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Undergraduate Library Research Prize Submission Information

2020 student winners lined up


Student and Faculty Undergraduate Library Research Prize Submission Form

Prize Eligibility

All UC San Diego undergraduate students working towards an undergraduate degree and enrolled in Spring quarter of the prize year are eligible. Projects that have been presented at research-focused events, such as the Undergraduate Research Conference and the Summer Research Conference, are eligible, as are projects that have been submitted for UC San Diego course credit.

  • Research must have been completed in the previous four quarters (Spring 2023, Summer 2023, Fall 2023 and/or Winter 2024).
  • Winners and honorable mention honorees agree to have their work publicly displayed in the UC San Diego Library.
  • Winners and honorable honorees agree to have their projects entered into eScholarship, the University of California’s open access repository.


The Undergraduate Library Research Prize consists of five awards of $1,000, one in each of the following categories:

  • Social Sciences, Arts & Humanities
  • Health & Life Sciences
  • Physical Sciences & Engineering
  • Best project highlighting resources from the Data and GIS Lab
  • Best project highlighting resources from UC San Diego Special Collections

Students must select one category for their project.

Honorable Mentions may also be given for outstanding work as the judges find appropriate.

If multiple students co-submit a project that they worked on together, the award will be equally divided between the students.

Types of Entries Accepted

Judges will review Creative Works, Empirical Research and Interpretive Analysis that shows sophisticated use and understanding of library resources.

  • Creative Works include, but are not limited to, art installations or exhibits, software programs, websites, digital stories, zines, musical compositions, films or videos, digital projects, special projects, etc.
  • Empirical Research includes, but is not limited to, research conducted with qualitative or quantitative methodologies, presented in formats such as research articles, poster presentations, essays, etc.
  • Interpretive Analysis include, but are not limited to cultural criticism, literary criticism, film analysis, historiographies, social criticism, etc.

Submission Information

Students and Faculty should submit their documents independently of one another. If you are submitting a project as a group, you only need to complete one submission form. Please combine the student components into a single file (Word or PDF) for submission. The following documents are necessary for a complete submission:

  • A Library Use Reflective Essay (500 to 750 words) describing your research strategy, your methods of evaluating library resources, and what you learned from this research experience. We encourage you to be specific and descriptive, and highlight specific examples to illustrate your points. When co-submitting, please identify what each individual team member contributed to the research.
  • A final, or near final, version of the Project. If the project is on the web, please provide a stable URL to the item that will be available through the end of Spring Quarter. If the project cannot be submitted electronically (such as an art installation or a model), please document the project with photographs or video as much as possible and include a detailed written description.
  • A complete Bibliography in a style appropriate for the discipline of your project. Even if a bibliography is part of your project, please make it its own separate section of the submission.
  • A Faculty Statement of Support discussing the following:
    • How the student’s work displays a thorough use of library resources
    • How the use of library collections, resources and services contributed to making the project successful
    • How this project contributed to the development of a habit of research and inquiry for the student

Students and Faculty: Please upload your document(s) to the Undergraduate Library Research Prize Submission Form.

Judging Criteria

For each category, a panel of UC San Diego librarians will judge submissions based on how well the students demonstrate the following:

  • Sophistication, originality, or unusual depth or breadth in researching library collections, including, but not limited to, printed resources, databases, datasets, maps, primary resources, and materials in all media.
  • Exceptional ability to locate, select, evaluate and synthesize library resources to create a project in any media that shows originality and/or has the potential to lead to original research.
  • Evidence of significant personal learning with regard to the practice of research and inquiry that shows a likelihood of persisting in the future.
  • Understanding of how research practices (such as topic selection, resource selection, and methods) intersect with the furthering of equity, diversity, and inclusion.


If you have questions about the Undergraduate Library Research Prize please contact:

Tim Chu
ULRP Coordinator

UC San Diego Library UCSD AlumniUC San Diego Undergraduate Research Hub

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