Graduate Student Focus


The Nomination Process


Each year, students are chosen to participate in the seminar through a rigorous selection process: first, they are nominated as candidates by their dean, department chair, or UCEA PSR; second, they develop a detailed research proposal which outlines salient features of their study; finally, the proposals are blind reviewed by members of the planning committee, which selects the forty highest-ranking nominees.

Each university may nominate up to two students. Please compile a nomination packet (nomination form, blinded abstract of student research, and blinded statement of proposed research) no later than November 4, 2016. The nomination form is available on the UCEA website and requires logging in.

The nomination process for the 2017 David L. Clark Seminar opened on September 15, 2016 and closed on Friday, November 4, 2016. Invitations for the 2017 Seminar have already been extended, but stay tuned for the opening of the nomination process for the 2018 Seminar in mid-September 2017.

Statement of Research

The student’s statement of research should be no more than two (2) single-spaced pages, not including the reference section, and should outline the problem he or she is pursuing or plans to pursue in their dissertation research, its intended contribution to theory and practice, specific research questions, and study procedures. Both the abstract and the statement of proposed research should be devoid of any reference to the nominee’s name and/or institution. The statement is forwarded to NGSRSEA reviewers during the selection process.

Clark Seminar Statement of Research FAQs

Q: What content belongs in my statement of research?

A: Your statement of research should mirror a well-constructed research proposal. Please see the examples below for proposals deemed exemplary by reviewers in past years. 

Q: Does my statement of research really need to be two pages or less?

A: Yes. It really does. Reviewers are aware of this guideline and may deduct from your score. It may be single-spaced, and the font choice and size should be easily readable for your reviewers. This page limit DOES NOT include your reference section, which does not have a page limit.

Q: Is it okay if I do not yet have data for my project?

A: Yes. The seminar is designed for those in the proposal phase, so you have an opportunity to amend your design before data collection; so, this is fine.

Q: Is the student abstract separate from the statement of research?

A: Yes. This is a blinded 150-word summary of your work that will be printed in the program if you are selected and is submitted with the nomination via the UCEA website. This text does not need to appear in your statement of research.

Examples of Exemplary Research Statements from Past Years