This article is published in the September 2020 issue.

Nominations Open for 2021 CRA Award for Outstanding Undergraduate Researchers

The Computing Research Association (CRA) is pleased to announce the annual CRA Award for Outstanding Undergraduate Researchers, which recognizes undergraduate students in North American colleges and universities who show outstanding research potential in an area of computing research. The award is a wonderful way to recognize your best student researchers and your department.  

Eligible nominees must be enrolled as undergraduates in a North American college or university in Fall 2020.  PhD-granting departments may nominate up to four students and other departments may nominate up to two students.

Up to four CRA Outstanding Undergraduate Research Awards will be made. Each award recipient will receive financial assistance of up to $1500 to attend a research conference of their choice.  Additional nominees will be designated as runners-up, finalists, and honorable mentions.  The award recipients, runners-up, finalists, and honorable mentions will be announced by e-mail in mid-December, will receive certificates of their awards, and will be recognized on CRA’s website.

Everything you need to submit a nomination for the CRA Outstanding Undergraduate Researchers Award, including detailed instructions and the nomination form, will be available at: Nominations will open next week.

Questions and inquiries about the awards should be sent to: The deadline for nominations is Friday, October 16, 2020, at 9 PM ET. Please note that an account needs to be created for submitting a nomination. The nominations package needs to be submitted as one PDF file in the order specified in the instructions.

Microsoft Research and Mitsubishi Electric Research Labs  (MERL) sponsor the CRA Outstanding Undergraduate Researchers Award Program in alternate years. The 2021 award is being sponsored by Microsoft Research. This award is managed by the CRA Education Committee.

Faculty members nominating a student for the CRA award are encouraged to talk to the student about the NSF Graduate Research Fellowship Program (GRFP). The required nomination materials are similar and some can be used for both the CRA-E award and the NSF GRFP application. The NSF Graduate Research Fellowship Program recognizes and supports outstanding graduate students in NSF-supported science, technology, engineering, and mathematics disciplines who are pursuing research-based Master’s and doctoral degrees at accredited United States institutions. See for information for applicants, letter writers, how to sign up as a panelist, and the program solicitation.  Applications for GRFs are due the week after the CRA award nominations, on October 20, 2020.

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Nominations Open for 2021 CRA Award for Outstanding Undergraduate Researchers