Copley Library Undergraduate Research Awards



The Copley Library Undergraduate Research Awards were established to recognize students’ exceptional research papers using library resources and services.

Award Amounts

  • One $500 award for a paper submitted for a 300 level course in 2021.
  • One $700 award for a paper submitted for a 400 level course or Independent Study/Research credits in 2021.


  • Must be an undergraduate student currently enrolled at USD.
  • Paper completed for a USD course or Research Scholars program in 2021.
  • Only one paper submission per student allowed. Group authored papers are not eligible for this award.
  • Must include a letter of support from the faculty member who taught the course or served as a research mentor.
  • Applicants must agree that their paper will be posted in the USD digital repository if selected for an award.

Application Requirements

  • Completed Copley Library Undergraduate Research Award Online Application Form
  • A 500 to 750-word reflective essay describing your research process. This should include reflection on search strategies, search tools, evaluation of sources used in the paper, and how your search process evolved during the course of writing the paper.The essay should begin after the last page of your research paper and be uploaded together with the paper as one file.
  • Final completed paper that was submitted for the course or Research Scholars program including bibliography or listing of sources. (Note: Papers should not include grade or instructor comments).
  • Letter of support from the faculty member who taught the course or served as a research mentor for which the paper was completed.
  • All application materials must be submitted by the application deadline of May 9, 2022.  

Application Evaluation

Evaluation Criteria

The following criteria will be used to evaluate submissions:

  • Makes sophisticated use of a variety of information sources, services, and discovery tools.
  • Demonstrates excellence in the following information literacy skills:
    • Ability to discover, organize, evaluate, synthesize, and appropriately cite information sources relevant to the topic and thesis of the paper.
  • Shows clear understanding and evidence of and reflection on analytical methods/techniques common to the discipline.
  • Clearly articulates ideas and marshalls appropriate information sources in support of the thesis/purpose of the paper.

All applications will be evaluated by a panel of USD faculty members. (Note: Incomplete applications will not be accepted for evaluation.)

Application Deadline

The application deadline is May 9, 2022.


If you have any questions about the awards or the application process, please contact Copley Library Head of Reference Michael Epstein at