UNDERGRADUATE RESEARCH SYMPOSIUM

The Office of Undergraduate Research Scholars & UHSP Presents

The 2021 Virtual Undergraduate Research Symposium

Due to measures taken around COVID-19, the 2021 Undergraduate Research Symposium will be virtual. This event will go live for comment Monday, April 19th and will be archived on Wednesday, April 21st with a celebratory event being held through Zoom on Friday, April 23rd, 2021 3:00pm MT. Everyone is encouraged to join us in celebrating our hardworking undergraduate researchers and their dedicated mentors!

Come March 1st, a link to the application for student presenters and judges will appear on this page. Please stay posted.

format and timeline

about the virtual symposium

This unique opportunity gives undergraduate researchers the chance to create an internet archive of their research, share their hard work with a larger audience, and build their portfolio despite current limitations surrounding travel and large gatherings. Students from all disciplines are invited to participate as presenters. All faculty, staff, and graduate students are encouraged to interact with the presenters and explore the breadth of interdisciplinary research conducted by undergraduate students at Mines.

Cash prizes will be awarded to 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place. The 2021 award winners will be announced April 23rd, 2020 3pm MT on Zoom.

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

Timeline

Application Opens: Monday March 1st, 2021

Application Closes: Wednesday April 7th, 2021

Virtual Project Pages Go Live for Comment: Monday, April 19th, 2021

Virtual Project Pages are Archived: Wednesday, April 21st, 2021 11:59pm MT

Zoom Celebration of Undergraduate Research: Friday, April 23rd, 2021 3:00pm MT


Our office will not require registration and an application for this year’s Virtual Undergraduate Research Symposium. Instead, a single application will open Monday, March 1st and remain open through 11:59pm MT Wednesday, April 7th, 2021.
With this application, students will submit their abstract, their visual presentation (see “Format” below for further guidance), and a short bio about themselves. All materials must be thoroughly edited and ready to be published upon submission of this application. For student’s convenience, they will be able to “Save and Continue” until the application due date. We recommend you begin the application early but don’t submit until all materials are completely ready to be submitted.

The Virtual Project Gallery will go live for comment 8:00am MT Monday April 19th through 11:59pm MT Wednesday, April 21st, 2021.  We will encourage, judges, participants, and the general public to comment and ask questions from Monday April 19th through Tuesday, April 20th. This way, students will have at least 24 hours, Wednesday April 21st, to answer any remaining questions. The office of Undergraduate Research Scholars will tally votes Thursday April 22nd. On Friday April 23rd, starting at 3pm MT, our office will host a Zoom Celebration of Undergraduate Research.

Please note, there should be one application per project. If several undergraduate students worked in the same research group on the same project and they plan on presenting at the Virtual Undergraduate Research Symposium, the students should collaborate and submit one application.

Once students submit an application, an email containing their abstract will be sent to their faculty mentor and any accompanying undergraduate student researchers they listed in the form. Before applying, students must revise their work thoroughly and get approval from their mentor and any accompanying undergraduate student researchers before submitting. The information students submit in their application will present on their Virtual Project Page and in the Digital Abstract Booklet.

the Format for the Virtual Symposium

There will be three primary components to the 2021 virtual Undergraduate Research Symposium:

  1. Abstract Booklet: The abstract booklet will list all students participating in the virtual Undergraduate Research Symposium and feature a short abstract, as well as authors, co-authors, and mentors. This booklet will be similar to the booklet we had last year and the year before. View the 2019 Abstract Booklet here or the 2020 Abstract Booklet here.
  2. Virtual Project Gallery: The Virtual Project Gallery, will be formatted similar to the 2020 Project Gallery. The landing page for this gallery will be searchable by academic department and all the projects will be listed below. Each project listed will link to an individual project page where there will be:
    1. An Abstract:The abstract featured on students project page will be the same as the abstract featured in the booklet of abstracts.
    2. A Visual Presentation: Presenters can visually represent their work EITHER with 1) a digital poster and a 2-3 minute explanatory video (see UF poster presentation example here) OR 2) creating an 8-12 minute recorded oral talk with slides (see ASU oral talk examples here). Please note that both of these options have a recorded video component. If you are presenting at the 2021 symposium and you would like more information on how to approach your presentation, please view the “Guidelines, Tips, and Resources” below.
    3. A Short Author Biography: Presenters will share a short bio about themselves. Presenter’s bios should be 3-6 sentences in third person. This should include their current grade (first-year, sophomore, etc.), their department, their research department, and a bit about the research they’ve done and would like to do.
    4. A Comments Section: The Virtual Project Gallery will go live for comment 8:00am MT Monday April 19th through 11:59pm MT Wednesday, April 21st, 2021.  We will encourage, judges, participants, and the general public to comment and ask questions from Monday April 19th through Tuesday, April 20th. All participating judges will be required to ask questions. Likewise, all participating students will be required to ask at least one question on a peer’s project page by end of day Tuesday, April 20th. This way, students will have at least 24 hours, Wednesday April 21st, to answer any remaining questions. Students participation in the comments section will be factored into judging.
  3. Zoom Celebration of Undergraduate Research: The office of Undergraduate Research Scholars will tally votes Thursday April 22nd. On Friday April 23rd, starting at 3pm MT, our office will host a Zoom Celebration of Undergraduate Research. At this event, our office will publicly announce the 2021 Virtual Undergraduate Research Symposium award winners and students, judges, and mentors will have the opportunity to celebrate and talk about their work.

guidelines, tips, & resources

Poster Presentation

If you are making a digital poster, please make sure your file is saved with a .pdf or .jpg file extension. All poster presentations in the 2021 Virtual Undergraduate Research Symposium require an accompanying 2-3 minute video. Please view both the “Creating your Poster” and the “Creating your Video” section of this toggle for guidance.

To view an example of a digital poster presentation and a 2-3 minute explanatory video, please click here.

 

Creating your Poster

Please note that much of the information below is for posters that are being printed and not necessarily digital posters that are being presented online. Use this as a guide for visual readability, clarity, and design:

  • 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. A general rule when preparing a poster is to make sure that the:
    • Title 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: Digital posters should not exceed 48 inches in width (left to right) and 36 inches in height (top to bottom) at 72 – 300 DPI. Digital posters should be legible when they are zoomed out or zoomed in.
  • 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 you’re zoomed out from your digital poster. 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.

 

Creating your Video

Please make sure all videos are uploaded to Google Drive and you have followed the directions outlined in “How to Submit a Video”. Please use the following information to help you as needed:

  • Length and File Size: The video should be between 2-3 minutes in length. Because you will be uploading the video directly to Google Drive, be mindful of your network’s bandwidth. Before creating or uploading your video, make sure your file extension is a readable video extension (you can view a list of acceptable extensions on Googles support page).
  • Content: The content of your 2-3 minute video should be planned and practiced in advance of recording. We recommend you prepare an elevator pitch about your research as if you were presenting at an in-person conference. 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?,” in a way that makes sense to researchers and non-researchers alike.
  • Using Zoom to Record Your Presentation: There are a number of ways you can create a voiced-over video presentation. But, a simple method to record yourself presenting your poster is by using Zoom’s screen sharing and recording features. To learn how to use these features, please follow this link provided by the University of Denver. This video details some things that are not pertinent to the Mines 2021 virtual Undergraduate Research Symposium; however, it gives the clearest instructions. Pertinent information is from 7:44-18:22. You can also find more information about screen sharing here, in the Zoom Help Center.
  • Using a Smartphone to Record Your Presentation: Alternatively, you can just record yourself talking about your research with a smartphone. If you are using a smartphone to record yourself, please make sure the phone is recording horizontally. When recording, be mindful of lighting, the clothes you are wearing, and your background. It is important you appear professional just as you would at an in-person conference.
  • Uploading Your Video to Google Drive: Due to constraints around file size and in order to ensure your video remains on your project page archive (even after you are no longer a student at Colorado School of Mines), Google Drive will be the easiest way for our office to receive and embed your video. For instructions on uploading a video to Google Drive, please visit this link.
Oral Talk

Oral talks tend to be a in depth presentation about an individual’s research. If you are submitting an oral talk, please make sure your video is uploaded to Google Drive. All oral talks in the 2021 Virtual Undergraduate Research Symposium require an 8-12 minute voiced-over video where participants go through a slide presentation. Please view both the “Creating your Slides” and the “Creating your Video” section of this toggle for guidance.

To view an examples of a 8-12 minute oral talks, please click here.

 

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. Both programs allow you to embed recorded audio onto your slides – some people choose this option instead of presenting their research as they are recording a video. 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 8-12 minutes when you read the content 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.

 

Creating your Video

Please make sure all videos are uploaded to Google Drive and you have followed the directions outlined in “How to Submit a Video”. Please use the following information to help you as needed:

  • Length and File Size: The video should be between 8-12 minutes in length. Because you will be uploading the video directly to Google Drive, be mindful of your network’s bandwidth. Before creating or uploading your video, make sure your file extension is a readable video extension (you can view a list of acceptable extensions on Googles support page).
  • Content: The content of your 8-12 minute video should be in recorded in coordination with your slide presentation and it should be planned and practiced in advance of recording. We recommend you prepare an oral talk about your research as if you were presenting at an in-person conference. Be mindful of your audience and pacing. The oral talks 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 my research about?,” in a way that makes sense to researchers and non-researchers alike.
  • Using Zoom to Record Your Presentation: When recording, be mindful of lighting, the clothes you are wearing, and your background. It is important you appear professional just as you would at an in-person conference. There are a number of ways you can create a voiced-over video presentation. But, a simple method to record yourself presenting slides is by using Zoom’s screen sharing and recording features. To learn how to use these features, please follow this link provided by the University of Denver. This video details some things that are not pertinent to the Mines 2021 virtual Undergraduate Research Symposium; however, it gives the clearest instructions. Pertinent information is from 7:44-18:22. You can also find more information about screen sharing here, in the Zoom Help Center.
  • Uploading Your Video to Google Drive: Due to constraints around file size and in order to ensure your video remains on your project page archive (even after you are no longer a student at Colorado School of Mines), Google Drive will be the easiest way for our office to receive and embed your video. For instructions on uploading a video to Google Drive, please visit this link.

 

 

How to Submit a Video

Please make sure all videos are uploaded to Google Drive. Please follow these instructions carefully in order to share your video file.

  1. Login to your Google account and navigate to your Google Drive.
  2. Find the file you would like to share. Without opening the file, right click the file and select “Share”.
  3. Two boxes will pop up simultaneously. The one at the top will state “Share with people and groups”. The box immediately below it will state “Get link”.
  4. First, click on the “Share with people and groups” box and click the box that states “Add people and groups”. Type mines.ugresearch@gmail.com. Select the drop-down the the right that says “Viewer”, “Commenter”, and “Editor”. Select “Editor”. Lastly, click “Send”.
  5. Then, click on the “Get link” box.
  6. If it states “Restricted …”. Click the “Restricted” drop-down menu and select “Anyone with the link”. Then, to the right, select the drop-down that says “Viewer”, “Commenter”, and “Editor”. Select “Editor”.  The “Get Link” box should now state “Anyone on the internet with this link can edit”.
  7. Lastly, copy the link URL under “Link to share” and paste it in the form.

 

Years Past