uOttawa Library Award for Undergraduate Research

The uOttawa Library is offering an award recognizing outstanding undergraduate use of the library’s collections, resources and services in the production of an exemplary research project.


Three awards are available: 

1st place - $500

2nd place - $350

3rd place - $200

To apply for the award, go to Online Scholarships and Bursaries (also accessible through uoZone) and search for the Library Undergraduate Research Prize or 722240102338. Applicants are responsible for submitting all required documents.

Important Dates

Application deadline:  March 9, 2018

Award ceremony and reception: March 24, 2018


To be eligible for the Library Undergraduate Research Award, students must:

  • Be currently enrolled at University of Ottawa as an undergraduate student in any discipline and in good academic standing.
  • Have undertaken an original research project during the 2017/2018 academic year (spring – summer 2017, fall 2017 or winter 2018 terms).  Course assignments, independent studies, or other scholarly or creative projects are accepted for consideration. Projects can be in any format or medium.
  • Have the recommendation of the course instructor or faculty supervisor. Faculty sponsoring an applicant should provide the student with a completed recommendation form, including comments on how the student's work meets the award criteria. The student will include the recommendation form with their application.
  • Agree to contribute their submission to uOResearch, the university’s open access research repository.

The complete application includes:

  1. The final version of your completed project, including a bibliography.  If your project cannot readily be made available in digital form, contact bibliolibrary@uottawa.ca.
  2. A 500-750 word reflective essay describing your research strategies and your application of library tools, resources and services in completion of the project (see Essay Tips below).  
  3. The completed recommendation form from the course instructor or faculty supervisor.


The reflective essay is given the most weight. The evaluation committee is interested in evidence of an iterative research process and how your ideas and methodology changed and developed as your research progressed. Winning entries will demonstrate an exceptional ability to discover, select, evaluate, and synthesize information in the creation of a project exhibiting sophistication, originality, and depth or breadth in the use of library collections and services.

Tips for the reflective essay

The reflective essay on the research process is your opportunity to provide the evaluation committee with insight into how the library and its resources enriched and enhanced your work.

The following questions are intended as prompts to help guide you as you consider and write about your library research experience. They are not intended to be answered directly, but may be considered as you write your essay.

Your essay should be 500‐750 words in length. 

Process: Choosing your focus and developing your search techniques.

  • How did you think about and refine your preliminary research topic? How deeply or widely did you explore your topic area before deciding on your thesis? Did the library help develop your ideas?
  • What specific library search tools did you use and why did you choose them?
  • What aspects of your original ideas had to be adapted due to limitations in sources, or other obstacles you discovered along the way? How did you overcome this challenge?

Sources: Selection and evaluation of resources.

  • How did you evaluate your selected materials for objectivity, authority, accuracy, currency, and comprehensiveness?
  • Did you seek out a wide variety of source types and/or formats, such as primary or multimedia, during your research process?
  • Did you seek sources from various perspectives? Were you able to recognize bias or contradictions in information sources? How did you balance these viewpoints with your own?
  • Did you seek guidance from experts, such as librarians, faculty, archivists, in how to locate or best utilize the resources available to you?
  • If appropriate to your project, did you use materials from or visit other libraries and/or archives?

Putting it all together: Your deepened understanding of library research.

  • What did you learn about finding and evaluating information on your topic or in your discipline?
  • Is there a particular tool that you felt was invaluable to your research during the creation of this project?
  • What changes might you make when researching future projects, or what advancements do you see in your search techniques that you believe have made you a more successful researcher?

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