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UC Davis Library Graduate Student Prize

About the Library Graduate Student Prize

The prize celebrates graduate student researchers who use the library to create outstanding, publicly engaged scholarship. Up to three prizes will be awarded for an original, unpublished, written work created while the applicant is a graduate student at UC Davis. The prize is co-sponsored by the UC Davis Library and the UC Davis Office of Public Scholarship and Engagement.

Winners will receive:

  • $1,000 each
  • Recognition at a public prize ceremony held at Shields Library
  • A prize letter from the University Librarian and Vice Provost for Public Scholarship

Note: Prize payments are generally subject to federal tax. California residents may be subject to state tax.


  • All currently enrolled UC Davis graduate students are eligible to apply.
  • Students may submit one individually authored work or one team-authored work to which they were a major contributor. If submitting a team-authored work, please indicate your role as a contributor in your cover letter.
  • The submitted work must be an unpublished, original work by a UC Davis graduate student. Examples of eligible work include but are not limited to:
    • research articles
    • dissertation or thesis chapters
    • essays
    • reports on research projects
    • creative works (e.g., plays, exhibits, poetry, performance)
  • Prize winners agree to attend the prize ceremony at Shields Library where they will be honored.

How to Apply

The Graduate Student Prize application includes the work itself and a cover letter:

  • The work should be in a format that can be submitted via Google Forms. Each file must be fewer than 10MB. If that is not possible, please submit a document that provides a detailed description of the project in sufficient detail to allow its merits to be judged. If the project is online, please include the URL.
  • The cover letter should be limited to 500 words and explain:
    • how the applicant made use of the library’s resources and/or services
    • how the work enhances our understanding of, or engagement with diverse community groups

Submit application components (written research work and cover letter via the Submission Form. Questions or technical issues can be directed to

Evaluation Process and Criteria

A panel of faculty members and representatives from the library and the Office of Public Scholarship and Engagement will carefully review submitted applications. The panel will use the following evaluation criteria:

  • For research or creative work:
    • Clarity and quality of composition
    • Importance of the questions addressed in the work to the public and diverse community groups
    • Significance or impact of the work in relation to the field
    • Methodological rigor
  • For cover letter:
    • Clearly shows the extent to which the student made effective use of the UC Davis Library’s resources and/or services. Examples include (but are not limited to):
      • Using print, digital, or archival resources, including through interlibrary loan
      • Searching databases provided by the library
      • Using library guides (e.g. subject guides, course guides)
      • Attending library workshops and classes
      • Meeting with a librarian
      • Using physical library spaces
    • Clearly shows the extent to which the student enhanced understanding of, or engagement with diverse community groups, i.e. how the work contributed to diversity, equity, inclusion, accessibility, or belonging (DEIAB).

Judges will evaluate submissions using the Library Grad Student Prize rubric (PDF).

Important Dates

Start Date for Accepting Submissions

Monday, October 2, 2023

Student Submission Deadline

Friday, December 1, 2023

Winner Notification

Friday, February 9, 2024

Prize Ceremony

Wednesday, February 28, 2024