Each department in the University with a graduate program has the opportunity annually to nominate one graduate student for the Graduate Council Excellence in Research Award. The nomination process is as follows:
- Members of the graduate faculty who are directing students in the development of significant projects may nominate their students on the basis of such works to the Chairperson of the Department. Projects completed in the prior calendar year will be eligible for nomination.
- Under procedures established by the Department, the nominated works are reviewed and a departmental nominee is chosen.
- An unbound copy of the work along with a letter of nomination from the department are to be submitted to the Interim Dean of the School of Graduate Studies by March 1st of each academic year.
- The nominees works are then reviewed by a five member panel of judges. The panel consists of four members of the graduate faculty who have experience reviewing scholarly papers from various disciplines and the Vice Provost and Dean of the School of Graduate Studies who chairs the committee.
The works nominated for the research award are evaluated on the following criteria:
- The research problem or question is clearly stated.
- It is evident that the researcher is familiar with the literature on the topic.
- The research procedure is clearly described.
- If the research involves human or animal subjects, there is evidence that established University procedures have been followed.
- The analysis of the data or evidence is thoroughly conducted and intelligible.
- The conclusions are clearly stated and supported by the evidence.
- The overall quality of the research work is of sufficient stature to merit the award.
In the event that none of the works are deemed to be meritorious, the award will not be given.
The winner of the Graduate Council Excellence in Research Award receives a cash award of $500 and a certificate of merit.