USCLAP Competition

The Undergraduate Class Project Competition (USCLAP) aims at class projects conducted by undergraduate students in their statistics and data sciences courses at the introductory or intermediate level.  Introductory courses are those with no statistics/data science prerequisite course.  Project submissions are a short report/paper (up to 3 pages in length).

Next submission deadline:
Friday, December 20, 2019.


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 or data science 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 2019-2020 as part of an undergraduate class (optional projects are permitted). Note: When submitting a project, students will be asked to indicate their instructor's 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.
  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 Satistics Conference. Cash prizes will be awarded to winning projects!

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 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 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 page paper, you may have (in the same file) a blinded title page which includes: The title of the project and a one-paragraph abstract of the project (recommended length of no more than 150 words).
  • References should be listed at the end of the paper and do not count against the 3 page limit.

The entire written summary must be no more than 3 pages (single spaced, 11pt or 12pt font with standard 1 inch margins).

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 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: You might submit a 4.5 page Word document that consists of the title page, 3 pages of text/graphs, and a half page of references.

Important notes:

  • Submissions that fail to adhere to the guidelines described above may be returned without review and consideration for awards.
  • 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.
  • If fewer than 5 submissions are received in a category, then these submissions will be rolled into the next round of submissions.

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.