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Frank G. Brooks Award

Established by the founder of Beta Beta Beta, the Frank G. Brooks Award for Excellence in Student Research was originally given to the undergraduate TriBeta student who wrote the best essay on a theme designated by an award committee. As interest in essay contests lagged among undergraduates, the award was made instead for undergraduate research. In this sphere, the award has come to be highly valued by TriBeta students. The award is given for excellence in undergraduate research presented in an oral session at either a district or national meeting. The district awards are given annually in each district and the national awards are given biennially at national meetings. Paper sessions are judged by a panel of faculty, chapter advisors, and/or national officers.

The following regulations were approved by the Executive Committee at its meeting on 4 January 1986.



  1. It is the purpose of this award to honor undergraduate achievement in biological research. To be eligible, research must be completed by an active or associate TriBeta member while an undergraduate.

  2. Field and experimental reports are equally valid. Either should present data if possible and should be directed toward answering some question or testing some hypothesis. A review of the literature on a topic is not sufficient for the award. If the work has been published, it may be reported but is not eligible for the Brooks Award.

  3. It is not required that all authors be TriBeta members, but the report must be presented by a member, unless the presenter meets the conditions listed in paragraph six.

  4. Work which is primarily that of faculty or graduate members or is an equal partnership between such persons and an undergraduate member may be reported, but is not eligible for a Brooks Award. Faculty direction and support should be acknowledged on a “Supervised by” line following the author(s) name(s). Grants or other financial aid should be acknowledged on an acknowledgment line.

  5. All other factors being equal, preference for the award will be given to the work of a single author. Work conducted by the undergraduate member as part of an ongoing senior scientist’s or research laboratory program may be reported but will be eligible only at the discretion of the judges. In making this decision, the judges will consider the degree to which the student was an independent worker and has a full understanding of the material presented.

  6. The report must be presented at the appropriate district or national meeting of the Society. Members whose work conforms to all other established criteria but who have graduated may compete for the award provided the student received the baccalaureate degree no more than fifteen months prior to a national nor six months prior to a district convention.

  7. A research report which has won a national Frank G. Brooks Award, including second or third place, may not be entered into competition a second time for any Frank G. Brooks Award. All papers presented at district conventions may be presented at the next following national convention if otherwise eligible. No paper shall be disqualified from competition for the Frank G. Brooks national awards because of presentation at a next preceding district convention.

  8. To assist the judges in establishing eligibility for this award, an author data sheet must be completed before presentation of any research report.



Eligible research will be judged by a panel of at least three professional scientists appointed by the District Director for district meetings and the Director of Paper Sessions for national meetings. Awards may be made in more than one session if the number of papers submitted warrants multiple sessions.

The following criteria shall be the basis of the award:

  1. Degree of originality of the project,

  2. Organization of the report,

  3. Evidence of background knowledge of the project

  4. Clarity of presentation.

The panel of judges may decide the relative weight to give each of the above criteria. If possible, the authors should be provided with detailed judging instructions in advance.


The Frank G. Brooks Award plaque for the first place undergraduate research paper will be presented to the author(s) chapter. The student author(s) of first, second, and third place papers will receive certificates, suitably inscribed.

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