Dean Keith Simonton Prize for Creativity in Undergraduate Research

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The Dean Keith Simonton Prize for Creativity in Undergraduate Research is an annual award instituted in 2021 to support and encourage early and continuing undergraduate research by UC Davis students performed with guidance by UC Davis faculty. The award is made possible through a generous endowment by Distinguished Professor Emeritus Dean Keith Simonton, who started his own research career as an undergraduate student. As Professor of Psychology at UC Davis, his research interests have particularly focused on the study of genius, creativity, greatness and the psychology of science. This award complements the endowed Dean Keith Simonton Prize for graduating senior students that is coupled with the Chancellor's Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Research, an annual award instituted in 1994.

This award recognizes creativity and/or potential for creativity in research or design projects for two undergraduate students, based on the student’s current and proposed research plans, as well as the student's innovative spirit and motivation.  The annual award(s) are administered each year in the Spring Quarter with a $1,000 prize awarded as stipend to each recipient.


Applicants must be: 

  • a currently enrolled UC Davis undergraduate student 
  • continuing/non-graduating undergraduate student at the time of the award (will be enrolled in fall quarter, not graduating in summer 2021, e.g. 2nd or 3rd year students, including transfer student)
  • performing independent research under the guidance of a UC Davis faculty member 
  • in good academic standing (although the awardee(s) should be in good academic standing, GPA is not a criterion).

How To Apply:

Fill out the application at the link below.  You will include in the application:

  1. Fill out the online application
  2. Submit a PDF application with a summary of your research/design project (see details below)
  3. Request two recommendation/support letters, one must be from your faculty mentor/sponsor (see details below) 

Details for the application and recommendation letters:

  • A single PDF application document (max. 2 pages) that includes: 1) a summary of your current and proposed research or design project (images and figures/schemes are encouraged), 2) a statement of your independent contributions, and 3) a statement describing how/why your project embodies creativity.  Please title your document: Application_(students’ last name)_Creativity.pdf
  • Applications should be submitted by sending PDF in an email to  (You will receive a confirmation email from when your file is received/uploaded)
  • Name and email of two Letter of Recommendation writers, one must be the faculty mentor/sponsor
  • Letters of recommendation should be a PDF file that is no more than 2 pages long, 12-point font, single spaced). Please use the following file name for the letter: Letter_(students’ last name)_Creativity.pdf
  • Letters should be submitted by sending letter PDF in an email to
  • It is the student’s responsibility to contact their letter writers; however, letter writers will also be emailed a reminder to submit their letter to by the deadline.


Submit online application and email PDF by Thursday, May 13, 2021 at 11:59pm


Submit recommendation letters by Sunday, May 16, 2021 at 11:59pm