There are five types of awards available for the conference: the Conference General Disciplinary Awards (General Awards) sponsored by UNC Charlotte academic departments, the Honors College Awards sponsored by the Honors College, the Sustainability Awards sponsored by the Levine Scholars, the Community Engagement Award sponsored by Academic Affairs, and the Atkins Library Undergraduate Research Awards sponsored by Atkins Library.
All students who register for the Conference and present their research will be automatically entered into the General Awards contest – no other application is needed. Please see below for the criteria that the judges will use to determine the winners of these awards.
Students who are interested in presenting a more detailed written description of their research and research process may also apply for the Atkins Library Undergraduate Research Awards. Please see below for the criteria used by the judges to determine the winners of these awards.
Honors students can also choose to be judged for additional Honors College awards by clicking the appropriate box on their registration form. Likewise, if the research is related to Community Engagement or Sustainability, you will be asked to indicate that by checking a box.
IMPORTANT! Both the General Awards and the Atkins Library Awards are combined in one registration form.
Criteria for Judging the General Awards
In general, both Oral and Poster Presentations will be judged based equally on presentation quality and content. More specific criteria for judging the presentations (oral and poster) will be used by the judges at the Conference. Students from the Honors College will also be judged on the following criteria - the overall presentation exhibits the rigor and intellectual insight typical of honors-level work.
The application for the Atkins Library Research Award is included as an option in the Undergraduate Research Conference Registration. In order to apply for an Atkins Award, you must register for and participate in the URC. However, you DO NOT have to apply for an Atkins Award in order to register or participate in the conference. If you choose to apply for the Atkins Awards, you are required to submit your application based on the five sections below. Please structure your response using the titles of headings A through E. You will be required to upload a PDF file of your application when you submit your online conference registration.
A.Summary of Research Process
Describe your research process. Use the following questions as a guide for the type of information that you should provide. However, this description should be written in essay form, not as a list of answers: (No more than 750 words)
- How did you develop or decide upon your primary research questions, arguments or focus?
- What research methods did you use? (Did you do work in the laboratory, conduct surveys, read relevant literature, develop case studies, do field visits, conduct interviews?)
- What surprised you about the research process?
- What was the biggest mistake or misstep you made in conducting your research?
- How did you discover it and recover from it?
- What was the best technique or thought process that you learned while conducting your research?
- What have you learned from working on this project that you will apply to future research projects?
B. Summary of Research Project
Describe your research. Use the following questions as a guide for the type of information that you should provide. However, this description should be written in essay form, not as a list of answers: (No more than 1000 words)
- What is the central goal, thesis, question and/or hypothesis guiding your research?
- What contribution does your research make to the disciplinary field of which it is a part?
- What are the most significant conclusions you draw from your research?
- What literature/data/information did you use in developing your primary argument or analysis?
- What specific methods/approaches did you use to analyze the literature/data/information and reach your conclusions?
C. Research Consultation
Describe how you utilized resources. Use the following questions as a guide for the type of information that you should provide. However, this description should be written in essay form, not as a list of answers: (No more than 750 words)
- List any faculty members and/or librarians with whom you consulted for this project.
- Briefly describe how they helped you develop your research question and/or your search strategy.
- How did you utilize resources from Atkins Library-include databases, journals, electronic materials, media collections, special collections and staff assistance?
- What resources beyond those found through the library did you consult?
D. Works Cited
Please submit a copy of the Works Cited list from your research project. Cite in full citation form used in your chosen style manual, including authors, titles, years, pages, etc.).
E. Letter from Faculty Advisor
Your Faculty Advisor must submit a letter in support of your application in order for it to be accepted. This letter should address the significance of your research project as well as the quality of your research process.
This letter should be e-mailed separately to firstname.lastname@example.org no later than the published due date. The attachment should be titled LastName_URCAward.doc.
Criteria for Judging the Atkins Library Undergraduate Research Awards
In general, entries will be judged on:
- Contributions of research idea to disciplinary field
- Depth and/or breadth of project
- Comprehensive use of library resources and creative research process.
Just as with the General Awards, scoring by the faculty judges will be governed by a predefined set of criteria different than the General Awards criteria. Entries for the Atkins Library Awards will be judged by a team of faculty members from UNC Charlotte, including Faculty from the colleges and Library Faculty from Atkins Library. While a conference presentation (oral or poster) is required to be eligible for the Atkins awards, the presentation style will not be a factor in the scoring by the judges. Students must be currently enrolled at UNC Charlotte to participate in the conference. Graduate students and post-bac students may participate if 1) the presented research was completed at UNC Charlotte as an undergraduate and 2) their undergraduate graduation date was no earlier than the December prior to the conference.