Student Paper Contest (SPC)

SPE coordinates 14 regional student paper contests at the undergraduate, master's, and PhD levels. Students compete against other students in their region for the opportunity to advance to the International Student Paper Contest held during ATCE. Contestants enter an abstract of their paper and present it on the day of the competition. The papers of the winners who proceed to the International Student Paper Contest at ATCE will be published in the conference proceedings and on OnePetro.

Currently, the 14 regional contests recognized by SPE are: Africa, Asia Pacific, Canadian, Eastern North America, Europe, Gulf Coast North America, Latin America and the Caribbean, Middle East, Mid-Continent North America, Rocky Mountain North America, Russia and Caspian, Western North America, South Asia, and Southwestern North America.

Contests held separately from these event regions will not be considered as part of the International Student Paper Contest. Learn more about the contest schedule.

To Enter a Regional Contest

  1. Make sure you are up to date with the SPC Rules and Regulations. These are updated each year so please read through it even if you have participated in SPC before.
  2. Check your current sanction status. As an international program, current sanction laws apply. If you are unsure of your eligibility to participate as a result of the sanctions, please email
  3. Once you are confident you are eligible to participate, find your regional contest by checking the upcoming contest schedule. If you are submitting before the contest deadline click the "Apply now" button for your region to start your application. 
  4. Once completed you can submit your abstract to be reviewed by our judges. Only single-authored papers are allowed for this contest and they must be based on original work. Abstracts can be a maximum of 425 words. 
  5. If you are successful you will be invited to present your full paper and presentation at the regional contest.
  6. All winners of the Regional Contests will be invited to present their work as part of the Annual Technical Conference and Exhibition (ATCE) as part of the International Student Paper Contest and you have the option to be published in OnePetro. 

If you have missed your deadline, you cannot participate in an alternate region and you will need to wait until next year to submit. Alternate regions can only be used if no contest is hosted in your region for that SPC year. As participants are judged on their presentation skills, all contestants should intend to present in person. If successful to ATCE you will not be allowed to present remotely or have someone present on your behalf in any circumstances. 

If you have any questions about your division, eligibility or application please email us at or alternatively the contact that is shown for your specific regional contest.

Find your chapter to see which region you can apply for or view our Student Paper Contest Region Map.

Student Paper Contest Regions Map

(Click the map to view the full image.)


Prepare for the Contest


Contact your faculty advisor or chapter president for additional information. If you are not a member of a student chapter, contact and ask about how you can participate.

International Student Paper Contest at ATCE

The SPE International Student Paper Contest takes place during the SPE Annual Technical Conference and Exhibition. The winners of the 14 regional student paper contests are invited to participate in the international contest by submitting the winning regional paper to be included in the conference proceedings at ATCE. The winners should follow the submission format of the conference and judges will select winners based on the same procedures used in the regional contests.

Student Paper Contest Travel Policy

SPE does not provide funding for students to attend the Regional Student Paper Contests.

The winners of the Regional Student Paper Contests will be invited to participate at the International Round during ATCE. While COVID-19 and global travel restrictions are in place this participation will take place virtually.