Award Submissions

All students whose abstracts are accepted for presentation in the Annual Graduate Research Symposium are eligible to submit a 5- to 6-page paper for award consideration. To be considered for an award, you must carefully follow the guidelines below.

A multidisciplinary judging panel of selected W&M faculty and experts in the disciplines will rank the papers anonymously. The judging panel retains the right to eliminate award categories based upon number and quality of paper submissions.

Monetary awards will be presented at the Awards Luncheon at the Graduate Research Symposium to selected participants who submit a 5- to 6-page paper by the deadline.

Please contact the Symposium Committee prior to submitting your award paper if you have questions.

Eligibility and Requirements
  1. Must be a student accepted to present at the 2020 Graduate Research Symposium (GRS).
  2. An accepted presenter may be considered for an award by submitting a 5- to 6-page paper that describes the research he/she is presenting at the GRS by the deadline. Failure to comply with ALL guidelines will disqualify your paper from consideration for an award.
  3. Paper submissions must be primarily the work of the graduate student who is submitting the paper, and the submitter has the responsibility to obtain permission from co-authors prior to submission. VIMS students will be judged in the Visiting categories and are not eligible to apply for W&M Awards.
  4. Graduate students must select only one field in which to compete. See below for the list of fields.
  5. Award winners will be notified prior to the GRS and are required to attend the Awards Luncheon on March 21, 2020. Awards will not be issued to awardees who do not attend the ceremony.
Application Guidelines

Please review the following instructions carefully to ensure that your submission is eligible for the competition and that it is judged in the correct category. Submissions that do not comply with one or more of the following instructions will be disqualified.

  • Deadline for Award Paper Submission: January 17, 2020, 11:59 pm EST.
  • The paper should be no more than six (6) double-spaced pages of text.
  • A paper already accepted for and/or previously printed in a journal or other publication is ineligible for consideration.
  • You must include a title on the first page. Do not include your abstract in your submission.
  • You must place all charts, figures, images, references, bibliography, etc., after the last page of text, as appendices. They do not count toward the six-page limit if they are included after the last page of text.
  • The text must be a single column. Papers received that are in two-column format will be rejected.
  • All papers must be submitted in 12-point Times New Roman font with 1" margins on all sides.
  • Do not include your name, co-author names, or institutional affiliation anywhere on the paper including in the footnotes. Papers are to be judged blindly.
  • Save your paper as a PDF document with a filename that lists judging category first (Humanities or Sciences) followed by your name, e.g.: humanities_doe_john.
  • Ensure your PDF appears exactly the way you want before submitting it. You may not resubmit a paper with corrections after initial submission.
  • Email your submission as an attachment to In the email subject, you must indicate which award field you intend to compete in:
    • GRS Award Submission – W&M A&S Humanities and Social Sciences
    • GRS Award Submission – W&M A&S Natural & Computational Sciences
    • GRS Award Submission – Visiting & VIMS Humanities and Social Sciences
    • GRS Award Submission – Visiting & VIMS Natural & Computational Sciences 
    • N.B. the Humanities and Social Sciences disciplines typically include American studies, anthropology, archaeology, art history, history, literature, sociology, and public policy; the Natural and Computational Sciences disciplines typically include applied science, biology, chemistry, computational operations, computer science, psychological sciences, and physics.
Further Submission Information
  • You will receive an e-mail confirmation of your submission within 24 hours; if you do not receive a confirmation, please email
  • Decisions made by the Graduate Research Symposium Committee are final; there is no appeals process.
  • In the event that a paper submitted wins an award and has co-authors, the award check will be issued to the person who submits the paper. Certificates will be printed and issued to the co-authors at the Awards Ceremony.
  • You may apply again in future years. However, that the William & Mary's Honor Code prohibits students from submitting the same paper twice for award consideration. Work that is created as a result of the original submission or builds upon its theory, method, etc. may be submitted in subsequent years. This usually means that the original work has had a period of at least a year for substantial alteration and development so that it reflects on-going scholarship.

Award paper submissions that do not follow all of the above guidelines or are submitted after 11:59 pm E.S.T. on January 17, 2020 will not be considered or acknowledged.

Judging Criteria

In determining the quality of the paper, judges will look for:

  1. A clear statement of the problem/question;
  2. The methods used to address the problem/question and the use of evidence;
  3. Identification of original contributions and contributions by other scholars;
  4. Statement of conclusions or progress to date (the research need not be finished); and
  5. Presentation, which can include style, graphics, and references.