Mary Ann Bolton Undergraduate Research Award

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.

2024 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 2023.
  • Projects must have been completed for a UNI credit-bearing course OR for a university sponsored 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 2023.
  • 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 faculty or professional and scientific staff 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.
  • Only applications received prior to the cut-off date (April 15, 2024) will be considered for the 2023-24 award cycle. Any application received after that date will be added to the next year's award cycle.

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 copy of the assignment or project requirements.
    4. A letter of support from the faculty member or professional and scientific staff you have listed in your application.

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

View the complete evaluation rubric.


Important Dates

  • Application deadline for 2024 award: Monday, April 15, 2024
  • Awardees notified by email: Thursday, May 2, 2024
  • Award Ceremony and Reception: Thursday, May 9, 2024 (10:30 a.m.-11:30 a.m.) in the Library ScholarSpace (Room 301).