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Library Undergraduate Research Award

The Library Undergraduate Research Award (LURA) recognizes students who demonstrate exemplary research and scholarship, including remarkable skill and creativity in the use of library and information resources and are awarded annually.

Awards Offered

The Library Undergraduate Research Award offers four (4) different award categories:

  • First-year ($500)
  • Sophomore ($500)
  • Junior ($500)
  • Senior ($750)
  • Group ($1500, to be split among group members)

Awards will be given in each category only if merited. Please note that the awards are issued as a cash prize which may affect your financial aid status. Please talk with the Financial Aid office on your campus for additional information.

Important Dates

Completed Application Packets Due

Sunday, March 6, 2022, no later than 11:59pm

Faculty Statement of Support Due

Sunday, March 6, 2022

Winners Notified

Monday, April 4, 2022

Awards Ceremony

Wednesday, April 13, 2022

Eligibility

All students enrolled at any of the undergraduate Claremont Colleges during the project completion dates listed below are eligible to apply for the LURA. Incomplete or late applications will not be considered.

  • Research projects may be in any format or medium.
  • Written projects should be submitted as a single PDF document (combine all elements)
  • Digital projects, performances, etc. can be submitted as a link or attachment within the application form

Eligible research projects must:

  • Utilize library resources, services and/or staff
  • Be undertaken as part of a course or as faculty-sponsored non-course research offered at The Claremont Colleges
  • Be completed between February 8, 20221 (Spring 2021) and Spring 2022
Evaluation Criteria

Please read the full Library Undergraduate Research Award Judging Criteria for more information about how your submission will be judged.

Prize-winning submissions will convey a clear and compelling vision of the research journey and insights gained along the way. Submissions must include the four elements described below and will be judged by an Evaluation Committee composed of librarians and library staff.

The Reflective Essay (500-1000 words) is the most important part of your application. It should thoroughly articulate your research process and demonstrate your engagement in that process and with the people and resources which supported and enhanced that process.

  • If Your Submission Is a Research Paper:
    • Research sources are integrated, synthesized, and contextualized appropriately.
    • The research journey should be evident in the paper.
  • If Your Submission Is a Research Project:
    • Sources are implicitly or explicitly attributed, integrated, synthesized, and contextualized as appropriate for the project.
    • The research journey should be evident in the project.
  • If Your Submission Is a Research Paper: Your bibliography cites a strong variety of appropriate sources and is consistently formatted according to a recognized standard citation style.
  • If Your Submission Is a Research Project: The bibliography communicates that a strong variety of appropriate sources were consulted and is consistently formatted according to a recognized standard citation style.

The Faculty Statement of Support will provide additional insight into your research process.

The components of your submission will be weighted using the following scorecard:

Section Points
Reflective Essay 50
Research Project 20
Bibliography 20
Faculty Statement of Support 10

Steps to Apply

Upload supporting documentation as a single PDF with your online application. Materials include:

  • The 500-1000 word reflective essay describing your research process.
  • The final or draft version of the research project (the more complete your project, the better) or provide a link to the project.
  • The bibliography of sources referenced and/or consulted for your project.

Your application must include a Faculty endorsement which may be submitted through the Faculty Statement of Support Form.

Please note that this form must be completed by the professor who taught the course and/or sponsored your project. You may forward the link to the form and notify the LURA Committee that this has been completed by emailing us at LibraryResearchAward@@claremont.edu

Agreements

Individuals and groups must agree to confer a limited license to the Claremont Colleges Library and to Scholarship@Claremont in order to publish and make both the reflective essays and research projects publicly available on the library website. Projects which are part of a faculty research project may be granted a temporary embargo. All individuals will retain copyright of their works.

Award winners agree to attend the award ceremony with their faculty sponsor to present their projects. Please check Important Dates & Deadlines for updated information.

Faculty Statement of Support

A Faculty Statement of Support is essential to your application and must be completed before or by the deadline date. Check Deadlines & Important Dates for updated information. Therefore, all LURA applications must include a Faculty Statement of Support as part of the application package. This expert disciplinary assessment is an important consideration in the evaluation process.

The deadline for submitting this form is no later than Sunday, February 7, 2021

Complete the online Faculty Statement of Support Form. Students may forward this link to their professor for endorsement.

Frequently Asked Questions

Yes! Unfinished senior theses are eligible for the Library Undergraduate Research Award. Your reflective essay should describe how you have used library resources in your research thus far, as well as any plans you have for your research process in the future. The draft version of your thesis should show clear evidence of engagement with library resources and have a clear central argument, and your bibliography should be as complete as possible. Please see the LURA Judging Criteria for more information about how your submission will be judged.

In the case of an incomplete senior thesis winning LURA, you will have the option to upload the finished thesis to Scholarship@Claremont once it is complete, in lieu of uploading the incomplete thesis. Questions about this process can be directed to libraryresearchaward@claremont.edu

Yes! Research projects in a variety of formats are eligible for the Library Undergraduate Research Award. Research papers are our most common type of submission, but any project for which you used library resources and can articulate the research process is eligible. This might include poster presentations, artists statements, theater productions, and more. For more information about how submissions are evaluated, please see the LURA Judging Criteria. Additional questions can be sent to libraryresearchaward@claremont.edu.

Yes! Research papers or projects that describe research that you did in the lab or in the field are eligible for LURA as long you also did library research (e.g., for a literature review; background information; looking up chemical properties, taxonomy, or other reference information) as part of your research process. It is very important to describe how you used library resources in your reflective essay; for more information about how your submission will be evaluated, please see the LURA Judging Criteria. Additional questions can be sent to libraryresearchaward@claremont.edu.

Yes! We want to hear about your entire research process in your reflective essay, whether that includes open access resources that you found on the open web or archival resources from another college or university. Because this award is tightly tied to The Claremont Colleges Library, successful submissions typically demonstrate that the author made meaningful use of library resources, but many submissions also make good use of resources beyond the library. Please read the LURA Judging Criteria for more information about how your submission will be evaluated. You can also reach out to the LURA committee with further questions.

Your research paper may be eligible for the Library Undergraduate Research Award depending upon the extent of your collaboration with a faculty member. Because this award honors student work, faculty involvement should be limited to providing access to research facilities, materials, or equipment. If your research is closely related to but substantially different from research being done by your faculty sponsor, you can explain the originality of your work in your Reflective Essay. If you have further questions, please contact libraryresearchaward@claremont.edu.

If you completed the research project that you plan to submit to LURA during a different academic year and are now in a different class, please submit your application for the category of your current class year. For example, if you completed your research project as a first year and are now a sophomore, you will submit your application in the sophomore category. Your application form will make it clear that your research paper or project was completed when you were a first-year student. It’s your Reflective Essay, which you will write as a sophomore, that will carry the most weight in the evaluation process.

Yes! In some cases, research projects submitted to LURA cannot be made immediately public in Scholarship@Claremont. Examples of LURA submissions that cannot be made public include research that is part of an ongoing research project by a faculty member, or research projects that include vulnerable populations. In these cases, the LURA committee works with the applicant to find an acceptable solution.

Typically, winning LURA submissions that cannot be made public are added to Scholarship@Claremont under embargo. This means that the research project is uploaded to Scholarship@Claremont but not made available in full text to people searching in the repository. So, anyone searching Scholarship@Claremont will be able to see that the title of the paper, the author’s name, and the abstract, but they won’t be able to access the full text. In most cases, this is enough to protect the ongoing research that the paper is based on. The LURA committee discusses with the author (and faculty member, if applicable) how long the research paper should be embargoed for.

We can also limit the availability of a research product to people on The Claremont Colleges campuses using campus IP addresses. This is a solution that has been used in the past for projects that deal with vulnerable populations as well as artwork that includes things like nude self-portraits or portraits of students.

If you have further questions about your particular research project, please contact the LURA committee.

In most cases, yes! LURA eligibility is based on your enrollment status when you completed your research project.  Your project is eligible so as long as you completed it within the window of eligibility while taking classes or doing college-sponsored research.

If you completed the research project that you plan to submit to LURA during a different academic year and are now in a different class, please submit your application for the category of your current class year before going on leave. For example, if you completed your research project as a spring semester first year and are now a sophomore on leave, you will submit your application in the sophomore category. Your application form will make it clear that your research paper or project was completed when you were a first-year student. It’s your Reflective Essay, which you will write as a sophomore, that will carry the most weight in the evaluation process.

If you have specific questions about your eligibility, please contact the LURA committee.

Submitting a Revision

Seniors may submit the most complete version of their theses by the deadline, and then resubmit the final version once completed. If you need to submit a revised version of your project at a later date, simply email it to libraryresearchaward@claremont.edu

Previous Award Winners

Visit Scholarship@Claremont to view the collection of LURA submissions dating from 2014 to present. You may also find the 2019 winners posted in The Claremont Colleges Library News.

Contact the LURA Committee

Do you have questions about LURA or the application process? Please feel free to reach out to us at libraryresearchaward@claremont.edu