Slepecky Prize Guidelines


Norma Slepecky Undergraduate Research Prize Submission Guidelines 2022 (PDF)

Norma Slepecky Undergraduate Research Prize Coversheet (PDF)

The Norma Slepecky Undergraduate Research Prize is endowed in memory of Professor Norma Slepecky, a distinguished auditory neuroanatomist, by her family, friends and colleagues. Undergraduate students are eligible to compete for the Slepecky Prize if their research projects are based in the full range of applied biological and engineering sciences and the natural sciences. These include audiology, bioengineering, communication sciences and disorders, neuroscience, bio-inspired technology, and psychology (including their clinical applications) and in the natural sciences biology, chemistry, earth sciences, and physics. Women undergraduate students are strongly encouraged to apply.

A. Enrollment Requirements: The Syracuse University research project must be completed under the direction of faculty at the University or other recognized university or research laboratory while enrolled at Syracuse University. If an enrolled student submits documents from a research opportunity not affiliated with Syracuse University and under the direction of a non-Syracuse University researcher, the student is required to have letters of support from both the research lead and a Syracuse University faculty member. Students enrolled at other institutions but have worked on a research problem at Syracuse University with a Syracuse University advisor are eligible only if they are currently (academic year of the prize announcement) considered an SU student and carrying at least one credit. Students who have graduated in the academic year (ex: December) or in a prior year are not eligible.

B. Document Requirements: 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) 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 near final draft of the research report with a statement of expectation of completion/publication included in the letter of nomination by the faculty research advisor will be an acceptable substitute.

2) 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 confirm senior authorship in the letter of nomination.

3) 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 pdfs of the poster and associated texts. Charts that are not visible in a small format should be attached in the appendix. If an oral or poster presentation is part of a larger project in which the student cannot control if/when their presentation will be submitted, a statement explaining this as well as documenting the student’s substantive role should be included in the faculty research advisor’s letter of nomination.

4) Submission from past awardee must be with a new aspect of the research and a new paper. It cannot be an expanded or newly edited version of 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.

C. A letter of nomination from SU faculty research advisor (in pdf format) should be submitted directly to Sharon Alestalo, WiSE Program Director, at The letter should include confirmation that the student is academically in good standing, that the student contributed substantially to the research project and is a senior author, any awards earned, and a rationale and endorsement for consideration. If the student conducted their research under the direction of another researcher not affiliated with Syracuse University, that researcher can submit a nomination. However, a University faculty member would also need to provide a supplemental letter endorsing the nomination and confirming the validity of the experience (a well-established and credentialed lab, REU or investigator) and the student’s academic standing and research work at Syracuse University. If the student cannot control if/when their presentation will be submitted, an explanatory statement inclusive of confirmation of the student’s substantive role should be included in the faculty research advisor’s letter of nomination.

D. Student’s submittal packet should be a single pdf document for easier distribution to the review committee. In addition to the research documents to be reviewed, it should include the required coversheet, a cover letter from the student, and brief resume. The cover letter must include full contact information, a little about the student, the research overview, an outline of the particular aspects of the research being presented, summary of the findings, and a rational for why it is important. It should also include where the research was presented or published. The fillable coversheet can be downloaded here.

E. The submittal should be sent by 4 PM on March 4, 2022 to Sharon Alestalo, WiSE Program Director, at Questions can also be directed to Ms. Alestalo at 315.443.3419. UPDATE: DEADLINE EXTENDED to March 11!