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Outstanding Undergraduate Award Program 2009
Nomination Procedure and Criteria for Selection of Winners

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The Computing Research Association is pleased to announce the fifteenth annual CRA Outstanding Undergraduate Award program, which recognizes undergraduate students in North American universities who show outstanding research potential in an area of computing research. The 2009 award program is sponsored by Microsoft Research.

To be eligible, nominees must attend a university or college located in North America, and must be nominated by two faculty members and recommended by the chair of their home department. No more than two male and two female candidates can be recommended by the same department chair in the same year.

The awards committee looks for demonstrated excellence of computing research ability. The type of department in which the student is majoring and the area of computing in which the student has demonstrated ability are immaterial. What is important is the quality of the research work done by the student. The awards committee also considers the student’s academic record and service to the community. Preference is given to students in their senior year (or the equivalent).

A cash prize of $1,000 will be awarded to each of two undergraduate students, one female and one male. A small number of other outstanding candidates will be recognized as Runners-Up and Finalists. All nominees whose work is considered to be exemplary are recognized with Honorable Mentions. The two winners will receive financial assistance to attend a major computing research conference, and CRA will sponsor a departmental reception for them at their home institutions. Their awards will be presented at one of these venues.

Nomination forms and complete documentation must reach CRA no later than Tuesday, October 14, 2008. Results will be announced on December 1, 2008.

Nomination Procedure

A nomination package consists of six copies of the following items (each packet arranged in this order):

  1. Completed Nomination form (PDF) with all required signatures.
  2. Nominee's resume (two-page maximum). List publications here: do not include copies.
  3. Nominee's transcript of academic record (non-official is acceptable).
  4. Letters of support from two faculty nominators (two-page maximum per letter). The department chair can serve as one of the nominators.
  5. Verification statement signed by department chair. [This should confirm the authenticity of any unofficial transcript submitted, and indicate that the student is in good standing, is eligible for the award, and recommended by the chair.]
  6. One-page description highlighting the student's research and other achievements. [The student should prepare this statement. Include a research title/subject; describe the significance of the work as well as the student's specific contributions.]

No more than two male and two female candidates can be recommended by the same department chair in the same year. Preference will be given to students in their senior year, or equivalent, of undergraduate study.

The nomination must reach CRA no later than Tuesday, October 14, 2008. One original plus five complete packets (total 6) should be provided, each arranged in the same order described in numbers 1 through 6 above.

Mail/Delivery Address:

CRA Undergraduate Awards
Computing Research Association
1100 Seventeenth Street NW, Suite 507
Washington, DC 20036-4632
(Tel: 202-234-2111)

Criteria for Selection of Winners

  • The primary criterion for selection is significant research contributions. Significant contributions are ones that go well beyond classroom or internship projects. Past winners have contributed key ideas to research projects, published papers in conferences or journals, made presentations at workshops or conferences, developed software systems used by others, worked on multiple projects, or done work that resulted in patents or patent applications.

Also considered are:

  • Outstanding academic record, and
  • Service to the computing or broader community. Past winners have been mentors, tutors, or teaching assistants; officers in student organizations; volunteers in community-service organizations; or managers of computer labs or websites.

Questions and inquiries about this year's Outstanding Undergraduate Awards should be directed to The award winners will be announced on December 1, 2008.

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