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The University of Minnesota Geographic Information Science (GISc) community seeks applications for the Minnesota GIS/LIS Consortium Student Scholar Program. One undergraduate and one graduate student will each receive an award to represent the University at the Student Scholar competition session at the Minnesota GIS/LIS Annual Conference in Fall 2016.


Each Student Scholar will receive the following:

  • One (1) free registration to the 2016 Minnesota GIS/LIS conference
  • An invitation to participate in the 2016 Student Scholar Competition
  • A certificate recognizing the student as a 2016 Minnesota GIS/LIS Student Scholar

Each Student Scholar participating in the competition will receive:

  • A cash scholarship award of at least $200 or a larger scholarship award if their presentation is selected by a panel of judges as a competition winner.  The undergraduate student must give an oral project presentation; the graduate student must submit a formal paper and give an oral presentation.  Details about the competition judging guidelines will be provided by the MN GIS/LIS Consortium once the recipients have been determined.

All monetary awards are mailed to scholarship winners approximately 1-2 weeks following the Fall conference.  Students are responsible for any taxes associated with the granting of scholarship and award monies.

ELIGIBILITY: All students in a Bachelors or Graduate program at the University of Minnesota are eligible with the following restrictions:

  1. According to MN GIS/LIS rules, the student must “exhibit potential to become a superior GIS professional.”  This is broadly defined, meaning commitment to and participation in GIS activities such as (but not limited to) presenting at conferences, volunteering or otherwise participating in GIS projects, or a GIS work history.
  2. The student must be in good standing in a University of Minnesota degree program.  Undergraduates must have completed a minimum of 30 semester hours.  Graduate students must be admitted to a program.  The student may have graduated in the spring or summer prior to the conference.
  3. Each student winner must submit a short bio and provide an abstract including a title and project description by the MN GIS/LIS Consortium specified deadlines.  The graduate scholarship winner must also provide a ten-page paper by the MN GIS/LIS Consortium specified deadline.  Failure to provide these materials will result in revoking the scholarship.

SELECTION: Applications for the University of Minnesota are evaluated by an interdisciplinary faculty committee.  Student Scholar paper competition awardees are chosen by a panel of judges at the Annual Conference.

The University of Minnesota scholarship selection committee will assess both:

  1. The quality and significance of the research to be presented at the conference
  2. Evidence of commitment to and participation in the GIS profession

APPLICATION PROCEDURE: The application materials should include:

  1. A cover sheet (provided below)
  2. An extended abstract

Applications are due May 6, 2016. Send applications by email to Susanna McMaster (

Students will be notified of the selected projects by May 13, 2016.

APPLICATION FORMAT: Each application is comprised of a cover sheet (provided below) and an extended abstract that can be no more than three double-spaced, typed pages.  The abstract should give a brief overview of the GIS project including the objectives, significance of the work, methods (including key literature sources), preliminary results or results and evaluation if applicable.  Figures, tables, appendices, endnotes, footnotes, and other material count towards the three-page extended abstract limit. One additional page of references may be included if necessary.  This page of references does not count toward the three-page limit for the abstract.  The abstract must have margins of at least one inch on all sides and be in no smaller than twelve point font.  Footnotes and text in diagrams can be in no smaller than nine point font.

CONTACT: Contact Susanna McMaster ( for further information.

Please see the Minnesota GIS/LIS Student Scholar Program Application