The University Libraries Undergraduate Research Award

Excellence in Information Literacy

The University Libraries supports undergraduate research experiences by ensuring our students have the information literacy skills they need to enter a scholarly conversation and to create new knowledge. We recognize outstanding student work through The University Libraries Undergraduate Research Award, given out at research exhibitions and symposia across the Commonwealth.

This award recognizes undergraduate research that showcases accomplished and exemplar information literacy skills. Students demonstrate these skills in a variety of ways, such as in a bibliography that captures the scholarly conversation in a field of study; in a literature review that contextualizes the student’s work within their discipline; or in the use of manuscript, archival, or other primary sources to conduct original research.

Our judging rubric evaluates students on the following categories:

  • research process, strategies, and selection of sources to support the research question and information on the importance of these sources, as space allows on the poster

  • source integration to understand the scholarly conversation on the topic and also to help influence the direction of the research project

  • attribution and consistent citations for any quotes, tables, graphs, photographs, and other content used in the poster that are not the student's own work

  • an understanding of their information privilege and how that informs their research and their role in the information 

This award is given out at most of our campuses in the spring semester during undergraduate research exhibitions. To find out more about the award at your campus, and how students are eligible for the award, please contact your local librarian.

At the University Park campus, The John Sr. and Kimlyn Patishnock Undergraduate Research Award: Excellence in Information Literacy is awarded to students who had outstanding undergraduate student research at the Undergraduate Research Exhibition. The grand prize for this award is $500.

For questions about this award and the overarching program related to undergraduate research, please contact Dawn Amsberry at