Rod Library annually awards Undergraduate Research Awards to recognize and celebrate the extraordinary research, scholarship and creative work of UNI’s undergraduate students thanks to a generous donation by Mary Ann Bolton (Class of 1970).

The awards are given to students who demonstrate excellence in research using library resources conducted in support of an undergraduate paper or project carried out under the guidance of a UNI faculty member or approved mentor.

2022 Awards

Three awards will be given:
  • First Place - $1,200
  • Two (2) Runners-up - $800


  • Full-time, undergraduate students at UNI from any major at the time of project completion are eligible to participate. This includes students who graduated in 2021.
  • Projects must have been completed for a UNI credit-bearing course OR for a faculty-mentored project, in any format or medium (e.g., print, video, painting, photograph, website, mobile application, 3D models, construction).
  • Projects must have been completed no earlier than spring semester 2021.
  • Projects must be original work and not previously published.
  • Individual and group projects are eligible. Applications must come from individual students, and the essay must reflect the work of that student. However, the project may be individual or group / collaborative work.
  • A completed application includes a personal essay, a final version of the research paper or creative work (except for honors theses), a letter of support, and a copy of the assignment or project requirements. All four parts must be included for the project to be eligible for evaluation.
  • If a student submits more than one project to be considered for an award, each project must be complete and distinct, and each requires a separate letter of support. Each student will only be eligible to win one award during an award year.
  • Eligible applicants from the past year are encouraged to apply again.

Submission Process and Guidelines

Applicants are required to complete and submit the following:

  • An online application form, including a short abstract describing the project 
  • Upload the following through the application form:
    1. A personal essay of 800 to 1,200 words (not including citations). The essay can be used to inform the committee about the research process, research tools used, project, and/or other criteria spelled out in the rubric linked below.
    2. A final version of the research project/creative work including a complete bibliography of resources. (In the case of honors theses, a Complete Rough Draft may be submitted, but will be judged as a final product.) The award winner will be encouraged to have their essay and project made publicly accessible through UNI ScholarWorks.
    3. A letter of support from a faculty member familiar with the applicant and his/her project. If extenuating circumstances prevent you from securing a letter, please explain. If the faculty member would like to submit their letter confidentially, they may email it to the committee at
    4. A copy of the assignment or project requirements.

The complete evaluation rubric is available here.

Please note: All final projects and other application materials must be submitted electronically in order to be considered.


Important Dates

  • Application deadline: Now Closed
  • Awardees notified by email: Wednesday, April 27, 2022
  • Award Ceremony and Reception: Thursday, May 5, 2022 (3:30 PM - 4:30 PM), Rod Library ScholarSpace (LIB301)