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University Library Research Awards

The University Library Research Awards recognize outstanding research completed using University Library collections and research tools.

Apply for a $300 Library Research Award

2020 Library Research Awards will not be offered due to the COVID-19 crisis.

The University Library Research Awards for Students began in 2017 to recognize students whose work takes advantage of the breadth and depth of the Library's collections and those who incorporate original resources from Special Collections & University Archives into their work.

Consider applying for one of these awards to recognize outstanding research completed using University Library resources:

  • Best Use of UIC Library Research Tools and Materials Award
    This award recognizes students who use tools and materials from any area in the Library
  • Special Collections & University Archives Student Research Award
    This award recognizes students who incorporate original resources from Special Collections and University Archives

Who can apply?

ALL GRADUATE AND UNDERGRADUATE STUDENTS who are currently working on a:

  • Poster for Impact and Research Day or Engineering Expo
  • Research paper for a Capstone course
  • Presentation or performance drawing on resources found in the UIC Library
  • Any other kind of research project


What do I need to submit with my application?

For your application, you will be asked to submit the following:

  1. Your project in the best possible format: Research paper, website, poster, recording of a performance, digital object, etc.
  2. A 2-3 pages reflective essay about your research process: In this essay you will describe your experience developing a research project in which you address the following components (you can also include visual representation of your research process):
  • What steps did you take to find relevant information?
  • How did the library’s resources and services assist in your research process?
  • How did you combine the ideas gathered from multiple sources?
  • What kind of challenges did you encounter? How did your thinking about research evolve from this experience?

Tips from a Research Award Winner

  • Do not be afraid to ask for help! Set up an appointment with a subject librarian if you are struggling to find resources for your paper.
  • Check your citations! Use the Purdue OWL Citation Machine to ensure you are citing your resources within your paper properly.
  • If you have book sources, do not read the entire book. Use the index at the back to locate pages and chapters that are related to your topic.
  • Skim your sources for the information that pertains to your topic.
  • Do not force yourself to write your paper all at once. Take breaks or write when you feel motivated.
  • Definitely use quotes, but make sure to give credit to the author of said quote.
  • Proofread your paper.
  • Do not be afraid of others revising your paper -- it will help you become a better writer.