For Undergraduate Statistical Research

A campus-wide competition to encourage academic and professional success

Prizes range from $500 to $1,000.


The Bernoulli Awards is an annual competition that recognizes outstanding research papers authored by undergraduate students who use statistical methods to analyze an applied problem judged to be important, timely, and original. It gets its name from the Bernoulli random variable, the most common random variable in statistics.

Inaugurated in 2008, the competition is funded by an anonymous alumnus to recognize Notre Dame undergraduates poised to submit research papers to peer-reviewed, scholarly journals.

“I graduated in a recession and easily found a job—because I showed interviewers the statistical research paper that I had published. ... Plan for your future by competing for a Bernoulli Award.”

Selection Process

Awards decisions are made by a panel of Notre Dame faculty, including at least one in each College from which students apply. There is no set number of awards made. Over the past three years, one out of every five students has won at least an honorable mention.

        FIRST PRIZES: $1,000

        SECOND PRIZES: $750


Judges focus on whether papers have the potential to be published in well-respected, peer-reviewed outlets in the relevant discipline. Special emphasis is placed on:

            (1) the intellectual merit of the research question addressed;

            (2) the use of appropriate, state-of-the-art statistical techniques; and

            (3) the significance and/or novelty of the results.

Winning papers are posted on the Department of Economics website, although the authors still retain the right to publish them in other outlets.


All undergraduate students from across the University are encouraged to enter. Submissions to the Bernoulli Awards are neither limited to economics majors nor to students majoring in the College of Arts and Letters.

Papers can have more than one author (in which case the prize is split equally) but cannot have coauthors not currently enrolled as undergraduates at the University.

Submission Details

Students who would like to have a research paper considered for a Bernoulli prize must submit it as an electronic file in PDF format to The text of the paper must be in 12-point font, double-spaced, and with standard one-inch margins. There is no explicit page limit, but submissions of not more than 50 pages are preferred. The deadline for submissions is April 5, 2019.

A submission must also be accompanied by the name of a member of the Notre Dame faculty who endorses it. If the paper is based on research conducted in a Notre Dame professor’s laboratory, the supervising professor should separately submit a brief letter indicating the unique contribution of the student and publication plans for the research (anticipated authorship and outlet).