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Cal State LA Library Prize for Research Excellence

The University Library and Department of Special Collections and Archives invites students to submit an original research paper utilizing primary sources from Cal State LA's historical collections for a chance to win $500!

How to enter

  1. Browse our manuscript collections and/or rare book collections to identify primary sources for your research.
  2. Schedule a research appointment at Special Collections and Archives to view the materials.
  3. Write/revise your paper.
  4. Submit your completed application.

Contest guidelines

  • All Cal State LA graduates and undergraduates are eligible to enter
  • Submissions must incorporate primary source materials from any manuscript, photograph or rare book collection housed within the Cal State LA Department of Special Collections and Archives
  • Submission must be part of an assignment for a Cal State LA course (previous or current)
  • Workshop attendance is not required
  • Length should not exceed 25 double-spaced pages (Times New Roman, 12-point font, one-inch margins)
  • Students must be officially enrolled as a Cal State LA student at the time of submission (part-time or full-time)
  • Submissions from any discipline are eligible
  • Deadline for Submissions has been EXTENDED to Sunday, May 17, 2020 at 11:59 PM

Submission Instructions

Submit your paper via our Online Application Form.


Two participants, one graduate and one undergraduate, will each be awarded a $500 prize. The winner will be announced via Social Media and will receive an email on May 22, 2020.


A committee of three interdisciplinary Cal State LA faculty members evaluated and ranked papers. Download the scoring rubric below.

Scoring Rubric

Past Recipients