Frequently Asked Questions

. . . about the Hoopes Prize

Eligibility/Nomination
1.  Who is eligible to nominate a student project for a Hoopes Prize?
2.  How does a faculty supervisor nominate a student project?
3.  May a student nominate his or her own project for a Hoopes Prize?
4.  May a student ask his or her faculty supervisor to nominate his or her project for a Hoopes Prize?
5.  May a departmental reader or DUS nominate a project?
6.  Does an entry have to be a senior thesis?
7.  Can creative writing entries such as a novel or a collection of poetry or short stories be nominated?
8.  If a student project is not a written piece (for example, it is a film, performance piece, or gallery show), can it still be nominated?
9.  What happens if a project has more than one supervisor?
10. Is it possible for a supervisor who is not currently on campus to nominate his or her student's project?
11. May an instructor who supervised two superb student projects nominate both works?
12. Are November and March graduates eligible for the Hoopes Prize?

Application/Submission
13. If a student has many strengths but his or her thesis was not an outstanding success, does the Hoopes Prize committee take other factors into account?
14. The nomination form asks for the student's Harvard University ID number. Where do I find that information?
15. What is the preferred format for written work?
16. What is the project abstract and why is it needed?
17. May the nominee submit his or her application before the nominator has submitted the Faculty Nomination Form?
18. Do students submitting non-written projects need to fill out the Student Information Form?
19. May a nominee make a change to his or her application?

Readers' Comments
20. What are readers' comments and why are they needed?
21. What happens if the readers' comments will not be available until after the Hoopes deadline?
22. May a student revise his or her thesis in response to the readers' comments and then enter it for the Hoopes?

Timing/Deadlines
23. I lead a busy life and therefore take a just-in-time approach to deadlines. Could this be a problem?
24. Why are there two different deadlines?
25. If a thesis is not due until after this year's Hoopes deadline, can it still be nominated for a Hoopes Prize?
26. What if a nominator or a student is unavailable on the Hoopes deadline day?

Notification/Acknowledgements
27. When will the prize winners be notified?
28. I would like to add an acknowledgements page to my winning project. What should I do?

 

Eligibility/Nomination

1. Who is eligible to nominate a student project for a Hoopes Prize? 
Any instructor supervising extraordinary undergraduate work completed for credit in Harvard College during the current academic year may nominate that project.  (See also FAQ 11.) 

2. How does a faculty supervisor nominate a student project? 
To nominate a student project, the faculty supervisor should follow the faculty nominator portion of the Hoopes Instructions.

3. May a student nominate his or her own project for a Hoopes Prize? 
No. A student's project must be nominated by the faculty member who supervised the work. 

4. May a student ask his or her faculty supervisor to nominate his or her project for a Hoopes Prize? 
A student should not ask his or her faculty supervisor to nominate his or her project for a Hoopes Prize. Nominations are made at the discretion of the faculty supervisor.

5. May a departmental reader or DUS nominate a project? 
A departmental reader or DUS may not nominate a project that he or she did not supervise. A project must be nominated by the faculty member who supervised the work.

6. Does an entry have to be a senior thesis? 
No. Most projects nominated for a Hoopes Prize are senior theses, but junior papers or similar projects that were written or produced under faculty supervision may also be nominated. The Hoopes Prize committee requests that only work of very high quality be nominated.

7. Can creative writing entries such as a novel or a collection of poetry or short stories be nominated? 
Yes. Creative writing entries are eligible for the prize.

8. If a student project is not a written piece (for example, it is a film, performance piece, or gallery show), can it still be nominated? 
Yes. Entries such as performances, gallery shows, or films are eligible for the prize. Please contact the Prize Office as far in advance of the deadline as possible for further information. (See also FAQ 18.)

9. What happens if a project has more than one supervisor? 
If a project has two supervisors, the supervisors should decide who will nominate the project. If they decide to co-nominate the project, both nominators must submit the online nomination form. They also must either write individual project evaluations or co-author a statement. No more than two supervisors may nominate a project. If a winning entry has two nominators, the honorarium is divided equally between them.

10. Is it possible for a supervisor who is not currently on campus to nominate his or her student's project? 
Yes. The Faculty Nomination Form is available online. A faculty member who is not currently on campus who supervised a student project may fill out the form and submit the necessary materials electronically to nominate the project. If the faculty member is no longer at Harvard, he or she should contact the Prize Office as soon as possible for the necessary Hoopes Prize nomination documents.

11. May an instructor who supervised two superb student projects nominate both works? 
A faculty member ordinarily nominates just one student project in a given academic year. In the event that a faculty member has supervised more than one outstanding project and thinks two are deserving of a Hoopes Prize, he or she should contact the Prize Office as soon as possible for instructions about how to petition for an exception. Please note that if both projects receive a Hoopes Prize, the nominator is only eligible to receive one full honorarium. An instructor may nominate no more than two projects in one academic year.

12. Are November and March graduates eligible for the Hoopes Prize? 
Yes. November and March graduates of the current academic year are eligible to be nominated for the Hoopes Prize in the academic year in which they received their respective degrees. For example, an undergraduate who received his or her degree in November 2017 would be eligible to be nominated for a Hoopes Prize in the spring of 2018.
 

Application/Submission

13. If a student has many strengths but his or her thesis was not an outstanding success, does the Hoopes Prize committee take other factors into account? 
No. The Hoopes Prize committee members evaluate only the work as it is submitted, along with the comments of the nominator(s) and thesis readers. Past winners have included senior theses that were not highly rated by their departments. Conversely, a summa thesis is not guaranteed a Hoopes Prize.

14. The nomination form asks for the student's Harvard University ID number. Where do I find that information? 
Instructors have access to their students' Harvard University ID numbers (HUIDs) through their enrollment lists at my.harvard.

15. What is the preferred format for written work? 
Written submissions should have at least one-inch margins on both the left- and the right-hand sides of each page for bookbinding purposes. Special attention should be paid to pages containing images, tables, and graphs to make sure that the margins are sufficient. A student submitting a non-written project should contact the Prize Office for further instructions as soon as he or she is informed that his or her project has been nominated.

16. What is the project abstract and why is it needed? 
Nominees are asked to write a 150- to 200-word abstract of their project for the non-specialist reader. This abstract, which must be their own work, should describe the goals of their project, contextualize it within the broader parameters of their discipline, and highlight its importance. Even if an abstract is already included in a thesis, the student must write a new abstract specifically for the Hoopes Prize.

17. May the nominee submit his or her application before the nominator has submitted the Faculty Nomination Form? 
Yes. Once a nominator has informed a student of his or her intention to nominate the student's project, the nominee should begin the submission process.

18. Do students submitting non-written projects need to fill out the Student Information Form? 
Yes. All nominees need to fill out and submit the online Student Information Form.

19. May a nominee make a change to his or her application?  
No. Once an application has been submitted, no changes can be made to any part of it, including the abstract and the project. Nominees are advised to review their applications carefully before clicking "Submit."
 

Readers' Comments

20. What are readers' comments and why are they needed? 
Readers' comments are the official evaluations that senior-thesis graders submit to a student's department. If readers’ comments are produced as part of the student thesis evaluation process, they are used in addition to the nominator's evaluation during the prize selection process. Departments/concentrations send the readers' comments to the Prize Office directly.  Students should check with their departments if they are unsure how this part of the entry will be handled.

21. What happens if the readers' comments will not be available until after the Hoopes deadline? 
Readers' comments are the only portion of an entry that can be submitted after the deadline. All other materials (the project and all other nomination materials) must be submitted by the deadline. Departments should email the readers' comments to the Prize Office as soon as they are available.

22. May a student revise his or her thesis in response to the readers' comments and then enter it for the Hoopes? 
No. If an entry is a senior thesis, it should be submitted as it was submitted to the department. 
 

Timing/Deadlines

23. I lead a busy life and therefore take a just-in-time approach to deadlines. Could this be a problem? 
Yes. The Hoopes Prize application has many parts and a strict deadline. Nominees are advised to begin the application process as soon as they have been informed that they have been nominated and to check with the Prize Office to make sure their applications are complete. No exceptions to the deadlines are made for any reason.

24. Why are there two different deadlines? 
The deadline for faculty nominations is two days earlier than the deadline for student submissions to give nominees time to complete their applications.

25. If a thesis is not due until after this year's Hoopes deadline, can it still be nominated for a Hoopes Prize? 
If an entry cannot be submitted by the Hoopes deadline because of a department’s thesis deadline, a nominator may petition the Director of the Prize Office before this year's Hoopes deadline for permission to submit the thesis for the following year's competition.

26. What if a nominator or a student is unavailable on a Hoopes deadline day? 
The nominator and the student are responsible for ensuring that their parts of the Hoopes materials are complete and submitted to the Prize Office by their respective deadlines.  Given that circumstances are hard to predict, we suggest that nominators and students alike turn in their materials as early as possible.
 

Notification/Acknowledgements

27. When will the prize winners be notified? 
Hoopes Prize applicants will be notified of the selection committee’s decisions via email in mid-May.

28. I would like to add an acknowledgements page to my winning project. What should I do? 
A student prize winner who wishes to add an acknowledgements page to his or her project may email the page as an attachment to the Prize Office at prizes at fas.harvard.edu within a week of being notified that the project has won. The acknowledgements page will be inserted behind the cover page of the project and therefore will not disrupt the project's table of contents or page numbering. Students should not resubmit their entire projects.