Distinguished Researchers are trailblazers shaping tomorrow's discoveries

Celebrate your remarkable research journey at the University of Illinois and embrace the opportunity to join a distinguished community of passionate minds committed to shaping the future of discovery.

Sponsored by the Office of Undergraduate Research, the Distinguished Undergraduate Research Certificate is a prestiguous recognition awarded to select students who have demonstrated exceptional dedication to and success in scholarly research. The certificate provides students with an added credential to present to employers and graduate schools. This certificate represents a comprehensive achievement that reflects a student's scholarly outcomes associated with the Undergraduate Research Certificate include:

  • Gain Significant Research Experience- Through significant hands-on experience, distinguished researchers students contribute new insights, propose novel interpretations, or identify gaps in the current understanding. Their contributions push the boundaries of scholarly understanding.
  • Explore Current Scholarly Work- Distinguished researchers stay at the forefront of their fields by attending research talks, enabling them to grasp the latest advancements, engage in debates, and track evolving trends.
  • Cultivate Comprehensive Research Skills- Distinguished researchers hone their research skills, such as formulating research questions, conducting literature reviews, designing methodologies, collecting and analyzing data, and drawing conclusions based on evidence.
  • Gain Mastery in Effective Research Communication- Distinguished researchers gain considerable experience presenting their research through various mediums, such as published manuscripts and oral/poster presentations at conferences and symposia.

As a certificate awardee, you will receive a museum-quality certificate, be provided a honors cord to wear at graduation, and find your name commemorated on our awardee archive.


Academic Year 2023 - 2024
  • May 1 - Final date applications for the current academic year will be considered for current issuing period.
    • Students are encouraged to submit their application prior to this deadline. Applications are reviewed by OUR staff throughout the academic year.
    • Incomplete applications can still be saved and submitted for the next academic year; applications are never deleted in our database.
  • May 8 - Graduation cords will be available for pickup for graduating seniors.
  • June 1 - Certificates will be issued and sent to the mailing address provided by the student in the application.


  • To be eligible for the program, students must be currently enrolled at the University of Illinois or have graduated within the last 3 months.


  • Start early in your academic career. The application can be saved and re-opened, allowing you to save your progress as you complete requirements.
  • Applications are reviewed and approved by OUR staff throughout the academic year.
  • Access your application form here.