Best Use of the Research Literature

This award will be granted to one or two individuals depending on the applications received. In the case of two selected individuals, each will receive $500.00. If only one recipient is selected, $1000.00 will be awarded. Award winners will also receive a framed certificate. Judges include two USF Tampa librarians from the Academic Services Department and OUR Director or Assistant Director. Application Deadline: April 15th at midnight.

Award Purpose

To recognize undergraduate student use of library materials, identify best practices in undergraduate student research and identify undergraduate student role models for understanding and practicing sound research for projects that will be presented at the Undergraduate Research Conference. Please note: Winners are required to attend the OUR Conference and present either an oral, poster or arts presentation.


Application Process

  • Submit the completed application below by the deadline April 15th at midnight.
  • The following 4 items must be uploaded to the online application as part of the submission process:
  1. 250 word abstract describing the research project (this may be the same as submitted to the Colloquium)
  2. Up to 1,500 word essay describing how the use of research literature informed and shaped your research process. Your essay should contain the following components:
    • Describe the number, variety, and relevance of the sources you consulted for your research project giving examples of some of the most significant or impactful you discovered in the process.
    • Describe your experience in terms of searching the research literature. What discoveries did you make about your topic? What did you learn about how your topic is covered in research literature? Did you uncover any experts in the field or any journal(s) or books which covered your research topic particularly well?
    • Describe your search strategy. What keywords, databases, or websites did you use to unearth resources used to develop and carry out your project? Did you consult with a librarian? In what capacity did they assist you?
  3. Bibliography of resources utilized during the research project in a Word document. This does not count in the 1500 word essay. Any standard bibliographic format is acceptable (MLA, APA, Chicago, etc.)

Award Criteria

  • Essay competently addresses questions outlined above.
  • Number, variety, and relevance of sources consulted.
  • Evidence of understanding of the research process.
  • Clarity of language.
  • Accuracy of citation style.

*Note: Upon submission, the USF Tampa Library reserves the right to publish these essays to promote best practices in undergraduate student research.

For more information before applying, please contact Drew Smith or Maryellen Allen.

To apply, fill out the following online form:

Fill out my online form.