USCLAP Competition

The Undergraduate Class Project Competition (USCLAP) aims at class projects conducted by undergraduate students in their applied statistics courses at the introductory or intermediate level.

Next submission deadline: Friday, June 29, 2018. The USCLAP Submission Form can be found HERE.

Project Scope for USCLAP Competition:

The class project competition is for undergraduate students who conduct projects as part of an introductory or intermediate level statistics course. Most projects submitted to the USCLAP competition involve analyzing real data using existing statistical techniques. Students may choose any topic on which to conduct a study and students may use existing data or collect their own.

Who may participate?

  1. The competition is open to any undergraduate student globally.
  2. Students may work individually or in groups (max group size of 4). All participants must be undergraduate students at the time they conducted their class project, but may have recently graduated.
  3. The project must have been completed during academic year 2017-2018 as part of an undergraduate class (optional projects are permitted). Note: When submitting a project, students will be asked to indicate their instructors name and contact information in order to verify this information.
  4. Each student can be the author or a co-author of only one project submitted for the USCLAP competition, and cannot also be an author or co-author of a project submitted to USRESP.
  5. Datafest competition projects should be submitted to USCLAP (Choose "Datafest" as the course).
  6. If the project is from a summer research program, capstone project, independent research project, Honor's College research project or methodological study or simulation study for comparing different techniques, the student should likely submit the project to the USRESP competition.

The winning projects will be featured on the CAUSE web site and announced in the Amstat News journal published by the American Statistical Association. The authors of the winning projects may also be invited to present their work at the electronic undergraduate statistics conference.  Cash prizes will be awarded to first, second and third place.

Guidelines for submission:

On the submission page you will be asked to provide the following:

  1. Author and sponsor details such as:
  • Contact information and the names of project co-authors.
  • The name and email address of the instructor who sponsored your project. This individual will be contacted by us for additional details about the class (or Datafest) where the project took place.  
  • Important:  Submissions will be blind-reviewed.  Names of authors, university information, or any information linked to authors should NOT be placed in the report - author information belongs on the submission form only.
  1. A 3-page or shorter paper or up to 20 slides reporting the results of your project that includes the following:
  • The research question(s)
  • Background/significance of the research
  • The methods used to obtain and analyze the data
  • The results of the analysis (tables, charts, graphs, significance, confidence intervals, descriptive text)
  • A discussion of the research, the limitations of the current research, reasonableness of any assumptions made, possibilities of future work/studies that should be conducted, etc.
  • In addition to the 3 pages (or 20 slides) with the main content you should have:
    • A separate title page (or title slide) which includes: The title of the project and a one-paragraph abstract (summary) of the entire project with recommended length of no more than 150 words. Nothing else should be on the title page!
    • References should be listed at the end of the report and do not count against the 3 page / 20 slide limit.

The entire written summary must be no more than 3 pages (single spaced, Arial 11pt font with standard 1 inch margins) or up to 20 slides (at least 20pt font). Important: You may not submit both a paper and slides - you must choose one or the other. Keep in mind that if you submit slides this is all the information judges will have, so ensure that your slides are comprehensive enough for judges to understand what you did and why you did it!

3. (Optional) You may include up to 5 additional pages of information about your project in an appendix (as part of the single uploaded file),this could include secondary analysis results, charts/tables, etc. The optional appendix may be reviewed by judges at their discretion, if questions arise when reading the 3 page/20 slide paper.  There is no guarantee of this additional review; thus no information deemed critical to the evaluation of your project should be included in the Appendix.

Example Submission #1: You might submit a 4.5 page Word document that is consists of the title page, 3 pages of text/graphs and half page of references.
Example Submission #2: You might submit 22 slides with the first slide containing the title and abstract, 20 slides of text/graphs and a final slide with references.


Important notes:

  • Submissions that fail to adhere to the guidelines described above may be returned without review and consideration for awards.
  • The judges may wish to verify the results in any project. The Organizing Committee may request the data set(s) used in the project if requested by the judges. CAUSE reserves the right to use the projects and abstracts for promoting undergraduate statistics education. No material will be used for commercial purposes.
  • If data are collected on human subjects, it is the responsibility of author(s) or their sponsor instructor(s) to ensure that IRB approval has been secured from their institution.

Assessment of the USCLAP projects:

Each project will be judged by multiple judges. The judges have expertise in statistics but do not necessarily have expertise in the applied domain of your paper.  Therefore, you should construct a paper that is understandable to a reader with little knowledge of any applied domains that relate to your paper.

Some general criteria that the judges may use include:

  1. Description of the data source
  2. Accuracy of data analysis
  3. Accuracy of conclusions and discussion
  4. Overall clarity and presentation
  5. Originality and significance of the study

A template with a potential structure for the paper is provided here.