Student Research Competition

The Office of Research in partnership with the Research Foundation provides undergraduate and graduate research students the opportunity to present their work and compete for selection as SJSU representatives at the annual CSU Student Research Competition.  Applications are made to the appropriate college and each college submits their selections to the Office of Research.

Who is eligible for funding?

Students eligible to compete at SJSU and at the CSU-wide competition are undergraduate and graduate students currently enrolled as well as alumni/alumnae who received their degrees in spring, summer or fall 2019 are eligible. The research presented should be appropriate to the student's discipline and career goals.  Proprietary research is excluded.  Each college may send forward a total of four student projects (undergraduate and/or graduate) representing outstanding research or creative activity.

Divisions of Competition

Divisions of competition have been defined by CSU-wide procedures and the CSU-defined divisions are indicated below:

Group A

Behavioral and Social Sciences

Business, Economics, and Public Administration

Creative Arts and Design*


Humanities and Letters

Interdisciplinary Majors

Group B

Biological and Agricultural Sciences

Engineering and Computer Science

Health, Nutrition, and Clinical Sciences

Physical and Mathematical Sciences

*Creative projects are welcome, see SJSU Student Research Competition Presentations section in the General Description and Information for 2020 Competition (PDF) for more information.

How much funding is available?

SJSU representatives will receive funds for expenses for reasonable travel/accommodations to the CSU Student Research Competition. Travel will be covered by the monetary award to the student.

When can I apply for funding?

The SJSU Student Research Competition is held on campus February 24 and 27, 2020.  The Office of Research needs all applications from the colleges submitted no later than February 15 of each academic year.

Each college establishes its own deadline for receipt of the nominations from its faculty. Please contact your College Dean's office for more information.

How do I apply for funding?

Colleges are to submit completed applications to the Office of Research no later than February 17th, 2020.

Funding Requirements?

Proposals must contain the following:

  • A completed application; and
  • A written summary (not to exceed 5 double-spaced pages and must use fonts and margins that ensure legibility) with the following elements:
    • Name(s) of the student(s) and the title of the presentation;
    • Appendices (bibliography, graphs, photographs or other supplementary material) may not exceed an additional three pages;
    • Research that has human or animal subject involvement must have proper clearance from appropriate review committees (IRB, Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee) if applicable.
    • It is expected that the student will not make an oral presentation by simply reading directly from his/her summary.

Funding Screening Criteria?

The University Graduate Studies & Research (GS&R) Committee will evaluate the research summary and the oral presentation to identify finalists for the CSU-wide competition using the same evaluation criteria that will be used in the CSU-wide competition.  The evaluation criteria are as follows:

  • Clarity of the purpose;
  • Appropriateness of methodology;
  • Interpretation of results;
  • Value of the research or creative activity;
  • Ability of presenter to articulate the research or creative activity;
  • Organization of the material presented; and
  • Presenter’s ability to handle questions from the jury or general audience.

How long does the approval of funding take?

Typically less than three weeks after the competition is held.

How do I get support?

If you have questions about the SJSU Student Research Competition, please contact the Office of Research at 408-924-2272 or

Additional Information

The following documents are from the 2019 competition and can be used as guidance for the application process. We will be adding documents for the 2020 competition in January, 2020.*