Student Paper Competition

Deep Foundations Institute (DFI)

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Next anticipated deadline: Mar 23, 2021 (Pre proposal)

Later anticipated deadlines: May 29, 2021 (Full proposal)

Grant amount: US $1,000

Fields of work: Engineering Geology Civil Engineering

Applicant type: Graduate Student, Undergraduate Student

Funding uses: Conference

Location of project: Anywhere in the world

Location of residency: Anywhere in the world

Must travel to: Orange County, California

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About this funder:



Note: Abstracts are due at the "Pre-proposal" deadline listed above. Draft papers are due at the "Full proposal" deadline.

Deep Foundations Institute and the DFI Educational Trust annually hold a Student Paper Competition, which is open to graduate and undergraduate students of engineering and construction.

All students with abstracts submitted will be included in the paper competition, unless the subject matter is deemed inappropriate. Papers will be judged based on their submitted drafts. Comments will be offered to the winning paper author for preparation of the final version.

The individual contest winner will be invited to attend the DFI Annual Conference on Deep Foundations to present her/his paper. Conference registration, two nights of lodging and a $1,000 stipend for travel expenses will be provided to the winner. Both the winner and first runner-up will have their papers published in the conference proceedings and receive a library of up to 20 DFI publications and a gratis two-year Individual Membership in DFI.

Papers are solicited on topics relating to deep foundations design and construction as suggested below. Papers on innovations and advancements that address performance based design and construction of foundations subject to increasingly challenging structural demands are specifically encouraged for this year’s competition.

  • Risk Assessment and Mitigation
  • Lessons Learned (Case Histories/Innovations/Forensic Work)
  • Seismic Design/Soil Structure Interaction/Lateral Loading
  • Performance Based Deep Foundation Design
  • Ground Improvement
  • Innovation Techniques for Earth Retention and Stabilization
  • Advancements in Instrumentation and Monitoring
  • Analysis, Design and Construction for Extreme Events
  • Mega Projects (Projected Work/Risk Mitigation/Contractual Aspects)
  • Constructability Issues and Design Aspects
  • Other Deep Foundations-Related Topics

You can learn more about this opportunity by visiting the funder's website.


  • The criteria for entering this competition are as follows:
    • Student must be enrolled in an accredited college or university in an undergraduate or graduate program.
    • Focus of study must be engineering/construction/geological sciences.
    • Paper must be based on student's own work, and in her/his own writing.
    • Paper must be primarily concerned with the design and construction of deep foundations/excavations.


This page was last reviewed May 30, 2020 and last updated May 30, 2020