The University of Texas

About the Award

The Signature Course Information Literacy Award celebrates excellence in library research and the practical application of the UGS Information Literacy Competencies for First-year Students.  Up to three awards are given each year for research projects submitted in a UGS 302, UGS 303 or TC 302 course (depending on number of nominations).  The first place winner receives $400, second place recieves $200 (if awarded).  All winners receive a certificate of recognition and have their work archived and made accessible through the University of Texas Libraries Digital Repository.  The panel of judges consists of librarians from Teaching & Learning Services and members of UGS.  The awards are presented during Research Week each year.    


February 1, 2017 (for nominations of student work from any semester in calendar year 2016).

Application Procedure

Applications initiated by faculty members, TAs or students will require the following sets of materials:
Faculty-nominated or TA-nominated Student self-nominated

Step 1:  Complete the nomination form, which includes a one paragraph justification for your nomination. Tell us what was exemplary about this student's (or group's) research.  Consider the student's research process and the quality and use of sources.  Remember that the prize is awarded on the basis of research skill and information literacy, not writing. 

Step 2:  Submit a copy of your syllabus and assignment prompt/description to

Step 3:  The Libraries will contact the student(s) for the work nominated and confirm your nomination via email.


Step 1: Complete the self-nomination form.  

Step 2:  Submit a copy of the following to

  • A final version of the project as of the day it was turned in (no further revisions should have been made since submission to the faculty or TA)
  • A bibliography or other appropriate listing of sources consulted
  • An essay describing your research strategy.

Research Strategy Essay

Write a 400-600 word essay describing your research strategy. Discuss the steps you went through to gather and use the information you needed for your project.

You might discuss how you:

  • chose a topic or research question
  • decided what keywords to use and how they changed during your research process
  • chose databases to search
  • decided what types of sources (ex. peer reviewed literature, statistics) you needed and why
  • determined the credibility of your sources
  • sought help with your research (maybe from a librarian, TA, or professor)

You do not have to cover all of these topics. Discuss those relevant to your research process.

For group projects, only one essay is required.  Include your name(s).


Step 3:  Ask your faculty member/TA to email a one paragraph statement  supporting your self-nomination to

The nomination paragraph should:

Tell us what was exemplary about this student's (or group's) research. Consider the student's research process and the quality and use of sources. Remember that the prize is awarded on the basis of research skill and information literacy, not writing.

Project requirements:

  • Written projects should be double-spaced; there is no minimum or maximum length.
  • Digital projects: If the project still lives online and is widely accessible, please provide a link to the online content. If it not available online, please provide a DVD or CD copy of web- based projects.
  • Please include your name on all documents.



  • Faculty and TAs may submit more than one nomination for the same course. Please use a separate form for each nomination.
  • Group projects may be nominated. One form may be used for all students in the group.  If a group project wins, the prize will be split amongst the group members.
  • Any type of research project may be nominated, including multi-media projects.


  • Individuals must be current University of Texas undergraduate students.

  • Eligible projects will have been submitted by an individual in a Signature Course (UGS 302, UGS 303, or TC 302) in the prior calendar year. 

  • Individuals must agree to contribute their papers to the University of Texas Libraries Digital Repository. Individuals will maintain copyright and the work will be made available online. 

Evaluation Criteria

Successful projects will:

  • Make use of library resources and collections in any format.

  • Demonstrate effective application of information literacy and fluency principles:

    • determining information needs

    • evaluating and analyzing information

    • managing, organizing, and synthesizing information

    • applying information in the context of the project

  • Provide appropriate and accurate citations and credits.

  • Demonstrate originality of thought, mastery of content appropriate to class level, clear writing, and overall quality of presentation.

More Information

Contact Sarah Brandt,, 495-4145


Perry-CastaƱeda Library
101 East 21st St.
Austin, TX. 78713

Phone: (512) 495-4250

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