Student Paper Contest

SPE coordinates 14 regional student paper contests at the undergraduate, master's, and PhD level. 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.

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

(Click the map to view the full image.)

Currently, the 14 regional contests recognized by SPE are: Africa, Asia Pacific, Canadian, Eastern North America, Europe, Gulf Coast North America, Middle East, Mid-Continent North America, Rocky Mountain North America, Russia and Caspian, Western North America, South America and Caribbean, 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 to the Student Paper Contest Program. If you are unsure if you are eligible 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 must be based on original work. Abstracts can be up to a Maximum of 425 Words. 
  5. If you are successful you will be invited to present your work at the Regional Contest. The top papers from each division will then be invited to submit a full paper for publication and present their work at ATCE.  

If you have missed your deadline you cannot participate in an alternate region and you need to wait until the 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.

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.

Learn About International 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 any funding for students to attend the Regional Student Paper Contests.

The winners of the Regional Student Paper Contests will be award with a sponsored trip to the championship held at ATCE. SPE will make your hotel and flight arrangements on your behalf. The travel allowance includes expenses for transportation, hotel accommodations, and conference registration. Funds will not cover meal expenses and incidentals.

For additional funding, you can also contact:

  • Your student chapter
  • The petroleum engineering department of your school
  • The sponsoring SPE section of your chapter
  • Your employer

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