Undergraduate Research Center Announces New Endowed Prize

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Dean Keith Simonton Prize for Creativity in Undergraduate Research Recognizes Students Early in their Research Career

The Dean Keith Simonton Prize for Creativity in Undergraduate Research is a newly established annual award to support and encourage faculty-guided undergraduate research by UC Davis students. The award recognizes creativity, or the potential for creativity, in undergraduate research or design projects, as well as the student's innovative spirit and motivation.

Up to two awards will be given annually. Applicants must be currently enrolled, continuing UC Davis undergraduates in good standing who are performing independent research under the guidance of a UC Davis faculty member. GPA is not a criterion for the prize. The annual award will be administered each year in Spring Quarter with a $1,000 prize awarded as stipend to each recipient. Applications for the 2021 prize are open through May 13. Full eligibility requirements and application instructions are available on the Undergraduate Research Center website. 

Second Undergraduate Research Prize Endowed by Dean Keith Simonton

Professor Dean Keith Simonton Formal Headshot
Distinguished Professor Emeritus Dean Keith Simonton

The award is made possible through a generous endowment by Distinguished Professor Emeritus Dean Keith Simonton, whose extraordinary career at UC Davis has focused on the study of genius, creativity, leadership, and the psychology of science. Simonton knows the impact such recognitions and awards can make to students"I received a prize in my junior year at Occidental that served as quite an encouragement in the final lap to graduation," he said. 

That experience has sparked extraordinary generosity: this is the second undergraduate research prize endowed by Simonton. In 1994, after being awarded the UC Davis Prize for Teaching and Scholarly Achievement, he endowed the Dean Keith Simonton Prize for graduating seniors that accompanies with the Chancellor’s Awards for Excellence in Undergraduate Research. The UC Davis Prize recognizes a faculty member who has demonstrated extraordinary dedication and achievement in undergraduate teaching and in research/creative activity, and is one of the largest annual prizes of its kind in the nation. 

"On behalf of UC Davis students and leadership, I'm deeply grateful for Dean Keith Simonton's enduring generosity. UC Davis takes pride in the quality and creativity of our students' research, and we are thrilled to have a new way to recognize and support emerging creativity in research while celebrating Professor Simonton's legacy," said Cynthia Carter Ching, interim vice provost and dean for Undergraduate Education.