Student Research Opportunities
Annual Undergraduate Research Symposium - Frequently Asked Questions
- What kind of "undergraduate research" is presented at the Symposium?
We invite research projects from all disciplines and encourage students to submit creative work for the symposium as long as it has an original, scholarly aspect. For all submissions, students must be working under the guidance of a faculty research mentor who can speak to the quality of the research; this includes students working on faculty research and students working on their own research under the supervision of faculty. Senior theses are good examples of the second type of student research. The Undergraduate Research Symposium is not an appropriate venue for “position papers,” where students present opinions rather than scholarly research.
From the national Council on Undergraduate Research: "Undergraduate research, scholarship, and creative inquiry is fundamentally a pedagogical approach to teaching and learning. With an emphasis on process, we define undergraduate research as: A mentored investigation or creative inquiry conducted by undergraduates that seeks to make a scholarly or artistic contribution to knowledge."
- How do I attend the Symposium, if I am not a presenter?
All are welcome to attend the Symposium. No registration is necessary.
Can I volunteer at the Symposium?
Yes! Student, staff, and faculty volunteers are critical to the success of the Undergraduate Research Symposium. Email firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like to be added to the list of potential volunteers. We will contact you in early March to follow-up.
- Do I need to be part of a formal research program (e.g., Freshman Research Scholars,
Wentz, etc.) to participate in the Symposium?
No. All undergraduates currently doing research with a faculty mentor are encouraged to apply. You can also apply if you have recently graduated but would like to present the research you completed while an OSU undergraduate.
- Are Freshman Research Scholars and Wentz Research Scholars required to participate
in this Symposium?
No. Scholars in formal undergraduate research programs (e.g., Freshman Research Scholars, Niblack Research Scholars, Wentz Research Scholars) are encouraged to participate in the campus-wide Symposium. However, participation in the campus-wide Symposium is supplemental and does not substitute for required involvement in program-specific symposia.
- Is the Undergraduate Research Symposium open to artists?
Yes! We encourage performing and visual artists to submit applications to participate in the Symposium.
- Can I present research I did with a faculty member who is not from OSU?
Yes. You are welcome to apply if you are an OSU undergraduate, regardless of where you performed your research. If you did your research project at another institution, you need to get your abstract approved by the faculty mentor you worked with there.
- I am in the early stages of my research. Can I still apply?
Yes. You do not need to have completed your research to be considered. Many students present ongoing research. It is perfectly acceptable to share preliminary results or anticipated findings at the Symposium.
- Can I present two or more research projects at the Symposium?
Occasionally students are permitted to present two projects, but no more than two. Presenting two projects requires special approval by the Undergraduate Research Committee. If you would like to present two projects, please send drafts of both abstracts to email@example.com along with a short statement of why you would like to present two projects. If you do present two projects, the projects must be on separate research topics. If you are giving two presentations, the Undergraduate Research Committee highly recommends that one is a group project with other undergraduates.
- Can I invite friends, family, and other faculty?
Yes, Yes, and Yes! The event is free, and there is no attendance registration.
- I am not sure how to begin writing an abstract. Is there someone who can help me get
Yes, abstract writing workshops will be held during the weeks of February 5 and February 12, 2024, where you will learn the basics of abstract construction and see various examples.
- Who reviews the abstracts and determines who will be able to participate?
The OSU Undergraduate Research Committee reviews all abstracts.
- What happens if major developments happen in my research project between the time
I apply and the Symposium date?
You are welcome to note those changes as you develop your final presentation. However, the abstract submitted with your application will be printed in the Symposium Proceedings and cannot be amended after the application deadline.
- Need help citing?
The OSU library has this helpful resource to manage and format citations: https://info.library.okstate.edu/citations/manuals
Faculty Research Mentors
- A student is asking me to review and approve an abstract. What does this mean?
We ask that faculty research mentors review and edit their students’ abstracts before submission. Abstracts will be published in the Symposium Proceedings, and therefore, students should submit a high-quality version that has been reviewed and approved by their faculty mentor.
- My students are presenting at the Symposium. How do I find out when and where their
poster or presentation will be?
In the weeks before the Symposium, we will publish the online Proceedings on a website, which will allow you to search for your students, find out the times/locations of the presentations, and print a pdf of their abstracts.
*Content for this page adapted from the University of Washington's Undergraduate Research Symposium.