Student Team Research Concept Competition

Empowering Creativity, Celebrating Achievement

It’s time to share your great ideas!  Team research involves collaboration among multiple researchers focused on achieving the same goal.  A few such goals include the design of a new technology, the creation of a new process, or the answering of an important question.  Research exists in all academic areas at UNM, including fine art, health sciences, chemistry, engineering, and architecture, just to name a few.

UNM is interested in learning how students approach this creation of new knowledge.  We invite you and your student colleagues to develop a research concept to share at the 2022 UNM Team Research Symposium (April 19-21).  Six teams will receive monetary awards, with the winning team receiving $2,000 split among all team members.

Submit Your Team’s Proposal Here

How does it work? Teams of students will pitch an Interdisciplinary problem they are interested in. UNM will host two competitions, one for undergraduate student teams, and one for graduate student teams. Teams may include as many UNM students as desired, as long as at least two academic majors are represented. Undergraduate teams are limited to students in baccalaureate (four-year) degree programs, and graduate teams are for students in masters, doctoral and other graduate professional programs, but may also include undergraduate students.

How does a team apply?  The leader of each team should complete this form by March 1, 2022 at 5:00 pm.  The form asks for the name, major and contact information of your team’s leader (phone and email), and the name, major and contact information (email) for each team member.  In addition, the form asks the team to describe: (1) The research goal they wish to address, and (2) A summary of the challenges associated with the research goal. 

What happens after the application is submitted?  From the applicants, UNM judges will select six undergraduate teams and six graduate teams to advance to the Finalist stage.  Each of these teams will be contacted on March 7, 2022 by a UNM mentor to help prepare them for the next stage.

What happens during the Finalist Stage?  Each finalist team will develop a 5-minute presentation describing the following elements of their research pitch: (1) the research goal they wish to address, (2) a summary of the challenges associated with the research goal, (3) a description of the processes they would use to achieve their research goal, and (4) a summary of how each team member could contribute to those processes.  On April 19 and 20, each finalist team will team will present their five-minute pitch over Zoom to participants at the Team Research Symposium, followed by five minutes of questions and answers.  The audience will include students, faculty, staff and administrators at UNM, among others.  Each presentation will be recorded and made available to Symposium participants online, with viewers invited to submit confidential reviews to the judges.  Undergraduate teams will present their concepts on April 20, between 11:00 am and noon.  Graduate teams will present their concepts on April 19, between 1:00 and 2:00 pm.

How will the winner be selected?  One winning team will be selected for each contest (undergraduate and graduate).  The contest judges (UNM faculty, staff and administrators) will watch each presentation from the finalists, and will review comments submitted online by the audience.  The judges will then select the pitch that best meets the following qualifications: (1) the team has a solid understanding of the challenges associated with addressing their research goal, (2) the team’s processes for achieving the goal are likely to produce significant progress, (3) the team’s approach involves contributions from multiple academic disciplines, and (4) the team’s approach is comprehensive and/or innovative.

How will the winner be announced?  The winning team will be announced at the Team Research Symposium on April 21 between 1:30 and 2:00 pm via zoom.  Finalists and winners will also be announced through email, and posted on the UNM URAD website.  The recording of all presentations will also be posted online at the Symposium website and the UNM URAD website.

Are the teams expected to implement their research project?  No, the research concept competition is intended to help teams conceptualize and design their research, not necessarily to implement it.

What prizes will be awarded? Each winning team will receive a $2,000 cash prize (one prize for the winning undergraduate team, and one for the winning graduate team), split evenly among all team members who present at the Symposium.  Each of the ten remaining finalist teams will receive a $200 cash prize, split evenly among all team members who present at the Symposium.

Who should I contact if I have questions? For more information, please contact Tim Schroeder at

Important Dates:

  • March 1, 2022, 5:00 pm. Application due
  • March 7, 2022. Finalists notified
  • April 19, 2022, 1:00-2:00 pm. Finalist graduate teams present at Symposium
  • April 20, 2022, 11:00 am-Noon. Finalist undergraduate teams present at Symposium
  • April 20, 2022, Winners Announced by Zoom

Terms and Conditions:

  • The decisions of the judges are final.
  • All federal, state and local taxes, if any, are the sole responsibility of the winners. All federal, state and local laws and regulations apply.
  • By entering in the competition, the contestants give permission to UNM to use the names of the winners and their project for publicity and/or trade purposes without further compensation unless prohibited by law. Contestants grant permission to record and publicize their oral and written presentations, in whole or in part.
  • Contestants and any business entities associated with them release and discharge The University of New Mexico, the judges, and prize sponsors, from any and all liability associated with participating in the Rainforest Student Pitch Competition.
  • Contestants should not present any information to the judges, orally or in writing, which they deem to be confidential, proprietary, or commercially sensitive. Information presented will not be kept secret.


Submit your proposal today

Tim Schroeder, URAD Director.