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The University of Massachusetts Amherst

Undergraduate Sustainability Research Award

Details on the current year's award requirements and timeline


For more information and questions, contact

Rebecca Reznik-Zellen


Congratulations to our 2023 Winners!

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Congratulations to our 2023 Undergraduate Sustainability Research Award Winners! Their winning submissions have been added to the Sustainable UMass Student Showcase collection in our institutional repository ScholarWorks.



  • Madeline Fabian '23 for "The Oak & The Mailbox"
  • Max Feldman '24 for "A Carbon Conundrum"
  • Jo Fuchs '24 and Hannah Gould '25 for "Community Classroom of Hope"
  • Shivaangi Salhotra '26 for "Trash Talk: Rethinking the Notion of Waste"
  • Nathaniel Wright '23 for "Thermal efficiencies of Green Walls in Building Structures in the Northeast United States"


  • Be a full- or part-time UMass Amherst undergraduate enrolled in any discipline and at any level.
    • If you are in a 4+1 program, you are eligible while you are in the first 4 years. 
  • Diversity of age, ability, race, religion, gender, social class, educational background is welcome.
  • If awarded, agree to add your submission to ScholarWorks, the UMass Amherst digital showcase (with a Creative Commons license of your choosing)

  • If awarded, attend library event at the Science & Engineering Library (date & time TBD). 

Review Process

Submissions will be reviewed by a panel of librarians and staff from the Science & Engineering Library.

Submissions will be evaluated on:

  • Substantive Topic
    • Potential for sustainability change or broader sustainability awareness/appreciation (environmental, social, and/or economic).
    • Broad scope (geographic or in aspect of sustainability work) or in-depth analysis score highest.
  • Research Strategy
    • Research methodology
      • UMass Libraries/other resources searched
      • keywords used or other search strategies
      • use of sources to find other sources
    • Depth and breadth of sources
      • All academic? All from single journal/NGO?
      • Direct quotes only? Or supporting ideas behind other arguments, too?
    • Refer to information provided on submission form
  • Attribution of Sources
    • Consistent formatting throughout with in-text notation (superscript, author-date, etc.) and complete reference list or footnotes/endnotes.
    • Quotes, paraphrasing, and credit for others' original ideas all clearly attributed.
    • Sources include all information needed for reviewers to track down full text.
    • Applicants should declare the citation style they are using.
      • No points lost for minutia of punctuation, as long as overall style is consistent.
  • Effectiveness of Communication 
    • Compelling narrative or imagery, writing is coherent/imagery conveys the meaning intended (compare to context statement from submission form), facts are conveyed to support the argument/emotions evoked as intended.
    • Disregard minor grammatical mistakes.
  • Overall Impression