Byrd Polar and Climate Research Center Archival Program

Research Award

Criteria for Eligibility:

  • The $5,000 award is available to graduate students, faculty and independent scholars, with or without a current institutional affiliation.
  • We invite both foreign and domestic applicants to apply.
  • Applicant must be at least 18 years of age. 
  • Applicant must live outside of the Columbus metropolitan area and more than 60 miles from the Ohio State University's main campus.

Application Process:

Applicants must demonstrate a need to utilize our collections onsite to be eligible for the award.

  • Each applicant must provide a statement addressing the topic of their proposed study, not to exceed two pages.  Be sure to include the relevance of the Polar Archives collections to your research, as well as the proposed outcome of the research. (Example: book or article publication, presentation at scholarly conference, thesis or dissertation research, etc.) 
  • Each applicant must submit their curriculum vitae/resume, including name, title, contact information and education.  This document should not exceed three pages.  
  • Each applicant must submit one letter of recommendation evaluating the proposed project.  The letter may be sent separately from the other materials, but applicants need to include the name, e-mail address and relationship of the person writing the letter to the applicant.  
  • All application materials should be submitted electronically to

Important Dates:

  • Call for proposals: September 29, 2023
  • Deadline for applications: November 1, 2023
  • Decisions emailed: December 15, 2023
  • Timing of the research visit will be mutually arranged, but recipient must plan the research visit between July 1, 2024 - June 30, 2025

Other important details:

  • Recipients will share their work with the university community through an open presentation, blog post or other appropriate means within the 12 months of the fiscal year following the successful notification of the award.  
  • Any products of the research (publications, etc.) must acknowledge the Polar Archives Research Award and any contributions by Polar Archives faculty or staff.   A copy of any publication resulting from or informed by the research must be submitted to the Polar Archives. 

Questions: Contact Laura Kissel, Polar Curator

Past Recipients of the Research Award



Research Interest

Collections Used


Jean de Pomereu

Jean de Pomereu’s research focuses on the cultural and scientific history of ice sheets.

Papers of John H. Mercer, Robert W. Gerdel, Ned A. Ostenso, Ian M. Whillans, and Mortimer Turner.


Anneke Schwob

Anneke Schwob’s research goal is to gain an understanding of how the men of the Byrd expedition “narrativized both their own time on the continent as well as Antarctica itself.” Read more about her findings in Byrd Polar and Climate Research Center's History Corner.

Admiral Richard E. Byrd Papers, Amory H. “Bud” Waite Papers, and Charles J.V. Murphy Papers


Katherine Cartwright

Katherine Cartwright’s research is to examine how young people understand the world, both their place in it, and the place of the United States in the larger context.

Admiral Richard E. Byrd Papers


No award given due to COVID-19.




Gustavo Valdivia Corrales

Corrales’ research intends to answer three different thematic questions relating to the epistemological assumptions of Mercer’s work at Quelccaya: the fields of power, knowledge and cultural rules (including the logistics and financial efforts of an expedition in the 1970s), and the geopolitical considerations during this time period.

John H. Mercer Papers, Byrd Polar and Climate Research Center Records

2023-2024 Philip Van Dueren Van Dueren's research draws on the resources of the Polar Archives to create a more comprehensive body of knowledge around Sir George Hubert Wilkin's contributions to a wide range of domains through further examination of his diaries, reports and letters. Sir George Hubert Wilkins Papers