Outstanding Undergraduate Thesis Award

The Penn State University Libraries are partnering with the Schreyer Honor's College to create an exciting opportunity for undergraduates: the Annual Competition for the Outstanding Undergraduate Thesis. This competition aims to find the best thesis submitted by an undergraduate, and the first place winner will receive an award of $1,250.

Goal

The University Libraries have initiated this award as a way to recognize the importance of developing quality research methods, and developing a thorough understanding of the legal and ethical issues related to the use of information—key components of academic excellence.

Through this award, the University Libraries seek to encourage excellence in the research process of locating, evaluating and utilizing appropriate information resources.

Award

The award is given to the student with the outstanding undergraduate thesis, as determined by a jury of librarians and other Penn State faculty.  First place is awarded $1,250, second place is awarded $750 and third place is awarded $500.

Eligibility

Students from all Penn State programs graduating in the prior summer or fall semester, or spring semester of the current year, are eligible for Spring 2017 award.

Enter

Students must submit an online application and have a statement of support from a Penn State faculty member. Please consult with your thesis supervisor or advisor, if you would like to be considered for this award. Student applications must be completed online and must include a 250 word (maximum) thesis abstract and a 250 word (maximum) statement demonstrating your use of library and information resources related to your thesis. Your statement should describe your literature review process, what lessons were learned about information and the information gathering, as well as insights about the information sources used; observations about secondary and background research related to your thesis, and any legal or ethical issues related to the information gathering process. Faculty member(s) must complete a statement of support.

Public Oral Defense

Three finalists will be required to present a 30-minute public oral defense of his or her thesis.

Deadlines

  • Submission of thesis application, statements of support and final thesis must be received by Monday, April 10, 2017 at 11:59 p.m. (No late submissions will be accepted) 
  • A jury of librarians and other Penn State faculty will select and notify three finalists to present their public oral defense by Monday, April 24th, 2017
  • Three finalists present their public oral defense of his/her thesis in the Foster Auditorium, 102 Paterno Library on Thursday, May 4, 2017.

For more information, please contact Wendi Keeler,  814-863-5449 or wak109@psu.edu

Application Criteria

Criteria for Judging Applications

Please read the following important information. Applications will be judged against the following criteria:

  1. The thesis must have been completed for the thesis requirement and involve work in a discipline.
  2. The student must apply online and have a statement of support from a Penn State faculty member. 
  3. Provide a 250 word (maximum) statement which demonstrates your use of library and information resources related to your thesis. Your statement should describe your literature review process, what lessons were learned about information and the information gathering, as well as insights about the information sources used; observations about secondary and background research related to your thesis, and any legal or ethical issues related to the information gathering process.
  4. The thesis should show an awareness of current trends in the relevant discipline/disciplines.
  5. The students should give appropriate attribution to the primary and secondary sources that were consulted.
  6. The student must provide complete citations for works used in the thesis and these references must be in proper citation format.
  7. The thesis should show evidence that the student understands the ethical and legal use of information.

For more information, please contact Wendi Keeler,  814-863-5449 or wak109@psu.edu

The application and statement of support are available as a PDF or Word document: