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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 34th Annual CSU Student Research Competition will be held at CSU East Bay, April 24-25, 2020.  

Who May Apply

All CLA students are encouraged to participate, including graduate students. Recent graduates (Spring, Summer, or Fall 2019) are also eligible.

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

Submit a completed registration form and a 5-page written summary of your research and/or creative activity to the CLA Dean's Office (47-31) or via email to by January 15, 2020.

  • The written summary/abstract of your research may not exceed five (5) double-spaced pages.
  • Use fonts and margins that ensure legibility. Include your name and title of the presentation.
  • In addition, you may add appendices (bibliography, graphs, photographs, or other supplementary materials) not to exceed three (3) pages.

Deadline for submissions to CLA Dean's Office: January 15, 2020

Next Steps

If selected by the CLA Dean's Office, participants must be available in February to present their work in a 10-minute oral presentation to a panel consisting of the Academic Senate Grants Review Committee. 

The panel will evaluate both the written and oral presentations and select a maximum of 10 presentations from Cal Poly to participate in the system-wide competition. 

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 CLA Associate Dean Debra Valencia-Laver at or 805-756-2359.​ Additional information can also be found on the Cal Poly Student Research Competition page.

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