How do I apply to present?

The application process is completed online. If you have problems with the online application system, please email us UGResearch@purdue.edu.

Can I still apply if I am still in the early stages of my research?

Yes. Your research project does not have to be completed to be considered. Many students present ongoing research with preliminary results or anticipated findings. Students also submit to present knowing that by the time of the Conference, more results will be obtained.

Can I submit applications for more than one research project?

No, only one proposal per student. Multiple students may appear on multiple projects, but a student may only be the first author for one submission.

Can I deliver a research talk and a poster at this year's Purdue Undergraduate Research Conference?

No. If you are selected to deliver a research talk, you will not present a poster for the same abstract submissionHowever, you may submit a virtual presentation if you are presenting in-person.

What format will the Spring Conference be this year?

The Spring Conference will be hybrid. Therefore, students could deliver PowerPoint slides for research talks, print out their posters for a poster session, or record their presentations and upload them to be shared with the Purdue community. Also, instead of the event only being two in-person days, it spans multiple days for additional time to learn about other research projects on your own time for the virtual conference while also having in-person presentations.

What is the difference between an oral presentation/research talk and a poster presentation in-person and virtual?

In-Person: Oral presentations/research talks have 15 minutes for their presentation and Q&A and are delivered via PowerPoint slides. Poster presenters should prepare a 3-5-minute poster pitch and bring their printed poster to the session.

Virtual: All virtual presentations should be no longer than 7 minutes and can include up to 7 slides of information. Virtual presentations are not separated into research talks or posters.

How long should my abstract be?

Abstracts should be no more than 250 words.

How should I decide which college/school should have the final judging determination of my project?

Each abstract submission is reviewed by a college or school to determine if it can be presented and then determine who should make the final award determination for a presentation. Therefore, it is important that each presentation has a "primary" college or school for making these decisions. For your application, consider the primary/first student author's college/school, the department of the primary/first research mentor, and the area of the research project.

Students whose research is a result of an ILS course (including an independent study) or is done under the mentorship of a research mentor from the Libraries and School of Information Studies should designate the School of Information Studies.

Note: Colleges and schools make the final decision on where an abstract submission is located for judging purposes.

Can someone show me how to write an abstract?

Yes. The Office of Undergraduate Research is available to help you write your abstract and you can utilize the resources in the Purdue Writing Lab and at the top of the Apply website. There will also be a seminar session via Zoom to discuss how to write an abstract and apply to the Spring Conference.

I made a mistake in submitting my abstract. Should I resubmit with the correct information?

Do not resubmit. Contact ugresearch@purdue.edu as soon as possible with the Response ID (starts with "R_") and the corrections that need to be made. They will either make the changes or will send a link to make the changes yourself. However, please ensure the information is correct before submitting the abstract since many changes could cause deadlines to be pushed to make the modifications.

Is the Spring Undergraduate Research Conference judged and are awards provided to the top presenters?

Yes. The spring conference is formally judged and various academic units and programs provide awards to the top presenters for research talks/oral presentations and posters.

It is best to review the spring conference rubrics before finalizing your presentation and research talk.

Spring 2023 Rubrics below. Updated rubrics will be posted soon:

Poster rubric | Research talk rubric
Special designations:
Interdisciplinary project rubric | Archival project rubric | Digital Humanities project rubric (coming soon)

How are awards distributed?

The award will be distributed to all undergraduates who are indicated as "Undergraduate Presenting Authors." Undergraduate students who are listed as contributors or acknowledged do not receive a portion of the award.

What is the difference between the Fall Expo, the Spring Conference, and the Summer Symposium?

The Fall Expo and the Spring Conference are similar. The Summer Symposium is not formally judged and does not provide awards to the top presenters.

I am a faculty member and I received an email stating that a student indicated I was their research mentor. Why did I receive this email?

Students must indicate a research mentor on their application for presenting their project. You were included in the application for a student who has submitted a proposal for a research conference or symposium. Please contact the student and the Office of Undergraduate Research as soon as possible if you were unaware of this submission.

What is the dress code for presenting during the in-person Spring Conference?

We recommend dressing at least in business casual for the presentations. You will see individuals in business professional clothing, too. If you need assistance with obtaining business casual or business professional clothes, consider the Center for Career Opportunities' Career Closet.

For in-person research talks: What format should I submit for my oral presentation?

You will not submit your research talk ahead of time. You will bring your presentation on a thumbdrive/flashdrive. It is recommended that you use Microsoft PowerPoint or PDF files. It is recommended that you do not use special fonts as these may not show up well on the computers in the rooms. If you use special fonts, please consider a PDF of your presentation to maintain these. (Note: PDFs do not have animation.)

For in-person poster presenters: What size should my poster be?

Posters should not be wider than 4' (48") nor taller than 3' (36"). This is a standard poster size and is due to the limitations of the wide-format printing option in WALC and HIKS (see next question).

For in-person poster presenters: How can I print my poster?

Check with your research mentor to see if there are printing options within your department, program, or college/school. Purdue IT offers a wide format printing option on the 2nd floor of WALC Library and the Purdue IT desk in Hicks Library. The cost is $4/linear foot with 3'-wide paper.

The Discovery Park District has a wide-format printer that Engineering projects and Discovery Park projects can utilize. Please submit the poster PDF (48"x36" or 36"x24") to ewridgley@purdue.edu, and remember that they need at least two business days' notice with 10+ posters needing a week's notice. Additional information for using this poster printer, visit the Discovery Park District Poster Lab website.

Reminder: Right before poster sessions are an especially busy time for printers. Plan accordingly.

Faculty, Departments, or Programs: If you want to cover students' poster printing costs, but the students must print on one of the Purdue IT poster printers, complete this Request for Departmental Paid Print Quota Supplement document and email it to itlabs@purdue.edu. More information about this process can be found on the Wide Format Printing Purdue IT webpage.

If you are interested in a more permanent poster, there are alternatives to paper such as cloth posters that can be printed.

Are there poster templates I should use for the Conference?

Beyond staying within the 4'x3' size limitation, the content of the poster is up to you and your research team. However, there are templates and recommendations through Purdue Marketing & Communications and Purdue Libraries & School of Information Studies

What is the Literature, Linguistics, Languages, and Culture (LLLC) Colloquium?

The LLLC Colloquium occurs concurrently with the in-person research talks on April 11, 2024, and provides a space for student researchers to present on literature, linguistics, languages, and cultures. This Colloquium is sponsored by the College of Liberal Arts, the Department of English, and the School of Languages and Cultures. Students who are applying to present during this event should indicate this in the abstract submission application.

I believe my project qualifies as "interdisciplinary." Is there additional information to help me know if I should select this option?

"Interdisciplinary research is a mode of research by teams or individuals that integrates information, data, techniques, tools, perspectives, concepts, and/or theories from two or more disciplines or bodies of specialized knowledge to advance fundamental understanding or to solve problems whose solutions are beyond the scope of a single discipline or area of research practice." 
Source: Committee on Facilitating Interdisciplinary Research, Committee on Science, Engineering, and Public Policy (2004). Facilitating interdisciplinary research. National Academies. Washington: National Academy Press, p.2.
Interdisciplinary research borrows theoretical insights from one discipline to inform research in another discipline. In order for your submission to be eligible for an interdisciplinary research award, you must be able to express how and why your research is interdisciplinary at the time of your submission and during your poster/oral presentation. 
Please answer the questions below to illustrate how your research is interdisciplinary. Be specific and provide examples. 
  1. Please explain how your research uses theories, frameworks, or methodologies from one discipline to approach a research problem in another discipline.
  2. Please explain why your research borrows a theory, framework, or methodology from one discipline to approach a research problem in another discipline.

Examples of interdisciplinary work for the Spring Conference:

All of these examples combine techniques or approaches from different disciplines to address the research question.

  • Deploying sociological theories in the examination of historical populations in urban settings—combining an approach from sociology with textual analysis of primary written sources.
  • Deploying a psychoanalytical concept & technique to elucidate literary influence on writers and their creativity—combining psychoanalytic methods with literary theoretical analysis.  
  • Deploying geographical spatial dispersion analysis with mass communication theories & techniques to explicate international news frames—combining geospatial analysis with mass communication of news flow techniques.

Examples of what we do not count as interdisciplinary work:

  • Utilizing a database to harvest data for a marketing project focused on transportation logistics—Utilizing a library or database in a new context does not pull from a disciplinary idea, framework, or method to address a research question in another.
  • Using statistical analysis in a journalism context—statistical measures can be applied to any context to better describe the characteristics/features of a data set.
  • Using digital humanities [computational approaches] to elucidate a literary map without literary critical analysis—would need to apply a computational approach along with a discipline-specific approach from another area. 

Note: Judges reserve the right to determine if the submitted abstract is interdisciplinary based on the answers you provide. If you are unsure how to describe the interdisciplinary nature of your research, please consult your research advisor(s).

I believe my project qualifies as "archival." Is there additional information to help me know if I should select this option?

Archival materials are records, documents, or data sets that were designated by an archival repository as permanent historical records, typically held in a repository such as university archives, government archives, historical societies, etc.

Note: Judges reserve the right to determine if the submitted abstract is archival based on the answers you provide. If you are unsure how to describe the archival nature of your research, please consult your research advisor(s).

What is the "Authorship Standard" and how do I know who is included as an author on my abstract submission?

Many organizations, journals, and conferences publish guidelines for author identification. In the absence of such a guideline, include authors based on the following from the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors:
  • Substantial contributions to the conception or design of the work; or the acquisition, analysis, or interpretation of data for the work; AND
  • Drafting the work or revising it critically for important intellectual content; AND
  • Final approval of the version to be published; AND
  • Agreement to be accountable for all aspects of the work in ensuring that questions related to the accuracy or integrity of any part of the work are appropriately investigated and resolved.
At Purdue University, substantial contribution to a work that deserves credit as an author requires both material participation and intellectual contribution. Credit for a co-author is expected when an individual both materially participates in a research project and provides intellectual contribution for which a resulting publication would suffer if it were lacking.

Acknowledgments may be used to denote contributions to the work that do not meet the criteria of authorship, such as supporting the study, general mentoring, acting as study coordinator or research technician, and other related auxiliary activities. Authors should verify that all individuals noted in an acknowledgments section have granted their permission to be listed.

For Purdue OUR conferences, the following roles are possible for authorship:
  • Undergraduate presenting authors: Undergraduate student who deserves authorship credit for this presentation and will be presenting this work at the conference.
  • Undergraduate contributing authors: Undergraduate student who deserves authorship credit for this presentation but will not be presenting this work at the conference.
  • Undergraduate researcher acknowledgments: Undergraduate student with substantial contribution to the research project but does not deserve authorship credit for this presentation.

For Purdue OUR conferences, mentors (non-undergraduate students who participate in the work) are listed separately to indicate their role with the project.

I saw photographers at the event. Can I get a copy of the photos they took of me?

Yes! We will upload all photos taken at the event to our photo gallery. Once these are uploaded, we will inform the presenters they are ready.

Is there a certificate I can receive for presenting during the Fall Expo?

Yes! There are individualized certificates that are available after awards are decided. This is because we include the awards on those presenters' certificates. This will be available in May and presenters will be told when they are available.

When will I hear if I won an award? When will I get the feedback from the judges?

Awards are determined following the conclusion of the event and are announced in May. After awards are decided, certificates are generated and photos are uploaded. We will notify presenters when these are decided and available. 

What is the research study referenced in the automatic emails I received?

Any data collected for this event – including the application, presentation feedback evaluations (if they exist), event evaluations, and additional data obtained from the Office of the Registrar – may be used for research purposes by the Office of Undergraduate Research and study investigators for an IRB-approved study titled “Undergraduate Research Conferences” (IRB-2023-1142). To learn more about this study, please review the study information sheet. Data for this study will be deidentified prior to any analyses and reporting. Data will be excluded as follows:

  • Abstracts are automatically excluded for presentations when the abstract is not approved to be published within the event information.
  • Cases are automatically excluded for any presenter who is a minor at the time of the event.
  • Additional cases are excluded for any presenter/mentor who opts out of their data use for research purposes.

Any exclusions or inclusions for research purposes do not impact any presenter’s selection to participate in the event.

Are there opportunities to volunteer during the Conference?

Yes! With hosting so many in-person presentations and presenters over two days, we appreciate volunteers helping guide and provide support during the event. Check out available opportunities and sign up to volunteer on the Conference Volunteers website.