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Departmental Awards

Undergraduate Awards

Professor Birkhold with GLL Awards Winners

The Dieter Cunz Award: Outstanding Graduating Senior

In honor of Professor Dieter Cunz (Chair from 1957-1969), a fund was established to present an annual award to an outstanding graduating senior with a major or minor in German. Students may be recognized for outstanding achievement in coursework, research, or leadership within the Department.

Faculty in the Department nominate students for this award.

Email your nomination to Natascha (miller.521) with "Dieter Cunz Award Nomination" in the subject line no later than Wednesday, March 27, 2024 (noon / this deadline is firm).

The Undergraduate Project Award

Two prizes will be awarded each year, normally one presented in the foreign language studied and the other presented in English.


Students who have taken at least one language or literature course at an advanced level (3000 and above), or students with written recommendation of an instructor. Projects must have been completed in the calendar year 2023.


Literary, cultural, linguistic, and socio-political topics may be chosen.

Criteria for Evaluation

In judging the project, the Awards Committee will evaluate originality and depth of ideas, clarity, persuasiveness, appropriateness and breadth of vocabulary, grammar, and style.

  1. Written submissions should consist of at least 3 typed, double-spaced pages (or 800 words). Submissions may consist of two shorter texts. If secondary literature is used, sources should be cited according to MLA style.
  2. Videos of oral presentations should run 5-10 minutes.
  3. A signed statement should be included, reading either: "This project is entirely my own work; I received neither written nor oral assistance in its composition," or "This project was submitted as a class assignment and has been reworked incorporating corrections and suggestions by my instructor."
  4. Do not write your name on your project. Email it to Natascha and she will record your name separately before forwarding it to the Awards Committee.
  5. Email your project to Natascha (miller.521) (as a PDF, or as a link to a video) no later than Wednesday, March 27, 2024 (noon / this deadline is firm)

The Wolfgang Fleischhauer Award

The Wolfgang Fleischhauer Award, in the amount of $5,000, rewards and fosters excellence in academics as achieved by an Ohio State German major. Eligible students must carry an overall GPA of 3.4 or higher, be in their third year of study and/or have junior standing and have completed German 2102 with a grade of B+ or better.

To Apply, Please Submit

  1. A 400-word statement in which you give an example of a question or issue that has piqued your intellectual curiosity and led you to want to know more or to explore an area of German-speaking society or culture.

    Tell us briefly how you discovered your interest and, if given the opportunity, what you would do to pursue it. Maybe you’re interested in comedic stories about life in East Germany and would like to write a research thesis. You can use your statement to outline a draft proposal that you might bring to an advisor for discussion. Or, perhaps you’re interested in medieval manuscripts, their history, decoration and preservation. What museum or Rare Book Library would you choose to intern at and why? Or, maybe you want to pursue your engagement with environmental issues and learn more about how Germany is at the forefront of many initiatives. What German agency or institution would you want to spend time at and why? You don’t actually have to carry through on your plan, although we hope that writing the statement will encourage you to explore opportunities that you might not otherwise have considered.
  2. A copy of your advising report.
  3. Two academic letters of recommendation, at least one of which is from a German instructor at Ohio State. (Your instructors are welcome to email their letters to Natascha directly.)

Email your Statement and Advising Report in one PDF to Natascha (miller.521) no later than Wednesday, March 27, 2024 (noon / this deadline is firm).

The Ilsedore Edse Scholarship

Prof. Ilsedore Edse Ohio State

Biographical Sketch ~ Who was Professor Edse?

This $750 scholarship is awarded to a German major or minor for travel to a German-speaking country (preferably for first-time study abroad) with a minimum stay of three weeks. Future teachers of German are especially encouraged to apply.

Application Deadline for 2024

For Summer 2024 or the academic year 2024-25: Wednesday, March 27, 2024 (noon / this deadline is firm)


German major or minor; 3.2 GPA in German; Strong desire to travel and/or work in a German-speaking country.


  • complete the Application Cover Sheet linked below this list (also available in the main office, 498 Hagerty Hall) ;
  • write a statement of 400-500 words (in German or English) in which you describe:
    • your interest in German;
    • what you hope to accomplish while spending time in a German-speaking country
  • request two letters of recommendation; at least one of them must be from a German instructor at Ohio State. Your recommenders are welcome to email them to Ms. Miller.
  • Email your Cover Sheet and Statement as one PDF to Natascha Miller (.521) with the subject line: 'Ilsedore Edse Scholarship Competition' 

The 2024 Alexander Stephan Undergraduate Essay Prize in German Studies

The Department of Germanic Languages and Literatures at the Ohio State University awards two annual Undergraduate Essay Prizes in a national contest for papers of outstanding academic quality and originality that combine the forces of critique and engagement. The prize committee will consider submissions from undergraduate students who are currently enrolled at a US academic institution. 

Essays may be written in German or in English and cover any area in the field of German Studies broadly conceived.
Only one submission per student is permitted, and the paper must be the work of one individual.
The winning essay in German will be awarded a $250 cash prize; the winning essay in English will be awarded a $250 cash prize.

Formal Requirements

  • double-spaced
  • between 1250 and 2500 words in length, including notes and works cited
  • We only accept digital submissions of pdf files.
  • The essay must be anonymized, i.e., not carry the student’s name so that the committee is able to review the submitted essay blind.

Your submission e-mail must also include the cover sheet (giving the title of your paper, your name, institution, major(s), expected graduation, mailing address, and e-mail address). The link is below:

Note: The essay you submit for the prize can also be submitted as your "writing sample" when you apply to our graduate program. [ https://germanic.osu.edu/application-form ]

Email your paper (PDF) and the cover sheet, using the subject line of: 2024 Stephan National Essay Prize in German Studies, to Natascha Miller (miller.521 at osu.edu) by the due date of Friday, December 1, 2023.

Graduate Awards

The GLL Graduate Service Award

This award is offered every other year. It will next be offered in Spring 2024.

The Graduate Student Service Award will be given to the graduate student who has made an exceptional and highly significant service contribution to the department during the academic year of the award.


Nominations (with a short summary of the student's service) can come from faculty members, fellow students, and staff, or students can self-nominate. Only individual students may be nominated for this award (not a group of students).

Selection Process

The Awards Committee, which is identical with the faculty members on the GAC committee, will review nominations and select the recipient in the Spring Semester of each year. The committee may elect not to designate a recipient.

Email your nomination to Ms. Natascha (miller.521) no later than March 4, 2024 (noon).

Graduate Associate Distinguished Teaching Award in the Department of Germanic Languages and Literatures

note: This award is offered every other year. It will next be offered in Spring 2025.

Nomination Process

Nominations can be submitted by the GTA’s current or former student(s), from fellow GTAs, or from faculty in the Department of Germanic Languages and Literatures. Individuals or groups may submit nominations.

Nominations will be accepted until March 3, 2025 (noon) (Email to: Natascha, with the subject line “GLL GTA Teaching Award 2025”).

A nomination should consist of: a 1-page letter commenting on how the GTA fulfills the criteria of the award, spelled out below. Undergraduate students of the GTA may use the nomination form in Appendix A here:

Nomination Eligibility and Criteria

  • At least three semesters of teaching courses in the Department
  • The creation of a positive learning atmosphere in the classroom
  • The engagement of students in active learning through a variety of activities
  • The practice/use of a wide range of teaching strategies and techniques
  • The creation and sharing of effective and innovative teaching and testing ideas
  • Active and constructive participation in GTA meetings in the Department and/or Program
  • Willingness to reflect on feedback about teaching and to implement changes for improvement
  • Mostly positive narrative comments and numerical scores on teaching evaluations

The GLL Graduate Student Seminar Paper Award

note: This award will next be offered in Spring 2024.

The Graduate Student Seminar Paper Award will be given at the end of every Spring Semester for the best piece of research writing produced as part of course work during the year including the preceding summer and spring terms.

Criteria for Evaluation

The paper must be a valuable contribution to the discipline, be original in thought, methodically well founded, clearly focused, well organized, well carried out, and stylistically of high quality.

Graduate Students have the opportunity to submit their own seminar papers.

The papers will be read and ranked by the faculty members of the Awards Committee. The Awards Committee may decide to consult with other members of the Graduate Faculty.

  • The seminar paper is to be a minimum of 10 pages, typewritten and double-spaced, and must include a bibliography.
  • The seminar paper must conform to the MLA or APA Style Sheet.
  • Do not write your name on the pdf of your paper. Email it to Natascha and she will record your name separately before forwarding your paper to the Awards Committee.
  • Email a PDF of your paper to Natascha no later than March 4, 2024 (noon).

If none of the papers submitted in a given year is, in the committee's judgement, of outstanding quality, it may elect not to designate a winner.

This award is offered every other year. It will next be offered in Spring 2024.