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The Undergraduate Awards

The Undergraduate Awards is a prestigious and international academic awards program, which is wholly pan-discipline. It aims to celebrate and support the world’s brightest and most innovative undergraduate students by recognizing their best coursework and projects. The programme has been under the patronage of President of Ireland, Michael D. Higgins, since February 2012.

The deadline for submissions is May of each year.

What is it?

The Undergraduate Awards are open to all juniors, seniors, and those who graduated within the past academic year. Two academic awards programmes are operated by UA – one that is open to all third-level institutes on the island of Ireland; and the other that is open to the top universities in the world. Students are chosen for their innovative approach to their subject area – creating world-class research to tackle some of the world’s toughest challenges. Each participant can submit up to three pieces of research or project work. All winners are published in the Undergraduate Journal, which is circulated internationally. Winners are also brought to Dublin, Ireland for a three-day summit where they will have the opportunity to mix with a truly international group of similarly minded, high-potential scholars.

Who can submit?

Students who will be graduating next year, this year, or who graduated in the past year. This would traditionally be known as juniors, seniors, and those who graduated within the past academic year (not counting AP credits and dual-enrollment credits).

What can I submit?

Students in the Classes of 2016, 2017 and 2018 can apply with any piece of individual undergraduate coursework which received an A- or higher grade.

Students who will not receive their grade before the deadline may still submit if they received a 4.0 GPA for their most recently completed semester.

The word count for written work must be between 1750-5000 words, with the exception of the following categories, which can be up to 12,000 words long:

  • Chemical & Pharmaceutical Sciences
  • Computer Science & Information Technology
  • Earth & Environmental Sciences
  • Engineering & Mechanical Sciences
  • Life Sciences
  • Mathematics & Physics
  • Medical Sciences

Word count excludes bibliography, appendix and abstract, but includes footnotes.

Eligible submissions are drawn from corrected coursework across all academic disciplines, which:

  • Has achieved a grade of:

Asia/Australia: an A grade
USA and Canada: an A- grade or above
UK and Ireland: a II.1 or above

  • Represents the highest standard of intellectual and scholarly achievement
  • Embodies a piece of independent and original work
  • Takes the form of a text-based essay/project, with images/graphics where relevant
  • Takes the form of a critical/analytical discourse


Submitting to the Visual Arts & Design category

Read your submission guidelines here. If you are submitting to the Visual Arts & Design category please submit your coursework here.  This is to allow the submission of photos of your work along with your essay.


All Categories except Visual Arts & Design: Submit to the Undergraduate Awards here

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