Awards and Recognition

The Office of Research sponsors many awards for undergraduate and graduate students who are actively involved in research. Read below to see what awards are available or to nominate a student for an award.

USU Academic Awards

A Pin Award

Students who achieve a 4.0 GPA over two consecutive semesters with 15 credits each semester or more are awarded the “A” pin, one of the oldest awards at Utah State for academic achievement, started in 1910. To confirm eligibility, contact the University Registrar.

College Dean’s List

Each semester, students who earn a 3.5 GPA and enroll in a minimum of 15 credits are entered on the Dean’s List for their respective college.

Latin Scholastic Distinction

A student must complete a minimum of 40 USU semester credits. Grade point averages are USU cumulative GPAs. Transfer credits are not considered. Latin Distinctions are Summa Cum Laude (3.950 to 4.000 GPA), Magna Cum Laude (3.800 to 3.949 GPA), and Cum Laude (3.500 to 3.799 GPA).

Undergraduate Research Transcript Designation

The Undergraduate Research Scholar Transcript Designation is given to more fully recognize the accomplishments of USU’s undergraduate researchers.

To qualify for the Undergraduate Research Scholar, the student must meet the following requirements:

  • Completion of a minimum of two semesters of research, scholarship, or creative activity supervised by a faculty mentor. Quantifying a number of hours per week spent on the project is helpful; students can keep a log of their time. A specific quantity is not required since the work may take place over a minimum of two semesters or go at a different pace over an extended number of semesters.
  • Dissemination of research through a recognized venue such as the on-campus Student Showcase, Undergraduate Research Day at the State Capitol, Utah Conference on Undergraduate Research, National Conference on Undergraduate Research, Council on Undergraduate Research’s Posters on the Hills, or a professional conference in the field of study. Alternate venues for creative activity may include art exhibitions or performances.
  • The endorsement of the faculty mentor(s)

Additional activities that may be considered in the plan for achieving the transcript designation, but are NOT required, include the following:

  • A substantial written product from the research, scholarship, or creative activity. This could be a senior thesis, journal article, Honors thesis.
  • Enrollment in and completion of research credits. (For departments that do not have a research course, the university course—USU 4900 Undergraduate Research—may be used.)
  • Certification for research activities such as Institutional Review Board (IRB) training in human subjects research or training in animal research.
  • Development of a research portfolio (electronic or non-electronic).

Confirmation of the completion of the plan should be submitted by the Student Researcher and Faculty Mentor no later than two weeks before graduation in order for the Transcript to be so marked. The faculty mentor can send confirmation of the application via e-mail.

Prestige Scholarships

There are many opportunities for students to receive national recognition for their achievements. Among these are the Fulbright Student Program, the Goldwater Scholarship, the National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship Program, the Truman Scholarship, the Udall Scholarship, and more. Get in touch with our office if you are interested in learning more about these scholarships.

Click here to see past goldwater scholars

Undergraduate Research Awards

Peak Prize: Undergraduate Researcher of the Year

This award was inaugurated in 2004 and endowed by David and Terry Peak in 2008. In addition to being an excellent student, a notable undergraduate researcher is one who has consistently engaged in independent inquiry through classes, student employment, and independent research grants (URCO). Students also typically seek to share their results at undergraduate research events or professional conferences.

Peak Prizes are awarded on a college and university basis.

Nomination Procedures

The Office of Research and Graduate Studies seeks student nominations from the colleges for outstanding undergraduates to be considered for University Undergraduate Researcher of the Year. (Submissions can only be made by the college deans’ offices). Colleges are urged to specifically reach out to all RCDE units for inclusion in their processes. This award was inaugurated in 2004 and endowed by David and Terry Peak in 2008.

In addition to being an excellent student, a notable undergraduate researcher is one who has consistently engaged in independent inquiry, through classes, student employment, and independent research grants. Students also typically seek to share their results at undergraduate research events or professional conferences. All college Undergraduate Researchers of the Year should be submitted to be part of the selection pool, from which one will be chosen as the University Undergraduate Researcher of the Year.

  • The student nominee must be a current student of USU.
  • The student nominee must be the newly selected College Undergraduate Researcher of the Year for this college.
  • Name and A # of nominee
  • Curriculum vitae of the nominee in standard format including a complete list of publications, awards, sponsored projects, and other recognitions by peers – international, national and regional.
  • 200-word short bio of the nominee
  • Current photograph (professional-type headshot preferred)
  • A letter of nomination from the nominee’s dean, department head or faculty research mentor
  • Deans will fill out the online form to submit one name.
  • Each of the eight (8) College Undergraduate Researcher of the Year Awardees will be interviewed by the Undergraduate Research Advisory Board as a key part of the selection process for the University Undergraduate Researcher of the Year Award.
  • Deadline for online submission to the Office of Research is JANUARY 31, 2020.
  • Each of the eight College Undergraduate Researcher of the Year Awardees will receive a $200 monetary award.
  • The one selected as the University Undergraduate Researcher of the Year will receive an additional $300 monetary award.
  • Nominees will be invited to USU’s Robins Awards Ceremonies, where the recipient will be announced.
  • College nominees will be recognized at the Student Research Awards Ceremony during USU’s Research Week.
Nominate now

Student Research Symposium Winners

Every April, the Student Research Symposium is held during Research Week. This symposium offers students from all stages of research the chance to present either a poster or oral presentation explaining their research and its significance. Out of these students, a handful are chosen as the winners, based on the feedback that judges give their presentations.

CUR Registry of Undergraduate Researchers

The Council on Undergraduate Research hosts a Registry of Undergraduate Researchers. This allows graduate schools to contact high-quality undergraduate researchers. Go to www.cur.org to fill out a simple curriculum vitae form. There is no charge to the student.

Graduate Research Awards

Doctoral Student Researchers of the Year

Each college on campus selects and recognizes graduate researchers from their respective colleges. These researchers’ names are then forwarded to the Office of Research, where they are considered for the University Graduate Student Researcher of the Year Award at the annual Robins Awards held in the spring.

Nomination Procedures

The Office of Research and Graduate Studies seeks nominations from the colleges for outstanding Doctoral students to be considered for University Doctoral Student Researcher of the Year. (Submissions can only be made by the college deans’ offices). All college Doctoral Student Researchers of the Year should be submitted to be part of the selection pool, from which one will be chosen and the University Doctoral Student Researcher of the Year.

  • Student must be selected and endorsed by his or her college dean. (Submission process for colleges only.)
  • Name and A # of nominee
  • Curriculum vitae in standard format
  • A 2-page statement by the candidate (including summary of research projects, grants, presentation and recent publication, with an emphasis on USU involvement )
  • 200-word bio of the nominee
  • Current photograph (professional-type headshot preferred)
  • A letter of nomination from the nominee’s dean, department head or faculty research mentor
  • Colleges should seek broad input to identify college nominees.
  • Colleges will utilize a college-specific process of selection.
  • College deans will make the final decision in selecting their college Doctoral Researcher of the Year.
  • The college deans’ offices will fill out the online form to submit their selectees for consideration for the University Doctoral Researcher of the Year.
  • The Office of Research and Graduate Studies, in consultation with USUSA, will select the University Doctoral Researcher of the Year from the nominees submitted online.
  • Deadline for online submission to the Office of Research is JANUARY 31, 2020.
  • The University Doctoral Student Researcher of the Year will receive a $300 monetary award.
  • Recipient will be announced at USU’s annual Robins Awards Ceremony.
  • College nominees will be recognized at the Student Research Awards Ceremony during Research Week.
nominate now

Master’s Student Researchers of the Year

Each college on campus selects and recognizes Master’s student researchers from their respective colleges. These researchers’ names are then forwarded to the Office of Research and Graduate Studies, where they are considered for the University Master’s Student Researcher of the Year Award at the annual Robins Awards held in the spring.

Nomination Procedures

The Office of Research and Graduate Studies seeks nominations from the colleges for outstanding Master’s students to be considered for University Master’s Student Researcher of the Year. (Submissions can only be made by the college deans’ offices). All college Master’s Student Researchers of the Year should be submitted to be part of the selection pool, from which one will be chosen and the University Master’s Student Researcher of the Year.

  • Student must be selected and endorsed by his or her college dean. (Submission process for colleges only.)
  • Name and A # of nominee
  • Curriculum vitae in standard format
  • A 2-page statement by the candidate (including summary of research projects, grants, presentation and recent publication, with an emphasis on USU involvement)
  • 200-word bio of the nominee
  • Current photograph (professional-type headshot preferred)
  • A letter of nomination from the nominee’s dean, department head or major professor
  • Colleges should seek broad input to identify college nominees.
  • Colleges will utilize a college-specific process of selection.
  • College deans will make the final decision in selecting their college Master’s Researcher of the Year.
  • The college deans’ offices will fill out the online form to submit their selectees for consideration for the University Master’s Researcher of the Year.
  • The Office of Research and Graduate Studies, in consultation with USUSA, will select the University Master’s Researcher of the Year from the nominees submitted online.
  • Deadline for online submission to the Office of Research is JANUARY 31, 2020.
  • The University Master’s Student Researcher of the Year will receive a $300 monetary award.
  • Recipient will be announced at USU’s annual Robins Awards Ceremony.
  • College nominees will be recognized at the Student Research Awards Ceremony during Research Week.
nominate now

Graduate Student Teacher of the Year

The Office of Research and Graduate Studies seeks nominations from colleges for outstanding graduate students to be considered for University Graduate Student Teacher of the Year. Submissions can only be made by the college deans’ offices.

All college Graduate Student Teacher of the Year nominations will be part of the selection pool, from which one will be chosen as the University Graduate Student Teacher of the Year.

Nomination Procedures

The Office of Research and Graduate Studies seeks nominations from all colleges for outstanding graduate students to be considered for University Graduate Student Teacher of the Year. Submissions can only be made by the college dean’s office. All college Graduate Student Teacher of the Year nominations are added to the selection pool, from which one will be chosen as the University Graduate Student Teacher of the Year.

  • The student must be selected and endorsed by his or her college dean. (Submission process for colleges only.)
  • Curriculum vitae in standard format
  • A letter of nomination from the nominee’s dean, department head, or major professor
  • Up to 3 letters of support from students in the course(s) taught (writers should address specific examples of teaching work and effectiveness)
  • A 2-page statement by the candidate (detailing and discussion of teaching experiences and student feedback, with an emphasis on USU involvement)
  • A 1-page summary of teaching evaluations, if available.
  • 200-word bio of the nominee
  • Current photograph (professional-type headshot preferred)
  • Colleges should seek broad input to identify college nominees.
  • Colleges will utilize a college-specific process of selection
  • College deans will make the final decision in selecting the college Graduate Student Teacher of the Year.
  • The college deans’ offices will fill out the online form to submit their selectees for consideration.
  • The Office of Research and Graduate Studies, in consultation with USUSA, will select the University Graduate Student Teacher of the Year from the nominees submitted online.
  • Deadline for online submission to the Office of Research is JANUARY 31, 2020.
  • The University Graduate Student Teacher of the Year will receive a $300 monetary award.
  • Nominees will be invited to hear the recipient announced at USU’s Robins Awards Ceremony.
  • College nominees will be recognized at the Student Research Awards Ceremony during USU’s Research Week.
nominate now