Deans' and Chancellor's Award Guidelines

The Deans and Chancellor of UC Santa Cruz wish to recognize excellence in research and creativity among undergraduate students as evidenced through projects and theses performed in the normal pattern of academic activity at UCSC. Click here to see a listing of current and previous winning projects.

Application submissions for the 2020 Deans' and Chancellor's awards will begin February 5, 2020

All 2020 applications must be completed and submitted by April 2, 2020


Dean's Awards are granted to fifty of the most excellent undergraduate research theses or projects (ten from each academic division) completed at UCSC during the academic year. Each Dean's Award project will receive $100 for outstanding achievement in their division.


Fifteen Chancellor’s Awards are granted to the most outstanding top three theses or projects from each division's Deans' Awardees. Each Chancellor's Award project will recieve an additional $500. 


The Steck Award will recognize the most outstanding research project chosen from the fifteen Chancellor’s Awardees. This student (or team) will receive (or share) an additional $1,000. In addition, the winning research project will be bound and copies given to the student(s), the research supervisor, the UC Santa Cruz Library, and the Steck Family whose generous contributions have made this award possible.

The Steck Award winner will be posted on the winners page of this site by the end of Student Acheivement Week.

Winners of the Deans', Chancellor's and Steck awards will be honored during Undergraduate Student Achievement Week, June 1 – June 5, 2020. The names of the 2019 winners are posted here and they were acknowledged at the 2019 UCSC College Commencement ceremonies.


  • All research project submissions must include at least one supporting statement by a faculty mentor/sponsor, who will be emailed a link to submit the letter of recommendation online after. All undergraduate students applicants must contact their mentor/sponsor before submitting their application in order to confirm that a letter of support will be possible.
  • All applications must include either an attachment of a thesis or a URL to the project or performance. Research projects must be completed before the application is submitted. Projects that are still in progress, or are planned to be completed after the application deadline, should be submitted in the following application cycle. Submitted applications that are incomplete, or do not have a project attachment or link, or are projects that are not yet completed, will be rejected.
  • When the faculty mentor/sponsor submits their letter of recommendation, they must also approve the submitted project. Faculty sponsor recommendations and approvals must be submitted online immediately after the student application deadline. It is recommended that the mentor/sponsor write the letter as soon as possible after being contacted by the student.
  • Foreign language projects must be accompanied by appropriate translation.
  • Technical papers must include an abstract in non-technical language.
  • Projects completed in spring 2019 (and therefore not submitted in last year’s competition) are eligible for the 2020 awards competition, even if the student has already graduated. Students who have graduated must activate their UCSC email forwarding option (UCSC email accounts deactivate 12 months after graduation).
  • Previous award winners are only eligible to submit projects in the current application cycle if those projects are different in scope or topic from the previously awarded project.

Apply for the Deans', Chancellor's and Steck Awards 

Application requires use of your CruzID Blue password.

Questions regarding the guidelines can be directed to