond anyone in your audience. And that's impressive.

Do your research. It is called "Scholars' Day" because we expect some significant scholarly work as part of your project. You should be well-informed about your topic, whether it's about an artistic method, a literary theme, a biological process, or a moment in history. As a general guideline (but not formal rule) your work should be consistent with the expectations of a 200-level class. And although you needn't be finished before you apply, you should be well-informed when you submit your application. If you need help with the research process, consider making an appointment with a librarian.

Write a coherent abstract. See our abstracts page for information about the required abstract, and consider consulting with a tutor in the Writing Center (11-208) to polish the writing.

If you have questions relating to the application process, contact Professor Ofsowitz at


Videos of award-winning presentations: