The POLS Honors Program offers a number of enrichment and professional development opportunities to enhance the intellectual experience of its honors students. Many of these events and opportunities are made possible through the generosity of UConn alumni Alan R. Bennett, who established an endowed honors professorship in Political Science for the purpose of developing enrichment and research programming for undergraduates. The types of opportunities provided by our program involve Research & Professional Development programs, Thesis Support Events & Funding, & Awards.
Research and Professional Development:
Bennett Research Assistant (RA) Program: This fall semester program allows faculty members to hire a POLS Honors student to assist them on a POLS research project. There are a limited number of awards each year and preference is given to proposals intended as the basis for an IDEA, SURF or SHARE grant application later in the semester. The POLS Honors Director solicits applications for the Bennett RA Program from POLS honors students and faculty members every August.
Academic Conference Field Trip: Every fall the POLS Honors program sponsors a fully-funded, day-long field trip for its honors students to attend the Northeast Political Science Association Annual (NPSA) Conference in November. Attendance acquaints honors students with the professional expectations of political science research. Thesis students are required to attend this event; remaining spaces are offered to POLS Honors students on a first come, first serve basis. Email announcements about the trip begin in early October.
Research Excellence in Political Science (REPS) Poster Session & Reception: Every spring the POLS Honors program hosts a poster session and reception to celebrate the research projects undertaken by its honors students during that academic year. Thesis students are required to present at REPS. Research undertaken by other POLS Honors students and undergraduates, such as with the Roper Center, are also included. REPS is typically held the week following the spring semester’s Frontiers of Undergraduate Research.
Luncheons with Speakers for POLS Honors Students: Luncheons with visiting speakers related to POLS are sponsored throughout the academic year and allow students to have one-on-one conversations with visiting professors, professionals, and alumni in POLS. Luncheons are organized on a case-by-case basis. Space is typically limited to 10 or less students and offered to POLS Honors students on a first come, first serve basis. Invitation-only receptions with visiting experts for POLS Honors students are also organized.
Thesis Workshop Dinner: The POLS Honors Director hosts a working dinner annually in late spring for all students who intend to write a POLS Honors thesis in the next academic year in order to review thesis expectations, scholarly literatures and methodology.
Thesis Adviser Luncheons: Individual advising luncheons for POLS Honors thesis students, their faculty thesis adviser and the POLS Honors Director are organized throughout the fall semester in order to provide more personalized thesis and career advising.
Posters for Spring Frontiers in Undergraduate Research & REPS: All POLS Honors thesis students are required to present their research at the Spring Frontiers of Undergraduate Research and REPS poster sessions in April. The cost of professionally printing the posters via UConn’s printing services is covered with Bennett funds.
Travel Funding for Conference Presentations: Travel funds for conference presentation or research by POLS Honors students are available through the Bennett funds on a case-by-case basis and is intended to supplement travel and research funding from other sources.
Bennett Honors Thesis Writing Prize: This end-of-academic-year award is given annually to the POLS Honors student who wrote the best POLS Honors Thesis.
George & Joan Cole Honors Thesis Research Grant: This competitive grant is given in the fall semester to 1-2 senior Honors student to assist with expenses incurred during the research and writing of the thesis. Applications are made available to all thesis students at the beginning of the fall semester.
Program announcements and photos from program events are regularly posted to the “UConn POLS Honors” Facebook page so be sure to like us.