Young Professor Paper Competition

Deep Foundations Institute (DFI)

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Grant amount: US $1,000

Next deadline: May 29, 2020 (Full proposal)

Later deadlines: Mar 23, 2021 (Pre proposal)

Applicant type: Faculty

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.

DFI is a not-for-profit association of contractors, engineers, manufacturers, suppliers, owners and academia which promotes understanding and advancement of the deep foundations and excavations construction industry through conferences, publications, and community. The DFI Educational Trust is an independent, non-profit, charitable foundation established by DFI in 2005. It promotes awareness of the career opportunities available in the deep foundations construction industry and provides financial assistance for the education of high school and college students pursuing one of these careers.

DFI and the DFI Educational Trust hold an Annual Young Professor Paper Competition to help bridge the gap between practice and study. 

All professors 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 primary author of the winning paper 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:
    • Paper must be primarily concerned with the design and construction of deep foundations/excavations.
    • The candidate professor should be a full-time entry-level member of the faculty of an accredited college or university, engaged in teaching and/or research in any of the professional fields including engineering/construction/geological sciences.
    • Paper must be based on the professor's own work, and may include contributions from the professor's research student(s) as secondary author(s).