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Frequently Asked Questions


1. What is the Library Research Award for Undergraduates?

The Research Award is an annual award given to University of Washington undergraduates who demonstrate outstanding library research in the writing or creation of course projects. The UW Libraries actively promotes opportunities for undergraduates to participate in research initiatives that expand creativity and academic scholarship.
2. What course projects are eligible for the award?
A project must have been completed for a UW credit course, or for the Undergraduate Research Program (URP). A project may be in any format or medium.  Individual or group projects are eligible. See the next section for more detailed questions about eligibility.
3. How many awards are offered?
The number of awards varies from six to ten awards each year. The $1,000 awards are given in three categories: Upper Division Thesis, Upper Division Non-Thesis, and Lower Division. Honorable mention awards of $500 may also be given. You may also apply for an optional Population Health Award of $250 that is available for innovative, interdisciplinary or well-written research papers relevant to population health.
4. When is the application deadline?
May 2, 2022 at 11:59 PM

5. I have a course project I want to submit for the Research Award, but it won't be completed by the deadline. Can I submit an incomplete project?  How about a first draft?

You may submit a completed first draft if you feel confident enough with it.  However, this will put you at a disadvantage as you compete with completed final projects.


6. Can I receive this award if I am enrolled at UW Bothell or UW Tacoma?
This award is eligible to any individual or group who are University of Washington undergraduates at UW Bothell, UW Seattle, and UW Tacoma campuses.
7. Are groups or teams allowed to participate?
Yes, groups or teams may participate in the award competition. Some or all of a group's members may apply. Each student who has chosen to participate in the Research Award should individually submit an application form and essay, and should explicitly identify his/her role and contribution.  Each submission is judged individually.
8. My project was completed for a course that took place before the eligibility period.  Can you make an exception and consider my project for this year's award?
Unfortunately, we cannot consider projects completed before the quarters specified.
9. I co-authored a paper with my professor.  Is my project eligible?
Your project is eligible for submission, but it will be very important for you to explicitly distinguish which parts of the project you completed, and which parts your professor completed.  Your project will be judged on the parts that you created.

Project Criteria

10. What are the criteria that my project will be evaluated on?
See the evaluation rubric under Submission Guidelines. The essay describing your research process is very important and receives relatively more weight than the other elements of the application package.
11. Who are the evaluators?
Each year a different mix of librarians and faculty members read all the applications.
12. What do you mean by library resources?
Library resources may be print or online books and journals; databases; primary resources such as those found in the Libraries Special Collections; and library materials in any media. Note that an applicant can use any library anywhere, so items requested through interlibrary borrowing are acceptable, as are items found in the online collections of any library.
13. Is there a length requirement or maximum for a project?
No. Projects should follow the length guidelines given by your instructor.
14. Does a project completed for independent study qualify for the Research Award?
Yes, any project completed for a credit course offered at the University of Washington qualifies.
15. If my project is in a language other than English, will it be eligible?
Yes, projects written in languages other than English may be submitted, but the accompanying essay must be in English.

Application Procedure

16. How do I apply for the Research Award?
You may apply online.
17. Does my instructor have to nominate me to apply?
Not at all. Nominations are not a requirement, but you must have a letter of support from your course instructor or mentor.
18. May I submit multiple projects for the award in the same year?
Yes, you may submit multiple projects, but you may receive only one award.  Please submit separate forms and letters to accompany each essay and project.
19. I won an award last year.  May I submit another project this year?
20. What are application requirements?
Applicants must submit the following:
  • 500-1,000 word essay describing how you used library resources and tools in completing the project
  • A letter of support from your instructor
  • The final version of your course project with bibliography
21. How do I know my class standing when the project was completed?
To answer this, you can count up the college-level credits you have completed at the time you turned in this assignment. You should count both credits you've earned at UW and credits you've transferred from other institutions.
Here's the official UW breakdown: 0-44 Freshman; 45-89 Sophomore; 90-134 Junior; 135+ Senior. So, if you have under 90 completed credits, then you would be eligible for the lower division category.
22. What if my course project is a DVD or a piece of art?
That's acceptable! Projects in all media are encouraged. Email libaward@uw.edu for instructions on where to bring your course project when it is an artifact that cannot be submitted online.
23. Or a speech?
A speech is also eligible. You must provide a written version of the speech, plus the other required elements. A video of the speech is not required but is welcomed.
24. The person who knows the most about my research is not the faculty instructor, but a teaching or research assistant. Must the support letter come from the faculty in charge of the course?
You may submit a letter of support from either the course instructor, or the teaching or research assistant who you feel knows the most about your research.

Notification & Prize Disbursement

25. How is the award disbursed?
The money will be deposited directly into your UW account.
26. If I receive an Award, will it impact my financial aid?
YES! The award may affect your financial aid. Please consult your financial aid advisor.
Phone: 206-543-6101
Web: http://www.washington.edu/students/osfa/
27. When are Research Award winners notified?
All applicants will be notified by the first week in June whether or not they received a Research Award.
28. When are the financial awards distributed?
The awards will be distributed at the end of Spring quarter.


29. I have been asked to write a faculty letter of support. Are there any guidelines?
The Google Form you'll fill out has specific questions for you to answer about your student and their project. If your students are submitting as a group, you can write one letter for the whole group.
30. What is the UW institutional repository?
ResearchWorks captures, distributes and preserves digital research. The Library Research Award for Undergraduates collection has the winning projects from previous years.