Scholars Forum Awards

Students participating in the IUP Scholars Forum are eligible for several awards, which are presented at the awards ceremony. Some awards require an additional application or proposal.

Dean's Award

Each college dean provides funding in support of a Dean's Award. The Dean's Award is given to the top-ranked project (poster or presentation) in each college.

Outstanding Poster

The Outstanding Poster award is given to the top-ranked poster in each college. In the event that the Dean's Award has been given to the top-ranked poster, the Outstanding Poster award will be awarded to the second-highest ranked poster

Outstanding Oral Presentation

The Outstanding Oral Presentation award is given to the top-ranked oral presentation in each college. In the event that the Dean's Award has been given to the top-ranked oral presentation, the Outstanding Presentation award will be awarded to the second-highest ranked oral presentation.

Sigma Xi Award

Sigma Xi, the Scientific Research Honor Society, honors excellence in scientific investigation and encourages a sense of companionship and cooperation among researchers in all fields of science and engineering. The Sigma Xi poster awards recognize superior research by students at IUP and are given to the best scientific research posters at both the undergraduate and graduate level.


Any student with a poster in an area judged by Sigma Xi and exhibited at the Undergraduate Scholars Forum or the Graduate Scholars Forum will be automatically entered. Sigma Xi research spans the disciplines of Anthropology, Biochemistry, Biology, Chemistry, Computer Science, Geography, Geoscience, Mathematics, Physics, and Psychology.


Posters will be judged on overall quality and how well student researchers demonstrate specific elements. The first element is SCIENTIFIC THOUGHT, which requires a clear statement of the research problem and hypotheses, careful planning of the research, significance to the student's field, and an understanding of the ideas central to the research. The next element is the SCIENTIFIC METHOD, where judges will look for evidence that the method of investigation is appropriate for the problem, sufficient data have been collected to justify the research results, the student's own work is clearly reflected in the project, and journal citations and references are included. Projects demonstrating more student effort and involvement will be favored over short-term projects. The third element is COMMUNICATION, requiring a presentation that can be clearly understood, is well organized and easy to follow, neat and professional, includes an abstract, and is enhanced by the visuals displayed.

S-COAM Award

The S-COAM Award is given by Sigma Xi for the best computational poster at the IUP Scholars Forum. All science posters are evaluated for the computational nature of the project undertaken, with no additional submission necessary. Higher scores are given to posters where advanced skills are needed, such as writing the computational framework or developing the software used in the project. Intermediate scores are given for using advanced features of existing software, and lower scores include using standard analysis tools and spreadsheets. Preference will be given to projects demonstrating that students have done much of the computational development. This award is sponsored by the Scholarship-Creating Opportunities for Applying Mathematics program (S-COAM) which is funded by the National Science Foundation.

Kathleen Jones White Writing Center Award

This award recognizes students who demonstrate exemplary writing skills in their poster presentation.  Judges will pay attention to students' writing in terms of organization, clarity, and style appropriate to the audience. Graduate students are additionally judged on how well the writing demonstrates their critical thinking process, novelty, and contributions to the field.

IUP Libraries' Research Award

IUP Libraries is dedicated to providing researchers the resources, spaces, and services necessary to enable them to carry out high-quality research and inquiry. The IUP Libraries' Awards for Undergraduate and Graduate Research were created to recognize excellence in scholarly work based on a foundation of careful background research and literature review in projects submitted to the Scholars Forum. If chosen to receive a library research award, students will receive a certificate and prize.

Students must use the link below to be considered for the libraries' research award:

Click here to submit your entry.