Scholars Forum Awards

  • Students participating in the IUP Scholars Forum are eligible for several awards, which are presented at the awards ceremony following the Graduate Scholars Forum. 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.

    ECO Award

    The ECO award has been a proud part of the IUP Undergraduate Scholars Forum and Graduate Scholars Forum since 2012.

    This award is given to the undergraduate and graduate researchers that exhibit excellence in scholarship and innovation in sustainability – through research with the applied potential to foster more sustainable practices, policies, or cultures in our campus and broader communities. Judging occurs by a committee of ECO students and faculty.

    The mission of the Environmentally Conscious Organization of IUP is to increase public awareness of environmental problems and to encourage the active involvement of students in developing solutions. Through various programs and activities, the Environmentally Conscious Organization lets the IUP community know that solutions to environmental problems are not out of reach and they can help fight the battle on a local and national level.

    Sigma Xi Award

    Award Description

    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 3 best scientific research posters at the UGSF and also the GSF.


    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 spread sheets. 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.

    IUP Libraries Undergraduate 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 Award for Undergraduate Research was created to recognize high-quality scholarly work based on a foundation of careful background research and literature review in projects submitted to the Undergraduate Scholars Forum.