Graduate Student Research Award

The Graduate Student Research Award recognizes demonstrated excellence in research activities in the College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences.

The Award

Each year the college presents two Graduate Student Research Awards, one at the master’s level and at most two at the doctorate level. Recipients receive a $1,000 personal award and a certificate of recognition.


Nominees for the Graduate Student Research Award must have been enrolled as a graduate student in good academic standing in the College of ACES the during the academic year of the nomination. The nominee must have been involved in research for a minimum of one year (two semesters) or the equivalent in the current degree program.

A student who receives a Graduate Student Research Award as a master’s student will be eligible for the Graduate Student Research Award as a doctoral candidate when the criteria are met. Recipients may receive the award only once per degree.


The nominee must be declared eligible by the unit head. Each department may only nominate one nominee per award. The nomination must be submitted electronically by the department contact before the nomination deadline.

Nomination packets must include all materials described below in a single pdf. and should be formatted in at least 11-point Calibri or equivalent font; single-spaced; and 1-inch margins. Please follow this outline when submitting a nomination: 

1. Nomination cover sheet: (you must download the form from Box to complete it). The cover sheet includes biographical and statistical information including education, employment record, relevant affiliations, program/degree information, publications, presentations.

2. Letter of nomination: The letter of nomination must be co-signed by the nominator and the unit head. The letter should include contributions in the following areas, evaluating the work in the context of the norms and constraints of their discipline; 1) Quantity and quality of research output (use quartile rankings of journals if publications present) * note that M.S. nominees do not need to have publications accepted at the time of nomination. Include standards for the field of study 2) Potential impact and importance of research of research output 3) Leadership role the student played in research activities (examples include original development of research idea, leadership in lab, efforts to gain funding or awards, etc.) 4) Communication of research: presentations to scholarly audiences and/or stakeholders 5) Mentoring and education activities related to the research (optional). It is most critical to show evidence of the student’s own efforts/activities. Contributions to unit and college goals of diversity, equity, and inclusion should be noted. Please use a category heading for each of the contribution areas (six page maximum)

3. Letters of support: No more than three letter of support from individuals other than the nominator. One letter must be from faculty or research professionals with knowledge of the nominee’s research activities. One letter must be from the nominee’s research advisor or 
another member of their research committee or team (two page maximum).


Nominations will be evaluated in terms of exceptional scholarly promise, taking the form of recent discovery and dissemination of new knowledge; the development of innovative technology, or the development of concepts that lead to significant advances in science or education. Nominees’ records will be evaluated for excellence relative to the norms of their disciplines and the potential for their research to have positive impacts in the future. Award recipients will be selected by the appropriate college level advisory/policy committee appointed from the college faculty. The chair of the selection committee, in consultation with its members, shall develop guidelines for its operation.

The selection committee may decide against granting an award if no meritorious candidate has been nominated. The selection committee shall submit its recommendations for a recipient to the dean. The dean shall notify the recipient, the appropriate associate dean, and unit head.