September 1 marked the start of the annual Student Research Paper Competition (SRPC) held by HSE University. Applications to submit papers are open to any bachelor’s students, master’s students, and 2022 graduates until October 15 (inclusive).
Taking part in the SRPC is not as difficult as it might seem—the competition is not just for those already immersed in science, but also for students who are interested in research. It is a good opportunity to get feedback on the work put into your term paper or thesis, while formatting the text for submission lets you practise your article-writing skills.
You can win the SRPC, but you can’t lose. If the experts like your work, you can expect to earn a prize or winning place and take advantage of all the benefits that come with it. If your work doesn’t win anything, nothing is lost—you don’t lose your place in the rankings or anything else. What is more, in any case, you can get feedback on your work if you are interested. So, if you have a research idea (or finished research) that you would like to develop beyond a term paper or research project, the SRPC can be your first frontier to receive a preliminary assessment of your efforts.
Competition winners can apply for various kinds of bursaries, academic travel grants, and other bonuses. Learn more here (in Russian).
Last year, we spoke to the winners of the 2020 SRPC about what to do if you are not confident in your work. This time, we have spoken to winners of the 2021 competition who have succeeded in publishing their work and utilising the bonuses they received.
The full-fledged publication of my winning SRPC work is still to come. But I have already presented this research at international and Russian conferences. Knowing that my work was highly rated by demographic experts helped me to feel that I was on my way. I realised that I definitely want to pursue research activities further and that I should do so on a master’s programme. And that is what happened: I am now a first-year student of the Economics track of the Master’s in Demography.
After submitting an application to the competition in the Political Science category, I was contacted by the journal Biznes. Obshchestvo. Vlast (‘Business. Society. Power’). They saw my work, even though it did not win a prize place, and offered to publish it. In the end, I not only won the SRPC in Demography, but I also published a political science paper. The topic of my research was ‘The influence of modern migration processes on electoral dynamics in Russian regions.’ Those interested in this field can read my paper (in Russian).
After the results were published, Tatiana Sidorina, head of the Metamorphosis student philosophy journal, contacted the winners and offered to publish our papers. I gladly accepted this offer, although I did not prepare the text for publication—by that time, I was working on my next term paper, which both I and my academic adviser believe to be of much higher quality. While I have since deviated somewhat from the topic of my SRPC paper, I used it as the basis for my first conference presentation.
My academic advisor recommended that I enter the SRPC in order to potentially aid my application to a master’s programme. I wrote my research term paper in my third year and submitted it to the SRPC. Later, I published an article in a collection indexed in the Scopus scientometric database. The main part of the article is research conducted as part of my work for the SRPC; I just needed to format it to fit the required template and translate it into English.
I am currently enrolled in the Master’s in Data Mining. I won the SRPC in the Computer Science category, and this gave me the maximum number of points for my portfolio and entrance exams (in English and mathematics) for the Master’s programme.
I first published my scientific papers in research journals, and then I submitted them to the SRPC.
My first tip is to analyse as much literature and sources as possible in order to write a good literature review and have a comprehensive understanding of the topic you are working with. My second important tip is to make sure you pay attention to the small details. Minor details can have a major impact on the overall assessment of your work.
I used my only bonus, the travel grant, to present my new research paper at the NCOCS 2022 organic chemistry symposium.
The competition covers 25 areas in a wide range of scientific fields, each of which is divided into two categories to ensure fairer assessment (with the exception of Urban Studies, Urban and Transport Planning): a category for bachelor’s students and one for master’s students and 2022 graduates. Those interested in submitting papers should read the terms of participation and application rules carefully.