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Friends of the Caltech Libraries Senior Thesis Prize: Submission Instructions

Submission Instructions

Applications must be submitted electronically to libraryprize AT by midnight, Wednesday, June 1, 2022. Students graduating in an earlier semester need to submit their thesis by the "grades due" date for that semester.

Submissions must include the following four components:

  •  Faculty nomination* from the faculty member for whose class the senior thesis, essay or project was completed. Faculty are the sole judge of the originality and soundness of the research.
  •  Student application cover sheet
  •  Author narrative - see below.
  •  Final version of the senior thesis - see below.


*The faculty nomination is submitted via a webform by faculty. Applicants do not need to email that component to libraryprize AT

Author Narrative

This essential component of the submission demonstrates awareness that whatever question the author seeks to answer connects in substantive ways to inquiry done by other scholars. Academic researchers consult the scholarly record at all stages of a research project, in order to help shape, inform, and advance their own work while acknowledging and crediting those who have gone before.

The narrative consists of a brief (1-2 page) statement. The narrative

  • explains to readers of the thesis your library research processes: what strategies you devised to find relevant information and synthesize it in your own work;

  • describes what this research process has taught you that represents skills and knowledge of value for your future endeavors;

  • reference your department’s expectations for the senior thesis (or other) course for which the submission was written;

  • explain the aims of the study and whether it was designed as part of a larger research project at Caltech or was completed as an independent study.


Final Version of Senior Thesis

The final version of the senior thesis or project completed for a senior thesis course series. Students are encouraged to use Caltech's thesis templates (Word template for theses | LaTeX template for theses). For projects in a format other than PDF, please include the URL on the .cover sheet. A bibliography in a style appropriate to the discipline is to be included in the thesis.