Norma Slepecky Research Prize Submission Guidelines

Norma Slepecky Research Prize Submission Guidelines

Students are eligible to compete for the Slepecky Prize if their research projects are based in

  1. the full range of applied biological sciences, including audiology, bioengineering, communication disorders, and psychology, including their clinical applications;
  2. any of the natural sciences (Biology, Chemistry, Earth Sciences, and Physics), and
  3.  Engineering and Computer Science where the project has a strong focus on applications.

Students wishing to compete for the Slepecky Prize are required to submit documentary evidence of their research as undergraduates. The undergraduate research must be conducted prior to the prize submission date. This can take the form of:

  1. an Honors or Senior thesis. WiSE recognizes that in some years early submission dates may precede the completion of a Senior or Honors thesis. In this case, a draft of the research report with a statement of expectation of completion/publication signed by the research advisor will be an acceptable substitute.
  2. the text of a paper submitted as senior author to a peer-reviewed Archival Journal: Referencing senior author status will be different from discipline to discipline. Some are in alphabetical order, some have the faculty advisor’s name first, etc. The intent of this requirement is that the student contributed substantially and was in a leadership role in terms of the research and writing of the documents submitted. Faculty research advisor should reference senior authorship in the letter of support.
  3. a published or accepted Abstract for a scientific or professional society meeting in combination with the text of the Oral or Poster Presentation. Poster presentations should be submitted in PowerPoint or Word formats.  If an oral presentation or poster presentation is part of a larger project in which the student cannot control if/when their presentation will be submitted for publication, a statement explaining this as well as documenting the student’s substantive role should be included in the faculty research advisor’s letter of support.
  4. any new submission from past awardee must be with a new aspect of the research and a new paper. It cannot be expanded or newly edited version of the paper used in the prior submission.
  5. A student who did not win previously can resubmit materials from the prior competition year for review.

Please note that documents disseminated via electronic publishing are not eligible as documentary evidence.

The Syracuse University research project must have been completed under the direction of faculty at SU, or other recognized institution or research laboratory. Students enrolled at other institutions but who have worked on a research problem at SU with an SU advisor are eligible only if they are currently (academic year of the prize announcement) considered an SU student and carrying at least one credit. If an enrolled SU student participated in a research opportunity such as a national lab under the direction of a non-SU researcher that produced documentary evidence listed above, the student is required to have letters of support from both their research lead and an SU faculty member. Students who have graduated during a prior academic year are not eligible. However, if they graduated in December of the academic year for the award round, they are eligible. Women undergraduate students are strongly encouraged to apply.

letter of support from SU faculty should be submitted directly to Sharon Alestalo at The letter of support should include confirmation that the student is academically in good standing, that the student contributed substantially to the research project and was a senior author, and endorsement for their consideration for the prize. If the student conducted their research under the direction of another researcher not affiliated with SU, an SU faculty member would also need to make a statement about the validity of the experience (a well-established and credential lab, REU or investigator).

Submissions should be a single electronic document for easier distribution to the review committee. In addition to the research documents to be reviewed, it should include a cover letter from the student and resume. The cover letter must include full contact information, a little about the student and her research and an outline the major topic of her research summarizing the findings and why it is important. It should also include where the research was presented or published. The submittal should be sent by 4:00 on the deadline date (The first Friday of March each year) to
Sharon Alestalo at