The annual UCSB Library Award for Undergraduate Research (LAUR) recognizes students who produce a scholarly or creative work that makes expert and sophisticated use of the collections, resources, and services of the UCSB Library.

The award promotes and encourages intellectual discovery and the advancement of lifelong learning, and is open to all currently-enrolled undergraduate students at UCSB.

Library collections and resources for the purposes of this award can be broadly interpreted to include books, scholarly articles, primary sources and collections, research databases, maps, materials in all media, and more.

Library services can include library classes, workshops, consultations with subject-specialist librarians, use of Interlibrary Loan, use of the Interdisciplinary Research Collaboratory, use of Special Research Collections, and more.


First- and second-place prizes will be awarded in each of the three broad categories listed below. Winners receive $750 (1st place) and $500 (2nd place), and will be honored at an awards ceremony in May. Winners will also be invited to have their projects published in UC's eScholarship open access repository.  

Submissions are accepted in each of the three broad categories below. Consult your faculty sponsor for advice about which category best fits your topic:

  • Humanities & Fine Arts
  • Social Sciences
  • Science & Engineering


All current, full-time UCSB students working towards an undergraduate degree are eligible. Projects that have been submitted to the Undergraduate Research Slam and in the Research Colloquium are eligible for the LAUR, as are projects that have been submitted for UCSB course credit.

Type of Entries Accepted

  • Creative Works such as art installations, software programs, musical compositions, films or videos, digital projects or exhibits that show sophisticated use and understanding of Library.

  • Empirical Research such as research conducted with qualitative or quantitative methodologies that shows sophisticated use and understanding of Library resources.

  • Interpretive Analyses such as film analyses, social, cultural or literary criticism that shows sophisticated use and understanding of Library resources.

Judging Criteria

Judging Criteria are available online.  Submissions will be judged on three components:  

  • Creative project or research paper (30 points)
  • Reflective essay (40 points)
  • Bibliography (30 points) 

Please ensure that your entry includes all three components. Submit all documentation for your entry as either a Microsoft Word (.docx) file or as a PDF (.pdf) file. 

A panel of judges composed of UCSB faculty members and librarians will judge according to the following criteria:

  • Creative project or research paper.  If your project is in a format that cannot be submitted electronically, such as an art installation or exhibition, please submit a document that provides a detailed description of the project in sufficient detail to allow it to be judged. Your project should reflect expert and sophisticated use of Library materials and resources.

  • Reflective essay.  A 500 to 700-word statement describing your research process. How did you come up with your research topic? What are the methods and strategies that you used to discover your sources (sources can include those you access from the Library physically or virtually). How did you evaluate the sources that you used? Did you seek assistance from a librarian or professor, or someone else? We are especially interested in hearing about what you learned in this process.

  • Bibliography. Format your bibliography using the style guide appropriate to your project’s discipline. Cite all sources that you used, even if you did not directly quote from them. Even if your bibliography is part of your project, please also submit it as a separate document. Your bibliography should include a wide range of Library materials and resources.

Judging Panels

Judging panels for each of the three broad categories will be composed of faculty members and subject specialist librarians.

How to Apply

Deadline extended! Submissions are now being accepted through April 12, 2019 and must include all five below documents:

  • Entry form
  • Final version of the research project
  • Reflective essay
  • Bibliography
  • Faculty Statement of support (see below)

 Please submit your four documents in .pdf format.  Save your files using your last name and the name of the document and email to library-award [at] ucsb [dot] edu (LAUR).

  • Lastname_Entry.pdf
  • Lastname_Project.pdf
  • Lastname_Essay.pdf
  • Lastname_Bibliography.pdf

The  Faculty statement of support will be sent under separate cover.

Important Dates

  • Start date for accepting student submissions: March 1, 2019
  • Deadline extended! Student submission deadline: April 12, 2019
  • Review period: April - May,  2019
  • Winners announced: May 15, 2019
  • Awards reception: May 30,  2019


  • library-award [at] ucsb [dot] edu (Jane Faulkner)