The Office of Undergraduate Research Scholars & UHS Presents

The 2024 Spring Undergraduate Research Symposium

April 17-18, 2024

Travel Awards. Image of a student presenting research to a mentor at a poster conference.

What do Undergraduate Researchers have to say About the Symposium?

“Having the chance to present at a symposium with my peers helped me become a better presenter, bolstered my relationship with my advisor, and gave me opportunities to communicate the value of my research to a large audience. I left the symposium a more confident and experienced researcher.”

Hayden Cooreman '23

“The Mines Undergraduate Research Symposium gave me the opportunity to practice my communication skills and learn how to talk about my research effectively to people from a wide variety of fields. In addition, I truly enjoyed seeing everyone else’s research projects and exploring how one issue can be tackled and studied through a variety of approaches. Being a part of the symposium was a really amazing experience, and I’m looking forward to the next one!”

Amit Sela '25

“I really enjoyed participating in the Undergraduate Research Symposium. It allowed me to represent my research project in an inclusive and educative way. It gave me the opportunity to learn how to share my technical knowledge with others. It was interesting to learn about other people’s research project, network with them, and find parallels between our research. I would recommend presenting at Symposiums to any researcher who wants to share their passion with others and learn how to communicate technical research.”

Dishita Sharma '26

2024 Presenter, Judge & Volunteer Registration Form

The registration form for Judging, Volunteering and Presenting is currently open.

Nominate Your Mentor for the Undergraduate Research Mentor Award!

The award recognizes faculty, postdoc, and graduate student mentors who support undergraduate students in having enriching research experiences.

More about the Symposium

Timeline

Student Registration Deadline: March 18th, 2024

Final Registration Form for Judges & Volunteers: Rolling until filled

Posters Printed and Oral Presentation Slides Shared with Our Office: TBA

Symposium: April 17th and 18th, 2024

Symposium Schedule OF EVENTS

Wednesday, April 17th

Poster Session #1: 9:30am-11am (Student Center Ballrooms A, B, C)

  • Departments Presenting: Applied Math and Satistics, Civil and Environmental Engineering, Economics and Business, Engineering, Design & Society, Geology and Geological Engineering, Geophysics, Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences, Mechanical Engineering, Mining Engineering, Petroleum Engineering

Keynote Lecture: 12-1pm (Student Center Ballrooms D & E)

Poster Session #2: 2pm-3:30pm (Student Center Ballrooms A, B, C)

  • Departments Presenting: Chemical and Biological Engineering, Chemistry, Computer Science, Electrical Engineering, Metallurgical and Materials Engineering, Physics 

Thursday, April 18th

Breakfast Mentor Workshop: 9am-10am (Student Center Ballrooms D & E)

Oral Session: 12pm-2pm (Student Center Ballrooms A, B, C)

 

about the symposium

The 2024 Spring Undergraduate Research Symposium will be held in person on Wednesday, April 17th and Thursday, April 18th in the Student Center Ballrooms.  Judging will take place during the scheduled Oral and Poster presentations. Refreshments will be provided. All faculty, staff, and students are encouraged to join us in celebrating our hardworking undergraduate researchers and their dedicated mentors!

For further information, please contact the office of Undergraduate Research Scholars at ugresearch@mines.edu

Prepare to Present

Undergraduate Research Scholars has organized several workshops to help you participate in the symposium with as much confidence as possible! 

Writing Scientific Abstracts 

(Option #1) March 4th, 2-2:50pm, McNeil 214, Register Here

(Option #2) March 12th, 8-8:50am, Zoom, Register Here

With registration for the Mines Undergraduate Research Symposium underway, students are gearing up to craft an abstract describing their research. Despite the concise nature of the abstract, the challenge lies in distilling the essence of complex research into a succinct paragraph. This workshop is tailored to provide participants with a hands-on experience in refining their abstract-writing skills. Through critical examination of sample abstracts, attendees can fine-tune their abilities in crafting accessible and effective abstracts. The session will offer clarity on what elements to include and what to omit, empowering participants to create compelling abstracts that precisely convey the essence of their research. 

Designing Scientific Posters

(Option #1) March 25th, 1-1:50pm, McNeil 314, Register Here

(Option #1.5) April 2nd, 5-6pm, Brown 206 (Led by peer Undergraduate Research Ambassadors)

(Option #2) April 4th, 6-6:50pm, Zoom, Register Here

With your registration for the Mines Undergraduate Research Symposium confirmed, it’s time to enhance your skills in designing and presenting impactful scientific posters. This workshop aims to equip participants with strategies to prepare and showcase their research effectively. The session will delve into the advantages of employing a backward design strategy for poster creation and exploring poster layout principles that enhance readability and engagement with the audience. An interactive component will challenge participants to put their skills to the test by critiquing existing posters.

Presenting Your Scientific Poster

Wednesday, April 10th 5-6pm, Brown Hall (Led by peer Undergraduate Research Ambassadors)

Delivering Impactful Oral Research Talks

(Option #1) April 9th, 5-6pm, Brown 206 (Led by peer Undergraduate Research Ambassadors)

(Option #2) April 11th, 11-11:50am, McNeil 313, Register Here 

Ever sat through a research talk that left you captivated, feeling like you were part of a compelling story? A well-delivered research talk shares a striking resemblance to storytelling. In this presentation, we will discuss tips to craft and deliver a research talk that not only conveys information but also engages and resonates with your audience. The talk will explore key aspects, including the art of structuring content, honing presentation skills, and infusing passion into your delivery

 

information for Judges and volunteers

Who’s eligible to be a judge or volunteer?

We encourage judges and volunteers from all departments to partake in this event. All interested faculty, staff, and graduate students are encouraged to judge and/or volunteer. Undergraduate student presenters are encouraged to present their research in a way that communicates their project effectively regardless of their audience’s background.

What is the time commitment of a judge or volunteer?

It depends. Generally, judging will take an hour to an hour and a half total (or about 15-20 minutes per project). Student presentations are fairly short, but judges may have additional questions before ranking the poster or oral talk. As for volunteers, the time commitment depends on how much time you are able to spare. Our office will need the most help during set-up and clean-up Wednesday and Thursday, times TBA.

How will student projects be evaluated?

Student projects will be evaluated differently depending on the format with which they chose to visually represent their work. Rubrics might ask judges to evaluate qualities such as visual organization, delivery, introduction, methods, conclusions, discussion, and interaction.

What is the judging and volunteer timeline?

TBA

 

For further information, please contact the office of Undergraduate Research Scholars at ugresearch@mines.edu

Apply here  to be a judge or volunteer!

guidelines, tips, & event resources

Tips when writing a scientific abstract

To register to participate in the Spring 2024 Undergraduate Research Symposium, you will need to w

 

Event Resources

Writing Scientific Abstracts 

(Option #1) March 4th, 2-2:50pm, McNeil 214, Register Here

(Option #2) March 12th, 8-8:50am, Zoom, Register Here

With registration for the Mines Undergraduate Research Symposium underway, students are gearing up to craft an abstract describing their research. Despite the concise nature of the abstract, the challenge lies in distilling the essence of complex research into a succinct paragraph. This workshop is tailored to provide participants with a hands-on experience in refining their abstract-writing skills. Through critical examination of sample abstracts, attendees can fine-tune their abilities in crafting accessible and effective abstracts. The session will offer clarity on what elements to include and what to omit, empowering participants to create compelling abstracts that precisely convey the essence of their research. 

How to print a poster at Mines

The Office of Undergraduate Research Scholars will cover the cost of the first poster printed by student researchers presenting at the Undergraduate Research Symposium. Though you can order your poster to be printed anytime via the HelpDesk ticket system, there is a rigid timeline in which your poster must be printed. The deadline to print posters will be announced soon. Please follow the instructions below carefully:

  • After you are finished making your poster, save it with a PDF file extension formatted for printing. Poster files should not be larger than 20mb. Prior to submitting a HelpDesk ticket, make sure your poster looks good. We recommend doing a scaled down test print on an 8.5″x11″ sheet of paper to make sure your poster looks presentable, legible, and the color is accurate.
  • Once you have completed the final registration form, submit your poster for printing to ITS using the following instructions:
    1. Follow the link to the HelpDesk ticket for poster printing: ITS Poster Printing Ticket
    2. Click the orange button, “Request Poster Print”. Fill out, “Name of Project/Poster” with your poster title, “Requestor” with your name, and “Acct/Dept” with “Student”.
    3. Under “Select Payment Option”, select “Sponsored Group”. Under “Specify the group paying for the poster”, select “Undergraduate Research Symposium”. If you follow these steps, there is no cost to print your first poster. If your poster needs to be reprinted because of a formatting error, you will be responsible to cover the charges for printing it the second time.
    4. Lastly, under “Date and Time to Pick Up Requested Poster”, please give yourself enough time before the Symposium to pick it up and review it. Under “Poster Paper Widths Available” select the size of your PDF document. Posters should be 48 inches in width (left to right) and 36 inches in height (top to bottom).
  • Once you have printed your poster, we encourage you to drop it off at our office (1704 Illinois St. Rm 105) for safe keeping until the Symposium.
Tips when creating a poster presentation

Save your poster with a .pdf file extension. When you create your poster, also consider how you might verbally present your research. How you talk about your research to passersby should compliment your poster. Please view both the “Creating your Poster” and the “Talking About your Research” section of this toggle for general guidance. If you would like to view examples of posters, we encourage you visit our 2021 Virtual Undergraduate Research Symposium Project Gallery or search for additional examples online.

Creating your Poster

  • Creating Your Content: When you distill your research into a poster ready format, first and foremost, please speak to your mentor. For additional help, you should consider scheduling an appointment at the Writing Center through their online scheduler. Generally, effective posters include:
    • Title that effectively communicates subject matter
    • Purpose/objectives clearly stated
    • Applicability or relevance of work identified
    • Concise explanation of methods/analysis used
    • Methods used clearly conveyed
    • Conclusions supported by data
    • Funding sources acknowledged
  • Choosing a Program (to Create Your Poster): There are many programs you can use to create a poster ranging in costs and discoverability. Regardless, make sure the program you’re using allows you to create a custom document size (not to exceed 48 inches wide by 36 inches tall). Many researchers use Microsoft PowerPoint or Publisher because these are inexpensive and easy to use. You can also use more advance programs like Adobe Illustrator or InDesign; but, these can have a steep learning curve and tend to be very expensive. Some free, open source options include LibreOffice, Gimp, or Inkscape.
  • Height & Width: Posters printed at Mines should not exceed 48 inches in width (left to right) and 36 inches in height (top to bottom) at 72 – 300 DPI. Posters should be legible form a few feet away.
  • Color: It is recommended you choose a lighter color for the poster background, preferably white. There are no other color restrictions for the text and images.
  • Font: Make sure the poster title and the author names are clearly identified. Choose a font size such that text on your poster is legible when looked at from a distance. Here is a recommendation for font sizes:
    • 85 pt for the title
    • 56 pt for the authors
    • 36 pt for the subtitles
    • 24 pt for the main text
    • 18 pt for image captions
  • General Principles of Design: Avoid using excessive text as it makes it difficult to follow the poster. Use appropriate graphics wherever possible as they can convey information effectively and make the poster look appealing.

Talking About Your Research

  • Length: The length of time you spend talking about your research will vary, but it’s advisable to prepare an elevator pitch to briefly summarize your research. Generally, this is a 1-2 minute summary discussing the most important and interesting parts of your project in a way that anyone can understand.
  • Content: How you talk about your research should be planned and practiced. Keep it concise and make sure to touch on the tacit points of your research. Be mindful of your audience and pacing. The best poster presentations invite questions while still breaking down your research for an audience that might know very little about your project. Try answering the question, “What is your research about?” and “Why is it interesting?” in a way that makes sense to researchers and non-researchers alike.

 

Event Resources

Designing Scientific Posters

(Option #1) March 25th, 1-1:50pm, McNeil 314, Register Here

(Option #1.5) April 2nd, 5-6pm, Brown 206 (Led by peer Undergraduate Research Ambassadors)

(Option #2) April 4th, 6-6:50pm, Zoom, Register Here

With your registration for the Mines Undergraduate Research Symposium confirmed, it’s time to enhance your skills in designing and presenting impactful scientific posters. This workshop aims to equip participants with strategies to prepare and showcase their research effectively. The session will delve into the advantages of employing a backward design strategy for poster creation and exploring poster layout principles that enhance readability and engagement with the audience. An interactive component will challenge participants to put their skills to the test by critiquing existing posters.

Presenting Your Scientific Poster

Wednesday, April 10th 5-6pm, Brown Hall (Led by peer Undergraduate Research Ambassadors)

 

Tips when creating an oral presentation

Oral presentations tend to be a more in depth talks about an individual’s research. All oral presentations in the 2022 Undergraduate Research Symposium require a 10-12 minute live slide presentation. Please view the “Creating your Slides” section of this toggle for guidance. If you would like to view virtual oral presentations, we encourage you visit our 2021 Virtual Undergraduate Research Symposium Project Gallery or search for additional examples online.

Creating your Slides

Overall, presentation slides can contain the same (or similar) information as a poster:

  • Creating Your Content: First and foremost, please speak to your mentor regarding content. For additional help, you should consider scheduling an appointment at the Writing Center through their online scheduler.You can also view some tips provided by the University of Pittsburgh here, or some tips from the CLIMB Program, here. Some general guidelines when preparing your presentation is to make sure:
    • The title effectively communicates subject matter.
    • Purpose/objectives are clearly stated.
    • Applicability or relevance of work is identified.
    • Concise explanation of methods/analysis are used.
    • Methods used are clearly conveyed.
    • Conclusions are supported by data.
    • Funding sources are acknowledged.
  • Choosing a Program (to Create Your Presentation): Some common programs include Google Slides or PowerPoint. It doesn’t matter what you choose. PowerPoint tends to be a little more versatile in options. For an introduction to Google Slides, please follow this link. For more information about Microsoft PowerPoint, please follow this link.
  • Length of Presentation: Rather than giving a limit on file size or slide number, we recommend that presentation be about 10-12 minutes when you go through the slides aloud. Try not to overwhelm the audience with too many slides; but, make sure you’re engaging them with visual aids.
  • General Principles of Design: Similar to creating a poster, be mindful that an audience may lose interest in long presentations that are text heavy. Use appropriate graphics wherever possible as they can convey information effectively and make the presentation look appealing. Be mindful of color, font size, and image resolution. Sometimes, it can be helpful to find a presentation you like and try to emulate that style.

Event Resources

Delivering Impactful Oral Research Talks

(Option #1) April 9th, 5-6pm, Brown 206 (Led by peer Undergraduate Research Ambassadors)

(Option #2) April 11th, 11-11:50am, McNeil 313, Register Here 

Ever sat through a research talk that left you captivated, feeling like you were part of a compelling story? A well-delivered research talk shares a striking resemblance to storytelling. In this presentation, we will discuss tips to craft and deliver a research talk that not only conveys information but also engages and resonates with your audience. The talk will explore key aspects, including the art of structuring content, honing presentation skills, and infusing passion into your delivery.

Myth Busters!

I have to have completed my research and collected all my data before presenting in the Undergraduate Research Symposium

False! You can participate in the Undergraduate Research Symposium even if your research is still in progress. When discussing the results of your research, share whatever data you do have, and consider discussing expected results.

The Undergraduate Research Symposium is only for very accomplished, upper-classmen undergraduate researchers 

False! Any undergraduate student who has conducted research is more than welcome to present during the Undergraduate Research Symposium. It’s never too early to have this valuable experience. 

Presenting at the Undergraduate Research Symposium will not benefit me

False! Presenting at the symposium is a valuable opportunity to develop your professional communication skills and can be discussed to your advantage on your resume or in a job interview!

Past Symposiums