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Graduate Studies

The 35th Annual CSU, Chico Student Research Competition (2021)

This year’s CSU, Chico Student Research Competition was held as a virtual event Monday, March 8, 2021 with half the Zoom sessions from 4:30 to 6:30 pm and the other half from 6:30 to 8:30 pm.

The event gives students the opportunity to develop their presentation and communication skills while showcasing their scholarly research and creative work. Top presenters are awarded cash prices, and ten competitors are offered a chance to advance to the 2021 statewide CSU Research Competition in late April, where they will compete against other outstanding scholars in the California State system.

2021 Top Presenters
Click here to see 2021 results.

Competition Guidelines

Students submitted an application and written summary of the research or creative project on Monday, March 1, 2020 (a week prior to the competition). The evening of the competition (March 8), students presented their work orally before a faculty jury and an audience.

Students were grouped in to sections of 5 to 8 presenters, and where feasible, by discipline category and class standing (undergraduate/graduate), as described below in “Eligibility.”

Each student had 8 minutes for an oral presentation of his or her work and five minutes to respond to juror and audience questions. Entrants are asked to use Power Point slides to support their presentation although we recognize that entrants in the Creative Arts category may use other means to present their work (film, audio, readings).

Each entry (oral presentation plus written summary) is judged on the following:

  • Clarity of purpose – 15%
  • Appropriateness of methodology – 20%
  • Interpretation of results – 20%
  • Value of the research or creative activity – 15%
  • Ability of the presenter to articulate the research or creative activity – 10%
  • Organization of the material presented – 10%
  • Presenter’s ability to handle questions from the jury and general audience – 10%

(Note: These guidelines and format follow those set by the CSU Statewide Competition.)


Undergraduate or graduate students currently enrolled at CSU, Chico as well as alumni/alumnae who received their degrees in spring, summer, or fall 2020 are eligible. The research presented should be appropriate to the student’s discipline and career goals. Proprietary research is excluded.

Presentations from all disciplines are invited. The ten categories are as follows:

  • Behavioral and Social Sciences
  • Biological and Agricultural Sciences
  • Business, Economics, and Public Administration
  • Creative Arts and Design (creative projects are welcome-see “Competition Guidelines” below)
  • Education
  • Engineering and Computer Science
  • Health, Nutrition, and Clinical Sciences
  • Humanities and Letters
  • Interdisciplinary

The CSU, Chico steering committee reserves the right to combine or subdivide these categories or to move an entrant from one category to another, as numbers of submissions necessitate. Research proposals may be single-authored or co-authored by two or more students, but each student participant must fill out the student application with demographic and contact information.


Please submit your student application (PDF) along with your written summary by Monday, March 1, 2021, via email to:  Rose White at .

 The rules governing the written summary are as follows:

  • The summary must include the name(s) of the student(s) and the title of the presentation.
  • The narrative may not exceed five doubled-spaced pages. Use fonts and margins that ensure legibility.
  • Appendices (bibliography, graphs, photographs, or other supplementary materials) may not exceed three pages.
  • Research that has human or animal subjects’ involvement must have appropriate institutional review.
  • It is expected that the student will not make an oral presentation by simply reading directly from this summary.

Statewide Competition

The local CSUC completion is a “feeder” event to the CSU 35th Annual Statewide Competition April 30-May 1, 2021. This year’s competition will be a virtual, live event hosted by Cal State Pomona. Ten of our top presenters from our Chico competition will be selected to compete at the event.  The Office of Graduate Studies will help students to apply to and prepare for the competition. (See statewide competition information at


Questions should be directed to Rosemary White, CSU, Chico campus assistant by email at

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