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Award for Undergraduate Research

Undergraduates, now is your chance to turn your research project into a cash prize.

The University of Maryland Libraries, the Maryland Center for Undergraduate Research and Maryland's iSchool are partnering to showcase and reward undergraduate research projects.

Up to four awards of $1,000 each will be awarded to undergraduates who impress us with their research. The awards, provided by the University of Maryland Libraries, aim to promote the value and use of library services and information resources. 

Essays and projects of winning students will be included in the Digital Repository at the University of Maryland (DRUM).

Submission applications are currently closed. Look for an update in December.

For questions and more information about the Library Award for Undergraduate Research, contact Patti Cosard, Art/Sociology Librarian, at pcossard@umd.edu.


New Inclusion, Diversity, Equity, and Accessibility (IDEA) Award

As part of our ongoing commitment to Inclusion, Diversity, Equity, and Accessibility (IDEA), the University of Maryland Libraries seek to recognize and empower students to explore diversity issues, educate themselves, and inspire others to advance social justice by embracing the IDEA values through research. 

The Libraries are committed to creating and maintaining diverse and inclusive learning and research environment that nurtures the growth and development of our students.

We encourage individual submissions of research papers related to diversity issues including but not limited to race/ethnicity, gender identity, religious heritage, socio-economic status, first-generation university students, veterans, disability/ableism, ageism, national origin/immigration status, indigenous heritage, sexual orientation, etc. One of these four awards will be awarded to the individual IDEA winner.

Criteria and Guidelines

To be eligible for the awards, individual applicants must:

  • Be a currently enrolled University of Maryland College Park undergraduate at any class level, and in any discipline (e.g. arts, humanities, social sciences, sciences, and engineering).
  • Have completed their research paper/project for a credit course or under the direction of a professor or a librarian at the University of Maryland College Park during the calendar year January to December 2021.
  • Agree to attend Undergraduate Research Day on Wednesday of April 27 2022, if you are a winning awardee.
  • Agree to submit their research paper/project to the Digital Repository at the University of Maryland (DRUM). Research papers are not eligible for consideration if they are pending review by the publisher, accepted for publication, or already published in print or digital form. 
  • Have their research papers/projects and the essay written in English. For papers written in a foreign language, follow the guidelines in FAQ section, item #7.
  • Agree to have the application used as data in a study on trends of undergraduate information seeking and use.

To be eligible for an IDEA Award for Undergraduate Research, as well as the criteria above, the research paper should focus on research that promotes our understanding of diversity issues including but not limited to race/ethnicity, gender identity, religious heritage, socio-economic status, first-generation university students, veterans, disability/ableism, ageism, national origin/immigration status, indigenous heritage, sexual orientation, etc.

Papers/projects will be judged based on the following criteria:  

  • Sophistication, originality, or unusual depth or breadth in final research product.
  • Exceptional excellence in the use of information and library resources, including, but not limited to, printed and electronic resources, subscription databases, primary sources, materials in all media, and guidance from a professor and a librarian, as demonstrated in: 
    • A bibliography or other appropriate listing of sources consulted.
    • A reflective essay.

An essay consisting of 750-1,000 words is required that describes your experience in using the information resources and library services. Explain your research strategy and how you used and evaluated the resources found. The following questions should be addressed in your essay. If one or more of the questions are not applicable, please explain why.

  • How did you begin your research? Explain how you came up with your research query/topic.
  • How did you discover your sources? Which library or other information sources did you use? Explain particular techniques or strategies that you used while searching and discovering information.
  • Did you seek assistance from a librarian, a professor, or someone else? If so, how this interaction impacted your research process? Was there anyone in particular who gave you the inspiration to turn your research in a different direction?
  • How did you select and evaluate the sources you found? Explain which criteria you used for selecting sources.
  • What did you learn during the research process that will help further your academic or professional career?

Finally, reflecting back on your research experience, what would you change?  How could the library be a better place for your research needs? Be creative and bold in your imagination!

Applications must include all of the following:

  • Application form. Applications can be loaded via the Digital Repository at the University of Maryland (DRUM) website. Once you get to the DRUM page, login using your directory ID and password by clicking the Login tab on the upper right corner.
  • Letter of support from the University of Maryland – College Park sponsoring professor or librarian.
  • Reflective essay (750-1,000 words) describing applicant’s research strategies and use of library tools and information resources.
  • Bibliography (please do not remove the references list from your original research paper/project)
  • A final version of the research paper/project.  Projects in all media and formats are encouraged. All materials will not be returned to the applicant and will become property of the University of Maryland Libraries collections. The applicant will retain ownership of the intellectual content. However, for some projects in alternative media, the judging panel may agree to return the project to the applicant.
    • Written projects: The length of the paper may vary depending on the assignment.
    • Digital projects: If web-based, include a URL of the digital project in your Application form (next to the Title of the research/project) along with the other application components. If the project is in a format that cannot be submitted electronically, such as an architectural model, CD or DVD, deliver it by the due date in person to Patti Cossard.

All necessary documents must be in .pdf format. Save your files using your last name and the name of the document:

  • Lastname_Application.pdf
  • Lastname_LetterOfSupport.pdf
  • Lastname_Essay.pdf
  • Lastname_ResearchPaper.pdf
  • Lastname_Bibliography.pdf

Upload your documents in DRUM. On the upper right corner, click Login and enter your UMD Directory ID and password.

You will receive a confirmation e-mail after you complete your application process. To be considered for the award, applications must be received by March 7, 2022. Late applications will not be considered.

FAQ

Applications must be submitted online via the Digital Repository at the University of Maryland (DRUM) web site. Submissions will not be accepted after the deadline. See the Application guidelines section of the left sidebar for more information.

If, due to format, your project cannot be submitted electronically, contact Patti Cossard, pcossard@umd.edu, to make arrangements for hand delivery. This must be done well in advance of the deadline

No, we are no longer accepting group projects.

No. Instead of submitting several research papers, choose the best one and describe your research experience in your essay. 

Yes. All submissions must include a properly formatted bibliography in a recognized style (MLA, APA, Chicago, etc.). A bibliography is mandatory regardless of whether or not your professor originally required it. Check out the UMD Libraries' Citation Tools for help creating your bibliography.

In some circumstances (e.g. study abroad program or funeral of a close relative), this requirement can be waived. However, the award must be received in person (no checks will be mailed). 

Yes. Students can still apply for the library award, if their research projects have been completed in the previous calendar year for May graduates and in the current calendar year for December graduates. 

If the research paper is written in a foreign language, translate it in English and place the following note at the beginning of your document in italics:

This is a translated English version of the original paper written in [state the language here]. The original text in [foreign language] follows on p. [….] in this document. 

When you submit items to DRUM, you agree to the DRUM license and grant the University of Maryland a non-exclusive right to retain, preserve, and provide access to your material. The term "non-exclusive" means that you retain all copyright to your work. You can still enter into agreements with other organizations (such as publishers) granting them rights to use your material.

If you have further questions, please email drum-help@umd.edu.

The jury consists of three subject librarians, a faculty member of the Libraries' IDEA committee, and a faculty member from the iSchool, College of Information Studies.

Not necessarily. The prize will only be given when the work submitted is of high enough quality to warrant it. We anticipate giving the prize every year, therefore, but do not guarantee it.

This prize is aimed at promoting the use of library research among undergraduates in order to prepare them for lifelong learning. The goal is to promote and reward research strategies at an earlier stage of learning than graduate level work.

Yes, examples of past award winning papers can be found in DRUM Collection: Library Award for Undergraduate Research.

The award may affect your financial aid. Please consult your financial aid advisor or the Office of Student Financial Aid.


Past Award Recipients

Emily Eason, Senior student. Major: Government and Politics (Concentrating in International Relations)

Faculty Librarian: Jordan Sly, University Libraries, Teaching and Learning Services

Library Award Essay and Project

Research Paper: Olde Towne, New Townspeople: An Anthropological Analysis of the LifeStages of 1.5 Generation Latino Immigrants in Gaithersburg, MD

Winner of the 2022 Library IDEA Award for Undergraduate Research


Linette Kingston, Senior student. Major: Health and Science Analytics

Faculty professor: Dr. Andrea Lopez, College of Behavioral and Social Sciences, Anthropology

Library Award Essay and Project

Research Paper: Surveillance in the United States: From the War on Drugs to the War on Terrorism


Lauren Krauskopf, Senior student. Major: History

Faculty professor: Dr. Katarina Keane, College of Arts and Humanities, History

Librarian: Judy Markowitz, University Libraries, Teaching and Learning Services

Library Award Essay and Project

Research Paper: Discomfort and Unpleasantness: The Vietnam Antiwar Movement at the Supreme Court


Karoline Trovato, Senior student. Major: Psychology 

Faculty professor: Dr. Karen O'Brien, College of Behavioral and Social Sciences, Psychology

Library Award Essay and Project

Research Paper: Educate and Empower: An Online Intervention to Improve College Women’s
Knowledge and Confidence When Communicating in a Romantic Relationship

Jesse Anderson, Junior student. Major: Information Science (Concentrating in Data Science)

Faculty Librarian: Rachel Gammons, University Libraries, Teaching and Learning Services

Library Award Essay and Project

Research Paper: In Support of Abstinence-Plus Education: Evaluating the Shortcomings of Peer-to-Peer Education and Abstinence-Only Programs in the Context of Attitudes, Intentions, and Behaviors

Winner of the 2021 Library IDEA Award for Undergraduate Research


Boban Dedović, Senior student. Major: Psychology 

Faculty professor: Edward Bernat, College of Behavioral and Social Sciences, Psychology

Library Award Essay and Project

Research Paper: ‘Minds’ in ‘Homer’: A quantitative psycholinguistic comparison of the Iliad and Odyssey


William Wong, Senior student. Major: English and History

Faculty professor: Linda Coleman, College of Arts and Humanities, English

Library Award Essay and Project

Research Paper: Strength in Contradiction: The Radicalization of Incel Rhetoric

Boban Dedović, Senior student. Major: History

Faculty professor: Matthew J. Suriano, College of Arts and Humanities, Jewish Studies

Library Award Essay and Project

Research Paper: "Inanna's Descent to the Netherworld": A Centennial Survey of Scholarship, Artifacts, and Translations 


Peter Roberts, Senior student. Major: History

Faculty professor: Lauren Michalak, College of Arts & Humanities, History Department

Librarian: Eric Lindquist

Library Award Essay and Project

Research Paper: Religious and Ethnic Motivations for the Philhellenic Movement During the Greek Revolution


Cecilia Sun, Junior student. Major: Communication

Faculty professor: Carly Woods, College of Arts & Humanities, Communication Department

Archivist: Lae'l Hughes-Watkins

Library Award Essay and Project

Research Paper: On Rachel Carson's Continuing Legacy: How Students at the University of Maryland Aim to Commemorate Carson in 21st Century Environmental Activism

Meron Gebre-Egziabher, Freshman student. Major: Undeclared

Faculty professor: Norrell Edwards, College of Arts & Humanities, English Department

Library Award Essay and Project

Research paper: Dismantling of the African American Nuclear Family


Samantha Martocci, Senior student. Major: Behavioral and Community Life

Faculty professor: Elizabeth Aparicio, School of Public Health, Department of Behavioral and Community Life

Librarian: Nedelina Tchangalova

Library Award Essay and Project

Research paper: Examining the Relationship Between Pornography Consumption and Rape Myth Acceptance Among Undergraduate Students


David Rekhtman, Sophomore student. Major: Biochemistry; and Biology with a concentration in Neurobiology and Physiology

Faculty professor: Dr. James Hagberg, School of Public Health, Department of Kinesiology

Library Award Essay and Project

Research paper: The Role of Adrenergic Intervention on Thoracic and Abdominal Perivascular Adipose Tissue Expansion in Rats with and without Heart Failure

Rachael Edmonston, Sophomore student. Major: History

Faculty professor: Roger Bailey, College of Arts & Humanities, Department of History

Librarians: Eric Lindquist and Cecelia Vetter

Library award essay and project

Research paper: Confederate Female Spies: Changing Northern Perceptions in Fiction and Nonfiction and it’s Affect on Popular Opinion of the Confederate Cause


Sarvar Oreizi-Esfahani, Senior student. Major: Psychology

Faculty professor: Tracy Tomlinson, College of Behavioral & Social Sciences, Department of Psychology

Library award essay and project

Research paper: The Relationship between Student Burnout and the development of Aggressive Tendencies


Elizabeth Patterson, Junior student. Major: English

Faculty professor: Jessica Enoch, College of Art & Humanities, Department of English

Librarians: Elizabeth Novara

Library award essay and project

Research paper: Finding Eliza Messenger

Michelle Glazer, Senior student. Major: History

Faculty professor: Marlene J. Mayo, College of Arts & Humanities, Department of History

Librarians: Eric Lindquist and Amy Wasserstrom

Library award essay and project


Noah Jarrah, Sophomore student. Major: Aerospace Engineering

Faculty professor: Andrew Becnel, A. James Clark School of Engineering, Department of Aerospace Engineering

Library award essay and project


Sarah Schurman, Junior student. Major: English

Faculty professor: Mark A. Forrester, College of Art & Humanities, Department of English

Library award essay and project

Sophie Dean, Junior student. Major: Public Health Science, English

Faculty professor: Devon Corcia Payne-Sturges, School of Public Health, Maryland Institute for Applied Environmental Health

Librarian: Nedelina Tchangalova

Library award essay and project 


Michelle Sauer, Sophomore student. Major: English, Secondary Education

Faculty professor: Zita Nunes, College of Arts and Humanities, Department of English

Librarian: Patricia Herron

Library award essay and project


Kathleen Weng, Senior student. Major: English (Art History minor)

Faculty professor: Yui Suzuki, College of Art & Humanities, Department of Art History & Archaeology

Library liaison: Tim Hackman

Library award essay and project

Matthew Gabb, Junior student, College of Behavioral and Social Sciences, Department of Anthropology

Faculty professor: Sean Downey, College of Behavioral and Social Sciences, Department of Anthropology

Library liaison: Otis Chadley

Library award essay and project


Lenaya Stewart, Senior student, College of Arts and Humanities, Department of English

Faculty professor: Laura Rosenthal, College of Arts and Humanities, Department of English

Library liaison: Patricia Herron

Library award essay and project


Robert Tully, Senior student, College of Computer, Mathematical, & Natural Sciences, Department of Biology

Faculty professor: John Rosser Matthews III, College of Arts and Humanities, Department of English

Library liaison: Patricia Herron

Library award essay and project


Honorable Mention

Xiuyu Shen, Freshman student, College of Arts and Humanities, Department of English

Faculty professor: Ralph Bauer, College of Arts and Humanities, Department of English

Library liaison: Patricia Herron

Library award essay and project

Benjamin Kramer, Junior student, College of Arts and Humanities, Department of History

Faculty professor: Robyn Muncy, College of Arts and Humanities, Department of History

Library liaison: Lauren Brown

Library award essay and project  


Aviva Pollack, Junior student, College of Arts and Humanities, Department of Art History and Archaeology

Faculty professor: Marjorie Venit, College of Arts and Humanities, Department of Art History and Archaeology

Library liaison: Sally Stokes

Library award essay and project


Jeffrey Rappaport, Senior student, Clark School of Engineering, Department of Bioengineering

Faculty professor: Silvia Muro, joint appointment with Clark School of Engineering and Institute for Bioscience and Biotechnology Research

Library liaison: Robin Dasler

Library award essay and project

Molly Brune, Senior student, College of Behavioral and Social Sciences, Department of Government and Politics

Faculty professor: John McCauley, College of Behavioral and Social Sciences, Department of Government and Politics

Library liaison: Judy Markowitz

Library award essay and project


Samuel Sober, Senior Student, College of Arts and Humanities, Department of History

Faculty professor: Richard Bell, College of Arts and Humanities, Department of History

Library liaison: Eric Lindquist

Library award essay and project


Paul Tumulty, Senior student, College of Behavioral and Social Sciences, Department of Government and Politics

Faculty professor: Scott Kastner, College of Behavioral and Social Sciences, Department of Government and Politics

Library liaison: Judy Markowitz

Library award essay and project

Jason Chun Yu Wong, Junior student, Environmental Science and Policy, Germanic Studies 

Faculty professor: Betsy Mendelsohn, A. James Clark School of Engineering/ Science, Technology & Society/ College Park Scholars

Library liaison: Judy Markowitz

Library award essay and project


Kristen Tadrous, Senior Student, College of Arts and Humanities, Department of American Studies

Faculty professor: John Caughey, College of Arts and Humanities, Department of American Studies

Library liaison: Eric Lindquist

Library award essay and project


Whitney Beck, Senior student, Environmental Science and Policy

Faculty professor: Joanna Goger, Environmental Science & Technology

Library liaison: Judy Markowitz

Library award essay and project

Deborah Namugayi, Junior student, Agriculture and Resource Economics Dept.

Faculty professor: Joanna Goger, Environmental Science & Technology

Library liaison: Judy Markowitz

Library award essay and project  


Ho-Man Yeung, Senior student, Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering Dept.

Faculty professor: Ganesh Sriram, Chemical & Biomolecular Engineering

Faculty mentor: Shilpa Nargund, Chemical & Biomolecular Engineering

Library liaison: Nedelina Tchangalova

Library award essay and project


Gemstone Team: Genes to Fuels (14 students) 

Andrew Chang, Maria Chang, Chin-Hsiang Feng, Jasjeet Khural, Tana Luo, James McCarthy, Cory Mekelburg, Kelsey Nadig, Christine Perry, Sharad Thaper, Richard Urbanski, Pragun Vohra (representing the team), Christian Weber, and Justin Wong   

Faculty mentor: Jason Kahn, Chemistry and Biochemistry

Library liaisons: Bob Kackley and Jim Miller

Library award essay and project 


Acknowledgments

This program was possible due to the generous support of the Dean of the UMD Libraries, Dr. Adriene Lim, and the collaborative efforts of faculty members from University of Maryland University Libraries, Maryland Center for Undergraduate Research (MCUR) and iSchool (College of Information Studies)

The Library Award for Undergraduate Research was developed base on similar programs offered by academic institution libraries across the country: Ohio State University, Oregon State University, University of California - Berkeley, University of Alberta - Augustana, University of Georgia, University of Washington.

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