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Research & Service Leadership Symposium

Preparing Your Proposal

Top Reasons Proposals are NOT Accepted

  • Poor Writing. Proposals with typos and grammar mistakes may be eliminated. Proposals in which it is difficult to understand the main ideas or proposals that have unclear descriptions will not be selected.  Have someone unfamiliar with your project read your proposal to see if they understand it clearly. 
  • Ignoring Word Length Limits. Proposals that exceed the word count requirements will be eliminated.
  • Poor Quality Resources (for research projects only).  We look closely at references to determine that they have appropriate academic value.  Your project should include information from reputable sources. 
  • Sloppy Methodology (for research projects only) The quality of research so often hinges on the quality of the methodology used.  Your research projects should utilize discipline-appropriate protocols and methodologies.

Committee Review Selection Process

A committee of Foothill faculty and staff from diverse academic disciplines and roles will select the presenters.

Here is the process that they will follow:

  1. A packet consisting of all the proposal content (title, abstract, methodology, resources) but without any identifying or demographic information is sent to each reader.

  2. Each reader reviews every proposal independently and ranks it "yes", "no" or "maybe." In addition, if the proposal falls into the reader's academic discipline, s/he carefully reviews and checks the references to be sure they are of high quality.

  3. The committee comes together in person, and discusses every proposal. Any proposal which received unanimous yes's is automatically accepted. Similarly, any proposal which received unanimous no's is rejected.

  4. The committee will then discuss proposals which had split decisions and/or a lot of maybes and aim for consensus about which remaining proposals will be selected.

  5. Committee members recuse themselves from the discussion as necessary should they recognize a proposal which came from one of their students.

Cash Prizes

A cash prize of $100 will be awarded to each member of the 5 highest quality/most impactful projects.  Winners will be selected based on the submitted application materials.


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Please contact us!

Allison Herman & Michael McCusker, RSL Symposium Coordinators