Graduate Research Opportunities & Awards

Every year in the spring semester, the Graduate Studies Committee presents awards for graduate students based on their major scholarly work.

Graudate Students in classroom

Details of Award

The award is an opportunity to honor outstanding scholarly and creative works by graduate students, either applied or research-based. Papers or applied, visual, or creative art projects should be focused on areas of importance in the student's discipline. The format should be consistent with discipline/program guidelines.

To be eligible for consideration, all papers must have gone through a formal program review/defense process and be approved by the respective faculty committee as meeting the requirements of the program. Nominees must either be currently enrolled in a graduate degree program or, more likely, must have completed their studies no more than one year before the time of the paper/project submission.

Student papers/projects must be formally nominated, in writing, by the Program Director or Department Chair, using procedures for nominations established by the Department. Nominations must be submitted by March 27 and include:

  1. an abstract of the paper/brief project description—though a full electronic copy of the work is preferred
  2. a letter of nomination to the Dean of Graduate Studies and the Graduate Studies Committee. In the letter, the Program Director/Department Chair should:

    a) identify the specific contribution of the work to the field,
    b) verify that the work has been approved by the student's thesis/project/dissertation faculty committee and,dissertation faculty committee and,
    c) certify that the work is primarily that of the student.

 (NOTE: Electronic submissions are preferred send to )

Other entry materials may include but are not limited to publication-ready manuscripts, visual displays of concepts, graphic designs, photographs, interactive media projects, CD-ROMs, DVDs, and websites.

Please note that nominated work should be a dissertation, thesis, or graduate project, or represent an equivalent amount of work. Normally, papers for individual classes would not be considered substantial enough for this competition. If you wish to nominate work which is not a dissertation, thesis, or project, you should include justification for the committee's consideration of this work.

A subcommittee of the Graduate Studies Committee will review submissions to determine the winners. The committee will consist of a five-member panel of judges, the composition of the panel is three graduate faculty members with experience reviewing scholarly/creative works from various disciplines (at least one from GSC); one of the two GSC student representatives, and the Dean of the Graduate Studies.

General criteria for award selection:

  • significance of the ideas, issues and/or objectives of the work (to be specified in the document and letter of nomination)
  • relevance and/or potential benefit to the field/practice
  • quality of writing, technical execution
  • rigor of the research design, analysis and conclusions (as applicable)
  • creativity in project design and replication potential (if applicable)
  • the overall quality of the student's work and its consistency with meritorious recognition.

The award will include a $200 check. A maximum of five awards will be granted each year. 

Work must be completely finished and approved. Students who graduated in spring, summer, fall of the preceding year or Spring of the current graduating year are eligible.