L&S Honors Program

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Mensink Research Grant

The Mark Mensink Honors Research Grant is the L&S Honors Program's most prestigious grant, awarded in recognition of an exceptional thesis proposal. The purpose of the grant is to enable its recipient and his or her advisor to undertake more demanding and extensive honors senior thesis research than might otherwise be possible due to limited resources or time. This award was established by the Mensink family to honor the memory of their late son Mark, whose exceptional academic record and service to the university community stand as a model for other aspiring, high achieving students.

Recipients of the Mensink Grant are asked to submit a copy of their completed thesis to the L&S Honors Program, where it will be bound and placed in the Washburn Observatory library.

For the academic year 2017-2018, one Mensink Grant can be awarded for up to $7500.

Who is eligible to apply?

Students do not apply directly for the Mensink Award, but instead apply for the Trewartha Grant. All applicants for the Trewartha Grant are considered as candidates for the Mensink Grant. The Mensink Grant can be awarded in recognition of an outstanding Trewartha application. Students are eligible for the Mark Mensink Grant if they meet the following criteria:

  • Currently enrolled L&S Honors Student (HLA, HM, or Comprehensive Honors) who plans to graduate with the Honors in the Liberal Arts, Honors in the Major, or Comprehensive Honors degree in May of the current academic year or earlier.
  • Cumulative GPA is at least 3.3.
  • Enrolled in a minimum of three (3) credits of Senior Honor Thesis Directed Study (681 or 682) in your major department

Please note that students may not receive a Mensink grant for research if their thesis has been or will be supported by another university undergraduate research grant (e.g., the Hilldale Undergraduate Fellowship, the Hughes Grant, or by the L&S Honors Program Summer Senior Thesis Grant).

How are recipients chosen?

The Mark Mensink Grant recipient is selected by members of the L&S Faculty Honors Committee. They evaluate applications based on the following:

  • Strength of academic record
  • Progress towards completing your Honors in the Major or Comprehensive Honors degree(s)
  • Outstanding strength, rigor and clarity of your proposal and of the Honors Senior Thesis research project to be funded
  • A clearly defined and justifiable budget

What is the application process?

The Trewartha grant application (which students use to apply to the Mensink award) becomes available each September at scholarships.wisc.edu. The scholarship system should match students to the scholarship, but every year some eligible students do not match correctly. Contact Matt Kohlstedt to be manually added to the scholarship application.

The following materials must be submitted online through scholarships.wisc.edu:

  • One (1) letter of recommendation from the Honors Senior Thesis advisor. Applicants will be prompted in the application to fill out their advisor's contact information, and a link will automatically be sent to him/her to complete the recommendation through the scholarships.wisc.edu system. The deadline for the letter of recommendation is the same as for the student, so applicants should notify their advisor as soon as possible that they will be requesting a letter of recommendation.
  • UW-Madison student transcript (automatically submitted through scholarships.wisc.edu)

When is the application due?

The application deadline is in late October of each academic year.

Award status notifications will be e-mailed to applicants within three to four weeks of the application deadline.

If you have additional questions about the Mark Mensink award, please contact the Honors Program office at (608) 262-2984 or e-mail honors@honors.ls.wisc.edu.