J.R. Dorfman Prize for Undergraduate Research

The J.R. Dorfman Prize for Outstanding Undergraduate Research was established in 1989 to honor Professor J. Robert Dorfman of the Department of Physics and the Institute for Physical Sciences and Technology upon the occasion of his resignation as Dean of the College and his appointment as Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost.

In honor of former Dean, J.R. Dorfman, the College annually accepts nominations and applications for the J.R. Dorfman Prize for Undergraduate Research. The prize of $1,000 is awarded for the best research project conducted by a current College undergraduate.

Selection Requirements:

  • Entries must include a typed double spaced report, an abstract, and a statement explaining where the work took place and whether or not the project has been or will be submitted for academic credit.   The paper length should be 10-12 pages (double spaced) not including figures or tables.   The Literature Cited section may be single-spaced.
  • The work may have been submitted elsewhere for support, a grade or prizes.
  • The work may have been done on or off campus.
  • Teams or groups of researchers from a team-based project are not eligible for this award.
  • Students should include two letters of support, one from the research advisor and one from another faculty member. Support letters can be sent independently or included with the paper.
  • Student applicants must be a major (primary or double major/degree) in a CMNS discipline.
  • Students may only be awarded the Dorfman Prize once.


  • Projects are judged by a committee of faculty and CMNS alumni. The Prize is awarded at the CMNS Undergraduate Honors Reception.

Submit Research Papers and Other Materials by Electronic Submission:

Papers and supporting letters should be submitted electronically as email attachments to Associate Dean Robert Infantino (infantino@umd.edu). Please include "Dorfman Prize - student name" in the subject line.  Letters of support can be submitted with the paper, or can be submitted directly from faculty members by email to Dr. Infantino using the same subject line information.

The annual deadline for submission of project papers and letters of support is March 30th. 

Please direct any questions to Dr. Robert Infantino, Associate Dean, Undergraduate Education, infantino@umd.edu