Undergraduate Operations Research Prize - Application Process

The Undergraduate Operations Research Prize Competition is held each year to honor a student or groups of students who conducted original and significant theoretical and/or applied research in the field of operations research or management science during their undergraduate enrollments. The prize is given each year at the INFORMS Annual Conference if there is a suitable recipient.

Winner(s) of the competition will share a prize of $500 in addition to receiving travel support to the INFORMS Annual Meeting. All finalists of the competition will be invited to present their research in designated Undergraduate Research Showcase sessions at the INFORMS Annual Meeting.

Applications are due by June 15, 2018, (midnight Pacific Standard Time) and must consist of the following documents:

1)     Article co-authored by the entrant(s): An original research paper from the entrants’ project or work (no need to be published) presenting the problem, methods used and results reached. One or more faculty, and doctoral student(s) or post-doctoral advisor(s) may appear as co-authors of the article, but the first author must be the entrant(s) as they must have made substantial contribution to the project and to the writing of the paper with only minor editorial assistance.

2)     Reference letter: A brief letter (not exceeding two-pages) by the entrants’ research advisor or another faculty member familiar with the entrants’ work confirming the entrants’ eligibility and detailing their contribution to the research. To encourage submissions involving multidisciplinary research, the faculty advisor need not be an INFORMS member.

All applications including reference letters should be submitted online:


An entrant to the competitionis defined as any co-authors of the submitted article who were enrolled as undergraduate students for at least one academic term between June 15, 2017 and June 15, 2018, and the following eligibility criteria must be met by the entrants and their submitted articles.

  • The research must have been conducted during the entrants’ undergraduate enrollment(s).
  • An entrant can be a co-author in at most one paper submitted to this year’s competition.
  • The article must not be awarded by a prize in a previous year of this competition.

Submitted articles must also satisfy the following formatting requirements:

  • All pages except references must be typed at double spaced with an 11 point or larger fonts, and 1 inch or wider margins from left, right, top, and bottom.
  • The article must not exceed 25 pages including bibliography, appendices, figures, and any supplementary sections.
  • All pages of the article except references should contain no more than 35 lines of text and the abstract should not exceed 100 words (the abstracts will be used in the program for the Undergraduate Research Showcase session of the INFORMS Annual Meeting).

The criteria for review will be based on the significance of the work, creative and novel use of modeling and/or solution methodology using operations research techniques, promise of the research for future work in the field of operations research and the quality of the writing of the article in terms of its coherency and the clarity of exposition. The work may be building a different modeling approach to an established problem or providing a new insight into an emerging or important problem. Demonstration of substantial value for project sponsors (if there is any) is also a plus in evaluation.

All applicants should expect to be notified with the results of the competition by August 31, 2018.

2018 Committee Chair

All further questions about the award should be addressed to the committee chair Jennifer Pazour at the email address pazouj@rpi.edu.