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CSU Student Research Competition

The CSU Student Research Competition promotes excellence in undergraduate and graduate scholarly research and creative activity by recognizing outstanding student accomplishments throughout the 23 campuses of the California State University. Cash prizes are awarded. 

The virtual 2021 CSU Research Competition will be hosted by Cal Poly Pomona on April 30 & May 1, 2021.

Who May Apply

Undergraduate or graduate students currently enrolled at any CSU campus and alumni who received their degrees in Winter, Spring, Summer, or Fall 2020 are eligible to apply.

What to Submit

Research and/or creative activities developed as class projects, senior projects and/or graduate theses can be considered.

A student may submit on any academic topic. There will be separate undergraduate and graduate divisions for each of the following categories:

  • Behavioral and Social Sciences
  • Creative Arts and Design
  • Humanities and Letters
  • Interdisciplinary
  • Biological and Agricultural Sciences
  • Business, Economics, and Public Administration
  • Education
  • Engineering and Computer Science
  • Health, Nutrition, and Clinical Sciences
  • Physical and Mathematical Sciences

How to Apply

To participate in the 2021 CSU Research Competition, research and creative projects must be submitted online by 11:59pm CA time on Tuesday 1/19/21.

Submit at

  • Presentation Title
  • Author Name(s) & Contact Information
  • Project Summary/Abstract (100-200 words)
  • Project Narrative/Description (maximum 1400 words) about the scholarly research/creative project and findings
  • Bibliography & Other Supplemental Materials (maximum 3 pages)
  • Affirmation (as applicable) that any project that involves human and/or animal subjects has undergone appropriate institutional review
  • The CSU Research Competition category (or categories) that are relevant to the project

Deadline for submissions: January 19, 2021

Next Steps

Cal Poly will host a virtual internal competition in February or March 2021 (dates to be announced) to select the 10 projects that will represent our campus at the 2021 CSU Research Competition. Members of the Academic Senate Grants Review Committee will serve as judges.

Each entry (oral presentation and written summary) will be judged on:

  • Clarity of purpose 
  • Appropriateness of methodology 
  • Interpretation of results 
  • Value of the research or creative activity 
  • Ability of presenter(s) to articulate the research and creative activity 
  • Organization of the material presented 
  • Presenter's ability to handle questions from the jury 

If you need help preparing your summary, or more information, please contact Dawn Neill, Director of Research Engagement and Internationalization at or 805-756-6046.​ Additional information can also be found on the Cal Poly Student Research Competition page.

View the slides from the information session hereSlides from info session

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