Prizes will be awarded to three student papers. Awards will be made for

  • First Prize in the amount of $1000
  • Second Prize in the amount of $750
  • Third Prize in the amount of $500

The deadline for full paper submission is Sunday, September 20, 2020Please see SUBMISSIONS above for additional information, or contact the Student Paper Chair Prof. Erdem Topsakal, Dept. of ECE, Virginia Commonwealth University, Student papers and awards will be presented at the Plenary event on Thursday morning, January 7, 2021. Student Paper Competition participants will have the option of submitting their competition papers for possible publication in a special section of the journal Radio Science.

Rules and Guidelines for Paper Preparation

  1. In addition to submitting a one-page abstract or two-page summary, a student must write as first author a full paper of up to 25 pages in length. The full paper must be submitted on the abstract/summary submission website no later than 11:59 pm Hawaii time SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 20, 2020 . To submit the paper, on the first page of abstract submissions, check the box "This paper is to be submitted to the Student Paper Competition". Then upload the full paper as well as the abstract on the indicated web page (both must be uploaded).
  2. The topic of the paper must be related to the field of one or more of URSI's 10 Commissions. Students must indicate to which URSI Commission or Commissions (maximum of two) the topic of their paper is most relevant.
  3. The paper must be in English and formatted as specified for the journal Radio Science and available on-line at
  4. The length of the paper must not exceed 25 double-spaced pages, including figures. The text and caption font must be 12-point Times Roman. In using the Radio Science manuscript format, line numbers are not required, nor is it essential to start each Section on a new page.
  5. University students in normal pursuit of a B.S., M.S., or Ph.D. degree are eligible to enter a paper in the competition. The student must be enrolled in a U.S. college or university before SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 20, 2020 .
  6. Each student may submit only one paper to the Student Paper Competition. In addition, the paper must be the unaided work of only one student. The usual guidance provided to a student by a research advisor and/or supervising professor is consistent with this rule, as is the co-authorship of the paper by the advisor or professor. In case of co-authorship, a letter from each advisor stating his/her level of contribution explicitly must accompany the paper upon submission. This letter should be appended as the last page of the PDF file of the paper.
  7. A paper which is submitted to a journal before the submission deadline is ineligible. However, each student is encouraged to submit his/her paper to a journal after this date.
  8. The three finalists in the USNC-URSI Student Paper Competition are requested to present their papers in both the regular session and at the Plenary event since the finalists are generally selected after the program for the NRSM has been finalized.

Questions regarding the competition should be addressed to Prof. Erdem Topsakal, Dept. of ECE, Virginia Commonwealth University,


Student Travel Support

Students at U.S. universities may be awarded support from USNC-URSI for travel to the 2021 National Radio Science Meeting. Starting in 2011, USNC-URSI limited the number of students who are awarded travel support based on the availability of funds. Students applying for support will be required to report how many times they have previously received travel support to attend the NRSM in Boulder, and in which years. Travel support is often limited to a maximum of two times for each student. To be eligible to receive travel support, applicants must meet the following criteria:

1. Be the first author and presenter of a paper accepted for presentation at the 2021 National Radio Science Meeting to be held January 6-9, 2021, in Boulder, Colorado.

2. Be a full-time student for a undergraduate or graduate degree at a U.S. university as of September 20, 2020.

3.  Submit a complete application for travel support through the abstract/summary submission webpage by the deadline of MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 20, 2020.  Before you enter your abstract, click "Student Travel Support Application" to display the application. After filling out all the information, click "Submit" at the bottom of the page.

4. After the award has been decided, a 2021 USNC-URSI Student Travel Fellowship e-mail will be sent to the awardees.  Students should not register for the meeting until receiving a travel award decision, since students who receive a travel fellowship will be getting a registration discount code.  The Student Travel Fellowship is intended to help defray the student travel expenses to attend NRSM 2021.

Terms and Conditions:

a)  Students are responsible for making their own travel arrangements. Upon conclusion of NRSM 2021, students will be provided instructions and a link to CONCUR, NAS’ online Travel and Expense Management System, for processing the travel reimbursement. 

b)  Students must contact James Manning at immediately if they are unable to attend NRSM 2021.

c)  Students are expected to attend the Student Paper Competition Presentation and Student Luncheon on Thursday, January 7, 2021.  If they are not able to meet this requirement, please contact Ana Ferreras,

d)  Students will be asked to complete a survey following the event.  If they do not complete and submit the survey, the travel reimbursement may be delayed. 

e)  Students will be expected to conform to professional standards of conduct.

The travel support will be in the form of a fellowship grant award from the National Academy of Sciences (“NAS”) in Washington, DC. This award is intended to defray travel expenses to attend the 2021 National Radio Science Meeting to be held January 6-9, 2021 in Boulder, Colorado.  

Travel award amounts:

Non Colorado Resident Participants - $600 

Colorado Resident Participants (except Boulder residents) – $300

Boulder Residents – $150

The following terms and conditions are applicable to this award:

  1. Awardees will still be required to register to attend the meeting and will be given a discount code for the registration fee..
  2. All awardees must contact Ms. James Manning at immediately upon learning that he/she cannot attend the meeting so that appropriate repayment arrangements can be made.

Questions regarding student travel support should be addressed to Prof. Erdem Topsakal, Dept. of ECE, Virginia Commonwealth University,