MSU's Spring 2017 Undergraduate Research Symposium

& Community Engagement presentations

April 13, 2017, 1:00 pm - 4:30 pm
Griffis Hall

View the Abstract Booklet for the Spring 2017 Undergraduate Research Symposium.

Join us for the spring 2017 Undergraduate Research Symposium. This symposium is open to ALL undergraduate students engaged in research. The symposium is hosted by the Shackouls Honors College in collaboration with the Center for the Advancement of Service-Learning Excellence (CASLE), the Office of the Provost & Executive Vice President, the Office of Research & Economic Development, and the Graduate School. The Symposium will be held in Griffis Hall (on all four floors, the various seminar rooms, and the 4th floor Forum Room) and is an opportunity to showcase faculty-guided student research and creative activity from diverse departments, colleges and research centers across campus. In recognition of MSU’s Carnegie Community Engagement Classification, for the fifth year, a community engagement track will be included. Furthermore, participants will have the opportunity to also participate in a Three Minute Research Competition (TRC). The participants for the TRC will be selected from those who check that they wish to be considered for the competition. It will not interfere with the rest of the program.

In celebration of National Public Health Week 2017 (April 3-9), the Public Health Research Competition component of the Undergraduate Research Symposium is designed to highlight the important work that undergraduate students at MSU are doing in public health. Public health research can be any research related to promoting and protecting the health of people and communities (see for more information). Students will compete by indicating their interest on the main entry form (due by March 17) and completing a separate entry form for the Public Health Research Competition (available here). The separate entry form requires a 100- to 150-word statement regarding the implications of your research for public health and is due by March 31 at 5:00 pm. One undergraduate winner will be selected to receive a certificate and a $100 prize. If you have any questions about the Public Health Research Competition, please contact Dr. David Buys

MEWI logo FSNHP logo

Many undergraduates participate in faculty-guided research and creative activity throughout the year. MSU is fortunate to have many faculty that involve undergraduates in research and federally-funded research experiences for undergraduate programs. ALL undergraduates in every program of study, not just honors students, who are involved in faculty-guided research and creative activity this academic year are invited and encouraged to participate in the symposium through a poster presentation. In addition, students in the Arts and Humanities category will have the option of giving a short talk or performance. If a student is in an area other than Arts & Humanities and also selects “talk or presentation”, their project will be shifted to poster format. After the poster and talk sessions, there will be an award ceremony with the presentation of prizes in the Griffis Hall Forum Room. We are considering giving student principal presenters t-shirts, so you will be asked to give your preferred size. Light refreshments will be provided and guests are encouraged to attend. There is no fee to participate or to attend.

Talks and posters need to be classified by the student as belonging to one of four categories:

  1. Arts and Humanities
  2. Biological Sciences and Engineering
  3. Physical Sciences and Engineering
  4. Social Sciences

It will be the responsibility of the student and his or her faculty mentor to properly classify the project. If a project meets the requirements to be judged for community engagement as well, the student is strongly encouraged check that box on the application form. Group projects are an integral part of research and are encouraged. However, as is usually the case at professional conferences, there will be a designated principal presenter. Co-authors and collaborators should be listed on the abstract. Prizes are awarded to the principal presenter.

The TRC is a competition that challenges undergraduate students to present a compelling verbal presentation of their thesis /dissertation topic and its significance in just three minutes. The goal of this program is to develop academic, presentation, and research communication skills and support the development of undergraduate students' capacity to describe their research in language appropriate to a public audience. Up to twenty students will be selected to compete and sent further details when the selection is made. Students not selected will also be notified.

Students compete by presenting their research topic in three minutes or less. Competitions are judged by a panel comprised of a diverse group of professionals (academic and non-academic) with a wide range of expertise. The top 3 TRC winners will receive an MSU Graduate School application fee waiver along with other tiered prizes.

This year, we may be including a picture of the principal presenter with the abstract. You will be asked to upload a head shot of yourself during the registration process. The entry deadline is March 17, 2017.

Guidelines for the community engagement competition along with the general call for projects can be found here.

Guidelines for posters are found below. Note that if a poster session is given, students must provide their own poster board for poster display! Students are expected to be on-hand to set up their own poster for display or to designate a representative to do this for them. Easels will be provided at the event and are meant to hold posters mounted to poster board. Heavier materials are not advisable. While pushpins and tape will be available to assemble your poster board, we strongly recommend that you bring your own assembly materials. The talks and performances will be given ten minutes for presentation and four minutes for questions. Note that if you are giving a talk or performance and need technology (such as a computer and/or projector), you need to check that box on the registration form and provide a flash drive.

Entry deadline is March 17, 2017.

Entry forms, more details of the event, how to participate and plan, and poster guidelines can be found at

If you do not receive an e-mail acknowledgement of your registration, you are not registered.