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Undergraduate Research Award

The application for the 2023 — 2024 academic year is now closed.

Undergraduate Research Award Banner

University Libraries Undergraduate Research Award

The OU Libraries seek to acknowledge undergraduate research of all kinds and in a variety of formats. For example, successful projects may:
  • incorporate primary sources from the Libraries’ special collections;
  • take the form of digital scholarship that integrates digital techniques and tools;
  • result in the visualization of spatial or numeric data;
  • reflect creative scholarship such as poetry, music, film, and other forms of individual expression grounded in research.

Up to three awards will be given in the amounts of $1,500, $1,000, and $750.


University Libraries will accept submissions for individual as well as collaborative research projects. Collaborative research projects may include no more than five group members, are subject to the eligibility requirements below, and will have reward money divided equally among members.

To be eligible, applicants must:

  • be currently enrolled as a University of Oklahoma undergraduate student at any class level and in any discipline;
  • be returning to OU as an enrolled student the subsequent fall or spring semester;
  • agree that the research project and application will be licensed under a Creative Commons agreement to promote sharing of the resources;
  • agree to submit the research project and application to the OU Libraries’ digital repository for undergraduate research;
  • submit a short biography to be included in OU Libraries subsequent publications.

Application Procedure

Applicants will complete an online application. The application goes live annually on October 1st. The application deadline is 11:59 p.m., February 1, 2024. University Libraries will not accept late or incomplete applications. Winners will be notified no later than May 1, 2024.

Application must include:

  • submission of the general application in OU's CASH system;
  • an OU Libraries research essay;
  • a final version of the research project, including a bibliography of sources consulted.

OU Libraries Research Essay Guidelines:

  • This will be a separate, detailed document that describes the research process, including research strategies as well as how OU Libraries resources, collections, and services were used to complete the research project.
  • You need to emphasize the importance of understanding and reflecting upon the process of developing a topic and research strategy in order to locate, evaluate and use the best information possible.
  • The research process essay is your opportunity to provide the award committee with insight into how the libraries and its resources enriched and enhanced your work.
  • Please note that due to the nature of this award, the essay portion of the application is weighted as much as the project itself, and therefore we encourage you to provide us with a thoughtful reflection of your OU Libraries research experience.

Evaluation Criteria

OU Libraries awards committee uses the University Libraries Research Award Rubric to evaluate the applications.

Evaluation will be based on the following:

  • in-depth and effective use of the OU Libraries collections and services;
  • evidence of personal learning and an understanding of the research process;
  • overall quality of the application materials, including content, completeness, and research and writing skills.

Additional Information

Winning papers will be deposited into OU Libraries' institutional repository, SHAREOK.

Undergraduate Research Award Stories: