Rules (T&C)


The Aspiring Research Challenge is a program/study involving research. The experimental initiative is launched by professors from UC Santa Cruz and Stanford to recognize the potential of upcoming student researchers and exploring the possibility of massive research collaboration between the two. Each research project within this program will run for roughly 10 to 13 weeks, and can extend depending on project requirements and mutual interest among students and professors.

As part of this program, students will be working with professors on a project of their interest. Every week, students will submit their work and progress report, which will be peer reviewed by other teams or team members. Once a week, students might get a chance to meet professors online and discuss next steps or problems in the project. Depending on time constraints, diversity in approaches, skill sets, progress and performance; we might merge, split, add, remove or re-arrange teams or team members to optimize this new research process in the program’s controlled environment.

At the end of this program, we will submit a research paper at a top-tier conference. The paper will be based on results produced by students, and they get to be an author on the paper on the basis of their contribution. Meanwhile, they can also earn a recommendation letter from professors for their future endeavors.

The study will also include three faculty members. Two of the faculty members make up the core team, and co-designed the study/experiment. Third faculty was recruited via email. The faculty will not be paid and have no financial incentive related to this project, their participation is absolutely voluntary. Each faculty will spend about one to two hours every week towards assessing the submissions made by students and mentoring them.

Data Collection and Privacy Policy:

Participation in the challenge is voluntary, and you will not be penalized or lose benefits if you refuse to participate or decide to stop. We will not publicly disclose any identifying information about the team or individual, without obtaining their explicit consent. We may publish aggregate patterns of communication and process (in a scholarly research venue) or exemplar contest entries that do not reveal the identity of participants. Also, we may follow-up with high-performing individuals, to understand their approach for the program.

The results generated by the participants will be used for an academic publication, and high performing participants will serve as authors in the paper upon explicit permission. Once published, the results and findings will be publically available.

Risk and Discomforts:

We anticipate no significant risks and no discomfort while you're participating in this program. You may request researchers to delete any data of yours from the research experiment at any time for any reason. As part of our research, in publications, we will make sure to exclude any information that can lead to identification of individuals, unless we have an explicit permission from you. While participating in this program, you would be expected to participate in video conferencing meetings, where other students and participants might learn about your identity or email address.

Please note, that participating in this program does not guarantees that you'll co-author paper with the professors. The decision will be made on the basis of conference rules and your performance. We also do not guarantee the acceptance of the paper in a conference or a journal, since no one can. Getting a paper accepted at a peer-reviewed venue cannot be guaranteed.

Understanding Participation Rules:

By participating in this program, you agree that you understand (via website or email interaction with the organizers): (i) the purposes, procedures, and duration of the research; (ii) any procedures which are experimental; (iii) any reasonably foreseeable risks, discomforts, and benefits of the research; (iv) any potentially beneficial alternative procedures or treatments; and (v) how confidentiality will be maintained. Read the website or contact organizers if any of these are unclear.

Policy against misconduct or cheating:

We expect our aspiring researchers to participate and follow the research process with moral integrity. Any sort of misconduct or cheating will not be tolerated. We reserve right to block or remove any participant based on our discretion without prior notice.

You may contact Rajan Vaish at or any time you have questions about the research or in the event of a research-related injury to you as a subject. If you have questions about your rights as a research subject, you may contact the Office of Research Compliance Administration at (831) 459-1473 or at UC Santa Cruz. You can also contact the Stanford Institutional Review Board (650)-723-2480 or toll free at 1-866-680-2906 or write to the Stanford IRB, Stanford University, 3000 El Camino Real, Five Palo Alto Square, 4th Floor, Palo Alto, CA 94306.