Scholarship available from the NJ Studies Academic Alliance

The Marc Mappen Student Research Scholarship of $300 is offered by the New Jersey Studies Academic Alliance (NJSAA) to support research on any aspect of New Jersey Studies. It is open to high school and college students.

Organized in 1992, the New Jersey Studies Academic Alliance (NJSAA) promotes the teaching of New Jersey Studies, collaboration on projects, and sharing of materials. Membership to the NJSAA is $5.00 for one year, $15.00 for three years.

The scholarship is named for Marc Mappen, former executive director of the New Jersey Historical Commission and a legend in the field of New Jersey studies. Mr. Mappen died on Sunday, Jan. 6, 2019 “having spent most of his life, and a great deal of his energy, working on and promoting the history of the state. He was the author of numerous articles and books, a frequent speaker who delighted in telling humorous offbeat stories about people and places, a public scholar and servant, and good friend to a great many people.”


1) Applicants must be enrolled in high school or at a college or a university (full- or part-time; at the undergraduate or graduate level).

2) This student must be working on a NJ-related history or social studies project. It can be a standard research paper, digital humanities project, oral history project – creativity is encouraged!

3) Students do not have to be a member of NJSAA to apply for the award. A one-year free membership will be provided to awardees.

4) Awardee should be willing to present their work (even if it is a work in progress) at a meeting of NJSAA, which usually meets at Rutgers-New Brunswick. Date of presentation will be negotiated between the student and the committee. Students unable to attend an NJSAA meeting to make their presentation may make arrangements to do a presentation via the Internet.

5) Awardee’s project will be listed on NJSAA’s website and may be considered for publication in NJ Studies: An Interdisciplinary Journal. We would also encourage students to submit their finished products to the NJSAA undergraduate or graduate research paper awards competition, if appropriate.

Application Process

1) Applications must include:

a. A 750-1,000 word description of the project, timeline, and its expected outcomes.

b. A response to the following question, answered in 250 words: “If you had more time and resources to build upon or expand the project, what would you do?” Plainly: where will the money go? Please note that students should not use our funding for anything that might jeopardize their health (and the health of others) during the pandemic. Travel and in-person archival visits should be avoided.

c. Supplemental materials (i.e., research outline, resume with contact information, links to a website or to video or audio clips, a portion of an oral history transcript no longer than 250 words, etc).

d. The name, title, and institution of the academic mentor or advisor who will be supplying a letter of recommendation. The academic mentor or advisor must send the letter of recommendation directly via email.

2) Fall applications will be accepted until Oct. 1, with announcements made Oct. 15. Spring applications will be accepted until March 1, with announcements made March 15.

3) Only complete applications will be considered (including letters of recommendation).

Criteria for Evaluation

  1. Originality of the work.
  2. The project’s relevance to the New Jersey Studies community and/or to the community in New Jersey on which the project focuses.
  3. The project’s research design: feasibility, objectives, outline of major topics, plan of work, public access, and archiving plans.

Please submit all materials electronically to Melissa Ziobro, Chair, NJSAA Research Scholarship Committee,