Ridge Research Awards Information

General Information and Guidleines

The Ridge Library, housed at the The Learning Center at St. Patrick Hospital, is an important resource in the medical humanities.  With a growing collection of about 1800 books and monographs, as well as many journals, the Ridge Library serves as a resource for health care providers, scholars and students who are interested in the rich nexus between community and individual health/healthcare and the humanities. Works in history, ethics, art, film, theater, literature, biography, anthropology, sociology and other fields allow users to gain insights into the very human experiences of health and illness and the provision of healthcare. Ridge scholars have the opportunity to enhance the collection through acquisitions related to their field of inquiry.

For this round of scholarships, applications related to health disparities and inequity, narrative medicine, storytelling, end-of-life care options, climate change and health, suicide and community response to suicide, and social determinants of health are particularly encouraged, although all topics that fit within the general guidelines will be considered.  A focus on these issues in the Missoula region is encouraged but not required provided the research is relevant to that area.  “Research” includes scientific and Humanities research and creative works that involve exploration at the nexus of health/healthcare and humanities.  Examples of appropriate creative works include a short film, play or art piece suitable for public presentation.  All applicants must be able to articulate the relationship of the humanistic content of their project to health and/or healthcare.

The Ridge Research Awards foster student research that utilizes the resources in the Ridge Collection and other resources.  Two categories of Awards will be made, one limited to undergraduate students and the other open to graduate students.  Up to five awards of $1000.00, payable in two installments, are available.

There is a general expectation that the research will be completed, or advanced enough, in time for the student to present at a Ridge Symposium, although applicants with meritorious projects with a completion date slightly later will be considered for presentation in conjunction with later events. Applicants are strongly encouraged to consult and possibly collaborate with someone directly involved in providing health care or who is working in the community health setting.


  1. Undergraduate students must have completed at least two years of college and have junior or senior standing at the University of Montana
  2. Graduate students must be officially enrolled in a masters or doctoral program
  3. All applicants must have sufficient background in their discipline to conduct meaningful research that utilizes the resources of the Ridge Collection and the ability to develop and carry out a research project or creative work under the guidance of a faculty mentor
  4. Applicants may be pursuing any major field of study and must have at least a 3.2 overall GPA.
  5. Undergraduate students must be enrolled for a minimum of 12 credits and graduate students for 9 credits in the semester during which the research and/or creative work will be undertaken.

Application Process:

Completed applications will include:
  1. A cover sheet (form provided by IHH)
  2. a brief description (approximately 3-5 pages) of the proposed project, including the objectives of the research and creative work (where applicable) including its relationship to health or healthcare and Humanities (broadly construed), a plan of how the research will be organized and the work completed, and how the resources of the Ridge Collection will be used
  3. an abstract of no more than 250 words that summarizes the proposal and the methods involved; the abstract should be designed to convince the reader-judge of the project’s merit
  4. a current transcript
  5. a letter of support from the faculty mentor

Selection Criteria

Proposals will be judged by the extent to which they:

  1. provide a sound thesis and rationale for the project
  2. demonstrate originality
  3. note the significance and/or contribution of the work
  4. are written in a clear and understandable manner
  5. articulate the relationship between the Humanities and health and/or healthcare in the proposed project
  6. meet the requirements noted in these guidelines

Successful applicants are expected to make a presentation about his or her research and/or creative work at a Ridge Symposium, unless approved for a later date for presentation in conjunction with another public event.

Procedures and Timeline:

  1. Applications are available online.
  2. Awards will be announced in late spring.
  3. Upon completion of project, students are to supply brief description of project and how they used the Ridge Library resources.
  4. Ridge Symposium featuring presentation of research projects and creative works or at a later date upon approval.