Notice: We are not accepting applications at this time. 

Award Details

Sponsored by the University of Iowa Libraries, the Undergraduate Library Research Award is awarded to undergraduate students who have demonstrated creative or innovative research skills in their use of collections, materials, resources, and services from the UI Libraries in their research.

Faculty sponsored or independent research, including projects, papers, and course assignments are eligible. The awards range from $500 to $100 to be used at the student’s own discretion. Students can apply each semester but are only eligible to win once.

Award Categories

Three undergraduates will be awarded in the following research categories. The category depends on the scope of your research project, not necessarily your major. If you have questions about which award you should apply for, please contact Jenay Dougherty, (

  • Humanities & Social Sciences Research – $500
  • Sciences, Technology, Engineering, Math (STEM) Research- $500
  • Emerging Scholar Research* (reserved for first years only) – $100

[Please note: *First years are welcome to apply in any category they choose. Only one winner per award.]


To be considered for the Undergraduate Library Research Award applicants must meet the following criteria:

  • Currently enrolled undergraduate student in any year or discipline.
  • Engaged in either independent or faculty sponsored research.
  • Must use any number of resources, services, and materials through any of the UI Libraries.

Resources may include, but are not limited to the following:

Ask a Librarian!

We encourage you to reach out to one of our subject librarians for help on your project before submitting!

Application instructions

To apply, please submit a completed application and upload a bibliography or a reference list of the sources, resources, or materials you consulted for the research project or assignment. Be prepared to describe your research project, telling us why it’s important to you, and upload a document describing your research process, how you selected and integrated library resources into your research, and the role the libraries have played in the context of your research.

Application Preview

We encourage you to preview the application first to prepare your answers and write the short essay before starting the application process.

Group Projects: If you are applying as a member of a group you must clearly describe your individual role and how your own work contributed towards the overall research. 

Application Evaluation Criteria

Application Rubric

Your application will be judged on the following:

  • Clarity of project plan and research strategy explaining methods and steps used to conduct research.
  • Clear and detailed explanation of the selection and evaluation of library resources.
  • Strong evidence of the integration and synthesis of library resources
  • Explanation of UI Libraries’ value and purpose in context of research.

For more information about the award, issues with the application, or questions about library resources or services contact Jenay Dougherty at