The purpose of this award is to recognize graduate students who are excelling in research and scholarly accomplishments.  These may include laboratory and field research and analysis, journal article publication, paper/poster/abstract presentations at conferences, thesis and dissertation research, and grant funding. CALS Graduate Research Excellence Award winners will be honored at the CALS spring Alumni Dinner on May 9, 2020.


Full-time graduate students advised by faculty in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, with research and scholarly accomplishments.


One award for a doctoral student and one award for a master’s student. Each award includes an award certificate plus a prize of $250.


March 15, 2020 by 5:00 p.m.

Selection Process

An award committee will be appointed by the Dean to select the award recipients.

Evaluation Rubric


  1. Complete the cover page (PDF).  Please ensure the cover page is signed by the department chair.
  2. Faculty advisors must provide a one-page nomination letter detailing the student’s engagement in research and scholarly accomplishments.
  3. The nomination can include no more than two additional letters supporting the nomination. Support letters could be from faculty members or research scholars. The letters should evaluate the importance of the research within a broadly defined field, the contributions of the student, and should indicate the relationship of referee to student.
  4. Individuals nominating a graduate student should send a unified pdf, containing all required components (1-3 above) to the CALS Dean’s Office ( by 5 pm on March 15, 2020.  Submissions that are received by the deadline will be given first consideration; late submissions will be maintained, but will be considered only if needed.
  5. No more than two nominations can come from the same department for each award.

2020 Recipient

Luis Alexis Rodríguez-Cruz, Food Systems Ph.D. Candidate