Zaffarano Prize

Deadlines: Nominations due by March 15

Nominations should be submitted by DOGEs, Major Professors, or Graduate College Staff according to Department/Program award submission guidelines. Students do not apply directly for this award.

Submit electronic nominations to our Paper Forms box.

Winner will be notified by mid-April. Award presented at the Sigma Xi banquet in April.


To recognize superior performance in publishable research by an ISU graduate Student. A check for $1,500 and a plaque will be presented to the winner at the Sigma Xi banquet in April.


For the purpose of this award, publishable research is defined as work written and accepted for publication in a national or international refereed journal. Both the quality and the number of publications produced during the student’s time at ISU will be considered. Nominees must either be currently enrolled at ISU for spring current year, or have graduated in the 2 preceding semesters (summer or fall). A student can be considered for the Zaffarano Prize before completion of their thesis or dissertation. Award winners are expected to be available to receive the award in person.


The ISU faculty, DOGE or major professor, who is nominating the student must prepare materials in one PDF and submit to the Graduate College Paper Forms box. by March 15. Submissions should be electronic. The following should be submitted in one PDF file in the following order:

Because Sigma Xi is interested in the nominees for the Zaffarano Prize, they have asked that each nomination include a statement indicating whether the student is a current member of Sigma Xi or if being nominated for membership. However, membership in Sigma Xi is not required of candidates.

A committee appointed by the Graduate Dean, consisting of faculty in several disciplines and one member of the Graduate and Professional Student Senate, select the student whose publishable research record while at ISU is most worthy of this prize. In some years there are also Honorable Mentions. The winner(s) will be notified by mid-April.


Dr Daniel Zaffarano, vice president for research at Iowa State University from 1973-1988, established this award. He believed accomplishments in research contribute to our knowledge capital when they are made widely available to other workers, usually through publication, for review and use. Until results are disseminated, a research project is not completed. Part of graduate education is practice in explaining research results, orally or in writing. With the encouragement of their advisors, many students prepare and submit for publication significant achievements in their research even before a dissertation or thesis is completed. Students who gain this experience will have a competitive advantage when they seek further education or employment, and the purpose of this prize is to honor and reward those who excel for their effort and achievement.