How To Participate

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The Undergraduate Research Program welcomes students to submit all kinds of academic and creative work for inclusion in our annual Symposium on Undergraduate Research, including:

  • Research Papers
  • Laboratory Experiments
  • Creative Performances
  • Visual Artwork
  • Films
  • Independent Study Projects

Participation in the symposium is competitive, and students must submit an abstract, or brief summary, of their work for consideration. An interdisciplinary committee of judges will select from among the best abstracts submitted for inclusion in the annual symposium. Students who are selected qualify to present their projects at the annual symposium and compete for a limited number of cash prizes. 

How to Participate

1. Find a Faculty Sponsor

Role of Faculty Sponsor - URS Faculty Sponsor PPT

Before submitting your project's abstract for consideration, you'll first need to have a faculty advisor. You'll need to provide us with your faculty advisor's name, division, and email address when you submit your abstract. If you completed your project for a class, you should start by asking the professor for that class to serve as your advisor. Alternatively, you could ask another professor you've worked with to serve as your advisor. Or, you could contact us at to have a faculty advisor assigned to you.

2. Choose Your Presentation Style 

Choose one of six format options to submit your presentation:


Oral Presentation 

Delivered by paper or PowerPoint, see Powerpoint Guidelines

View Oral Presentation Guidelines

View Oral Presentations Rubric

View Oral Presentations Rubric STEM


Poster Presentation Session 

Text and graphics on a 42″ (wide) x 36″ (tall) poster board to present your research individually or in a group

View Poster Presentation Guidelines

View Poster Presentation Rubric

View Poster Templates


Performing Arts Presentation

Music, dance, theatre, creative writing

View Performing Arts Guidelines

View Performing Arts Rubric


Visual Arts Presentation

Drawing, painting, printmaking, photography, jewelry and mixed media.

View Visual Arts Presentation

View Visual and Performing Arts Abstract Examples

View Visual Arts Rubric


3-Minute Video
(Virtual Option)

This is the only virtual option.

View 3-Minute Thesis Rubric


Best Paper

Best paper submission category.

View Best Paper Rubric

3. Prepare & Submit Your Abstract


Your abstract is a short description (150 words) of what you did and learned from your research project. Think of it like a movie trailer. It should leave the reader eager to learn more but knowledgeable enough to grasp the scope of your work.  It should be interesting, informative, and written for a broad audience.  Don’t assume the reader knows why your work is significant.

Students must submit in the form below, a one-page typed abstract (150-word limit)

Abstract Title (LIMITED TO 15 WORDS)
The title of your abstract should describe what your project is about. Titles are about 10 to 15 words long. It is important to use language that a lay person can understand.  Avoid using jargon.  The title should not be too vague or too broad. It should indicate what was studied, not the results or conclusions.

Example: “Gender Differences in the Expression of Depression by Early Adolescent Children of Alcoholics.”

Abstract Content (LIMITED TO 150 WORDS)

  • Introduction: (1-3 sentences)
    • Explicitly state what the study investigated (Purpose of Study)
    • Explicitly state why it is important (Rationale for Study)—practical value or application and meaning to the real world, justifies the need (answers the “so what?” question)
      • Example: The purpose of this study was to explore whether there are significant differences in White racial identity attitudes between white students who have lived with Black roommates and those who lack such interaction. While understanding the differences in racial identity attitudes are important factors in anti-racism interventions, little information is currently known.
  • Body: (1-3 sentences)
    • Summarize how you did your project (Methods)
      • Describe the subjects and how many participated
      • Describe the most important physical steps (methods) used to investigate the problem (how data was collected)
      • Example: The survey consisted of 5 multiple-choice questions and 10 questions that the respondents had to answer with a 7-point Likert scale. The aim was to conduct the survey with 350 students enrolled at TCC. Participants were given 5 minutes to fill in the survey anonymously, and 408 customers responded. Because not all surveys were fully completed, 371 survey results were included in the analysis.
      • Example: Analyzed three novels, completed a series of five oil paintings, interviewed 17 students, etc.
    • Describe the anticipated results (or actual results if you have them)
  • Results and Conclusion: (1-3 sentences)

NOTE: Any errors that appear in the submitted abstract will also appear in Undergraduate Research Symposium program and abstract booklet.

When the URC Committee receives the abstract and confirms faculty advisor approval, it will forward the abstracts to a panel of faculty reviewers for evaluation based on the criteria and standards specific to the academic category.

View a Sample Abstract.



Submit Your Abstract Today Click Here

Additional Resources and Workshop Recordings:

*Sample Abstract

Workshop TitleZoom Recording 
Workshop: How to Research a Topic

Zoom Recording

Passcode: Res+Top1

Workshop: Creating a Literature Review

Zoom Recording

Passcode: Lit@Rev22

Workshop: Writing an Abstract 

Zoom Recording

Workshop: How to Submit Your Abstract

Zoom Recording

Workshop: 3 Minute Video Tools 

Zoom Recording

Passcode:  8ir0@fcS

Workshop: Creating a Research Poster 

Zoom Recording

Passcode:  yKgU%x$4