Skip to main content


Growing healthier communities based on sustainable energy use, agricultural production, building design, economic development and more.

Celebrate your research!

Higher Education, Green Building, Performance Services



This award is not being offered in 2018. Stay tuned for next year.

Past award winners are part of the Student Showcase on ScholarWorks.

How to Submit via BOX

To submit your proposal, please upload it via BOX. 

Step 1: Log into your UMass BOX account

Step 2: Upload your proposal

Please include your name and USRA in the file name

Step 3: Change the green text from "Peope in this folder" to "People in your company"

Step 4: Enter email address

This will make the file shareable with Madeleine Charney

For technical assistance with the submission process, please contact  UMass IT

$1000/$500 Scholarship Awards

Are you a part- or full-time undergraduate student at UMass Amherst?

Have you completed a research project on sustainability, in Spring, Summer or Fall of 2016?

If so, you are invited to apply for the Undergraduate Sustainability Research Award! 

Student teams may also apply.

First-place winner is awarded a $1000 scholarship, with two second-place winners awarded a $500 scholarship.


  • Be a full- or part-time UMass Amherst undergraduate enrolled in any discipline and at any level.
  • Have completed a research paper or project for a credit course at UMass Amherst during the Spring 2016, Summer 2016 or Fall 2016 semesters.
  • Submit the project and supporting materials via Dropbox (see instructions below).
  • Agree that a copy of all winning prize materials will become permanent property of the UMass Amherst Libraries Special Collections and University Archives (with a Creative Commons license of your choosing)

Application Materials

1) Cover Sheet

         Complete this cover sheet. Fill out all fields.

The following materials should be submitted via BOX and and shared with (see instructions in the box to the left).

NOTE:  Please submit the cover sheet the same day as you submit the rest of your project materials via BOX.

2) Your research project

  Note that non-text projects are eligible as well.  Project format possibilities include:

  • Research papers (minimum 2,500 words)
  • Theses
  • Design projects
  • Multimedia projects (film, video, websites)
  • Fine/performing arts (performances, installations, musical compositions, sculpture, etc.)

3) Nomination letter

         Include a signed nominating letter from the professor for whose course you did the research project. You may submit one additional letter of support from another faculty member who is familiar with the project if you wish. Letter(s) must be signed by the faculty member. You may scan the letter and upload it via BOX or ask the faculty member(s) to submit it themselves to

4) Research Strategies Essay

         Write and submit a 500-1000 word essay describing your research strategies and use of library resources and services. Begin the essay with an abstract that makes clear your project's contribution to sustainability (environmental, social, and/or economic). In the essay, describe your research process. For example: selecting and refining your topic; selecting library databases; research strategies (e.g., keywords and other search techniques applied in database searches); use of library services, including consultations with a librarian.  A range of sources is encouraged. For example: books, articles, conference papers, government documents,  archives, interviews, technical reports, statistics, data sets, and audiovisual materials.

5) Bibliography

        The bibliography is mandatory (regardless of whether or not your professor originally required it) and must conform to a standard output style (e.g., MLA, APA, etc.).

Review Process

The review panel will be comprised of the sustainability studies librarian, a student, a faculty member, and a staff member from the Library’s Office of Communication & Development.

The following criteria will be used for evaluating project submissions:

1) Effect for Sustainability Change (environmental, social, and/or economic)

2) Research Strategy (methodology; variety of sources; depth and breadth of topic)

3) Technical Criteria (consistency of citations, adhering to all requirements)

4) Writing/Design (effectiveness of writing; use of sources; design of multimedia/art work, if applicable)

5) Faculty Comments


© 2016 University of Massachusetts Amherst.