Research Excellence Award

Award Submission Deadlines:

Term No later than
Fall Semester No later than November 15
Spring Semester No later than April 15
Summer Semester No later than July 15

All nominations can be submitted online by designated faculty members or department staff. Follow the selection process for your department/program. Submissions by students are not allowed. Up to three reminders will be sent to departments in the weeks leading up to the deadlines. Please be mindful of the deadlines and adhere to them.

Purpose of Program

The purpose of these awards is to recognize graduate students for outstanding research accomplishments as documented in their theses and dissertations. These students are also expected to be academically superior and able not only to do research, but also to develop a well written product. The intent of this program is to recognize "the best of the best" graduating students who have submitted theses and dissertations. This document shows the maximum number of awards for ISU departments for an academic year (fall, spring, and summer). Departments can choose to use more restrictive guidelines. Departments can give the research awards once a year or each semester. We anticipate that most years, you would not give the maximum number of awards. In certain years you may need extra awards. You can go up to one over the maximum amount without asking approval. If you need more than one over the maximum, then we ask that you write a memo of justification and request for approval to the Graduate College: .

Description of Awards

Each Research Excellence Award consists of:

If Research Excellence Award winners will not be graduating at the time these awards are given, they should keep their honor cord and wear it when they graduate. A citation will be listed by their name in the ISU Commencement Program. Funding is not available through this program to offer cash prizes. However, departments are encouraged to use their own funds for this purpose whenever possible. Any cash prize should be handled directly by the department.


The student does not need to graduate in the semester they receive the award, but they should be very close to finishing. Students need to be far enough along in their thesis/dissertationfor you to recognize the excellence qualities of excellence established by your department. Recipients of these awards must be enrolled at ISU at the time the awards are given; students who have graduated are not eligible for these excellence awards. If the student has already graduated, they can be nominated for the Karas and Zaffarano Graduate Awards.

A student is eligible for only one Research Excellence Award per degree; however, it is possible to grant a student both a Teaching and a Research Excellence Award for the same degree during his/her academic career.

Award Process

Deadlines for the Research Excellence Awards are posted on the website. Up to three reminders will be send to departments in the weeks leading up to the deadlines. Please be mindful of the deadlines and adhere to them. The process of selection will be the responsibility of each department or interdepartmental program. We encourage departments/programs to establish their own criteria and selection processes. The Graduate College sets the maximum number of recipients. Departments can be more restrictive according to their own criteria and policies. All award submissions are made online and can be submitted only by authorized staff or faculty. Submissions by students are not allowed.

Completing the award form

Department selections are submitted online and can be submitted only by authorized staff or faculty. Submissions by students are not allowed.

After the form has been submitted

Award Distribution

Letters, certificates, and honor cords will be distributed to departments (person/address indicated on nomination form) no later than Dead Week at the end of each semester. If a student is not graduating this semester, it will be the student’s responsibility to keep the honor cord and wear it during his/her graduation ceremony.

Departments will be responsible for presenting the awards and will have the opportunity to supplement the award with a cash prize at that time. Each student name submitted will be given an award and it will be the responsibility of each department to monitor the submission and accuracy of the awards. The honor cords should be kept by the student and worn during their graduation ceremony.

The Graduate College will notify the Registrar’s Office and the Commencement Office so that the award appears on the student’s transcript and in the Commencement program.

Awards will not be given after the student has graduated. Any corrections or adjustments should be settled before the student graduates.

If you have any questions about this program, please email the Graduate College: .