B.E.S.T. Project Fund

B.E.S.T. Project Fund

Bishop’s Exceptional Student Talent

In 2010 a Bishop’s graduate (who wishes to remain anonymous), with a strong belief in our University and a desire to help our most promising students achieve their full potential, made a gift commitment to establish the B.E.S.T. Project Fund.

The B.E.S.T. Project Fund is the premiere experiential learning opportunity at Bishop’s.

This unique fund is intended to assist students to determine their career paths and realize their ambitions.

The funds are awarded to students whom the Selection Committee believes have the potential for significant achievement and impact once they graduate from Bishop’s.

All project proposals should:

  • Assist the student in defining and/or achieving their career objectives.
  • Emphasize a significant interaction with a mentor.
  • Articulate how the project relates to the student’s area of academic interest or links to future studies or career directions.
  • Describe how this learning experience will be shared with the Bishop’s community upon the student’s return to campus in the fall.

NOTE: Although travel is resuming, it may still be challenging in 2022 and restrictions may remain unpredictable. Therefore, applicants for B.E.S.T. project funding are encouraged to propose meaningful projects that can be undertaken in their local communities.

Here are the successful applications for project funding in 2021:

  • Kevin Ahn is a second-year Biology student from Montreal who participated in a 12-week summer research project at Université de Sherbrooke, investigating the optimization of translated mRNA in intestinal cells.
  • Edna Amoah is a fourth-year Pre-Medicine and Neuroscience student from Colombes, France, who worked in a biochemistry research laboratory at Université de Sherbrooke on a project examining the role of reovirus in cancer treatments.
  • Megan Bernier is a second-year Biology and Health Sciences student from Montreal who participated in a 40-day voyage aboard a traditional tall ship, studying oceanography and nautical science while also serving as an active crew member.
  • Schuÿler Edgar-Holmes is a second-year Drama student from Charlotte, Vermont, who staged a COVID-safe outdoor production of the musical Xanadu and created video documentation of the processes involved, from stage management and set-building to costume-making and choreography.
  • Donovan Faraoni is third-year student in Biodiversity and Ecology and Political Studies from Sherbrooke, Quebec. He conducted a feasibility study to develop a plan to establish a Bishop’s chapter of Precious Plastics, an upcycling initiative that collects, cleans, shreds, melts and re-moulds plastic waste into new items that can be sold for profit.
  • Aidan MacDonald is a fourth-year Biology and Biochemistry student who participated in a summer student program at St. Michael’s Hospital in Toronto, where he had the opportunity to shadow an emergency physician and participate in various research activities.
  • Hannah McLean is a fourth-year Sociology student from Collingwood, Ontario, who participated in a virtual internship with a non-profit organization in Madrid, Spain, with a focus on human rights law.
  • Carrie Robinson is fourth-year International Studies and Political Science student from Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario, who worked in the local constituency office of a Member of Provincial Parliament on community engagement and outreach activities.
  • Evelyne Verrette is a second year International Political Economy student who worked with a Sherbrooke-based non-profit organization to enhance regional economic and social welfare initiatives and to identify programs and policies that can support these efforts.
  • Sherif Youssef is a fourth-year Psychology and Neuroscience student from Chambly, Quebec. He participated in an internship at a hospital in Sorel-Tracy where he shadowed a psychiatrist to learn more about providing care in a clinical setting and conducted interviews with medical professionals to assess their perception of the experience of minority and socially marginalized groups when accessing care.
See more examples of projects that were funded in previous years
  • A Music student interned in a Montreal studio to learn about recording, producing, and life in music studios.
  • A Psychology student attended a week-long workshop on Meta-Analysis (‘Stats Camp’) in Lawrence, Kansas.
  • A Classical Studies student participated in an intensive mosaic course in Ravenna, Italy.
  • A Drama student participated in an internship at the Michael Chekhov Theatre Company in New York City.
  • An Education student lived in a tent camp in the Northwest Territories for a month, engaging with Dene elders and government researchers about issues facing Northern Canadian communities.
  • A Business student developed a social media website to link students and alumni.
  • A Political Studies student participated in a study tour of the European Union.
  • A Biology student worked in a wildlife rehabilitation centre in Virginia, USA.
  • An Education student set up an arts camp for Tibetan refugee children in a settlement in North India.
  • A History student experienced three types of work experiences in France: archeology, archival research and conservation.
  • A Music student attended the Sarteano Chamber Choir Conducting Workshop in Italy.
  • An Education student started a summer camp in Uganda for 50 AIDS affected youth.
  • A French and Classics student spent six weeks in Rome in Latin immersion.
  • A Business student spent the summer touring Ontario and Quebec performing magic and circus stage shows.
  • An International Political Economy student participated in an Internship at the Washington Centre.
  • An International Studies student participated in a summer internship in a law firm in China, while taking intensive Mandarin lessons.
  • A Chemistry student interned in Germany researching gold complexes as anticancer drugs.
  • A Religion student spent eight weeks in a summer program at Rangjung Yeshe Institute in Nepal and was introduced to both classical and modern Buddhist scholarship.
  • A Business student took part in the New York City Investment Banking Immersion Program.

Complete details on past B.E.S.T. projects:

Range of Funding

Applicants may request up to a maximum of $7,000 in support. These funds may be used to fund:

  • Travel or accommodations if the project takes place outside of Lennoxville/Sherbrooke.
  • Purchase of necessary equipment (which would remain property of Bishop’s upon completion of the project), supplies or related fees.
  • Workshop fees.
  • Conference fees.
    • Conferences will be accepted for review by the committee, but there must be strong reasoning as to why it would be an exceptional experience for the B.E.S.T. Project Fund to accommodate; for example, presenting a paper or a poster at a conference.
  • As a general rule, compensation is not provided for lost earnings; however, this may be considered under exceptional circumstances.
  • The range of funding requested last year was from $1,000 to $7,000. The average funding requested was $4,400.
  • The range of funding awarded last year was from $1,000 to $7,000. The average funding awarded was $3,900.

Eligibility

Applicants for B.E.S.T. Project funding must be full-time students at Bishop’s and be endorsed by a Bishop’s faculty member or senior administrator as a sponsor/mentor for the project.

The student must not receive Bishop’s academic credit for the project. Students must have completed at least one year of full-time studies at Bishop’s prior to starting the project.

The project may take place during the academic year, the spring or the summer, and must be completed while the student is a full-time student at Bishop’s.

Students not returning to Bishop’s University will not normally be considered except under exceptional circumstances.

A student may apply for one project per year.

The student must have a minimum 70% cumulative average in courses taken at Bishop’s. The cumulative average for last year’s recipients was 87%.

Application Process

The details of the B.E.S.T. Project Fund will appear on the Bishop’s website, and in the academic calendar.

If you have any questions, please contact Denise Lauzière, Chief of Staff, Office of the Principal and Vice-Chancellor, at denise.lauziere@ubishops.ca or 819-822-9600 ext. 2201. Completed applications must be received by Friday, January 28, 2022. Applications must be submitted electronically by completing the online form.

Application for B.E.S.T. Project Fund

The B.E.S.T. Project Selection Committee will review applications with a goal of advising students and their sponsors of the Committee’s decisions before the end of February.

The Committee may wish to interview students prior to making a final decision.

Each application must include:

  • Explanation of the project and how it fulfills the objectives of the Fund.
  • Intended outcome or goal of the project.
  • Timeline for the project.
  • Detailed budget and specific request for financial support from the Fund.
  • A reference letter from the sponsor/mentor which states why the candidate should be considered and why the project will help the student achieve their goals. The sponsor/mentor letter should also include how they will provide active support to the student before and during the project.
  • Biography of the student.
  • If there is participation in a program, include specifications of the program, as well as what makes it exceptional.

Additional Information

The B.E.S.T. Project Fund is not a travel fund. Consequently, if travel is proposed, the applicant must demonstrate why a similar experience could not be attained without such travel.

If you are participating in an internship or a program and have not yet received notice of acceptance, you may still submit your project for review. If you receive the B.E.S.T., your remittance will be conditional until you receive official acceptance to the internship or program.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the role of the sponsor/mentor?

The sponsor/mentor must:

  • write a reference letter for the student;
  • provide him/her with assistance throughout the application process and during the project.
  • Be responsible for ensuring that the project is being completed.
Should my sponsor/mentor submit their reference letter directly to the selection committee, or can I upload it along with the rest of my application?

Either is fine. Your sponsor/mentor is welcome to send their reference letter directly to the selection committee via Ms. Denise Lauzière (denise.lauziere@ubishops.ca) or they can send it to you and you can include it when you upload your application and supporting documents.

How long should my biography be and what should it include?

There is no set format for the biography, but usually students write approximately one page. Below are some points that should be addressed in your biography:

  • year of study;
  • program;
  • hometown;
  • what led you to Bishop’s;
  • personal interests;
  • extra-curricular activities/involvements at Bishop’s and in the community;
  • goals for the future; and
  • any other pertinent information that would be useful for the committee to know.
Can I submit a group project?

Two or more students wishing to participate on a common project may submit an application, but each applicant will be assessed on their own merit. As such, all applicants must meet B.E.S.T. requirements individually.

How long should my application be?

Applications average between three and five pages.