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Dean Keith Simonton Prize for Creativity in Undergraduate Research

Congratulations to the 2024 Award Recipients for the Dean Keith Simonton Prize for Creativity in Undergraduate Research!

  • Shreya Chandra -  Aerospace Science and Engineering

  • Jennifer Phelan - Neurobiology, Physiology, and Behavior

  • Madeline Rose - Cognitive Science

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 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 2023, 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

  1. Fill out the online application form 
  2. Submit a PDF 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 PDF summary of project: 

  • 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 the PDF in an email to DKS_Cre.xpm92iamyzsp0a1k@u.box.com .  (You will receive a confirmation email from Box.com when your file is received/uploaded)

Letters of recommendation: 

  • 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 DKS_Cre.ydcrp37ufc0n0zlf@u.box.com
  • 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 DKS_Cre.ydcrp37ufc0n0zlf@u.box.com by the deadline

Deadline to apply

Online application and email PDF by:  

  • Deadlines for the 2024-2025 academic year: TBA

Submit recommendation letters by:

  • Deadlines for the 2024-2025 academic year: TBA

APPLY HERE: online application form 

Questions: urc@ucdavis.edu