Summer Symposium FAQs

How do I apply to present?

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

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 Summer Symposium, more results will be obtained.

Can I present if I am not a Purdue student?

Yes, if you are working with a Purdue research mentor or a Purdue-related program.

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 an oral presentation/research talk and a poster at this year's Purdue Undergraduate Research Conference?

No. If you are selected to deliver an oral presentation/research talk, you will not present a poster for the same abstract submission.

How is the virtual conference different from the in-person conference?

The Summer Undergraduate Research Symposium will be hybrid. Therefore, students could submit PowerPoint slides for research talks, print out their poster for a poster session, or record their presentations and upload them to be shared with the OUR. Also, instead of the event only being one day, it spans over a week for additional time to learn about other research projects on your own time for the virtual conference while also having in-person presentations.

What are the differences 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.

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. Look out for workshops to help get abstract questions answered as the deadline gets closer.

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.

Is the Summer Symposium judged and provides awards for the top presenters?

The Summer Symposium is not formally judged, but there is a way to provide feedback through the Conference website. The Fall Expo and the Spring Conference are formally judged and do provide awards for the top presenters.

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

Please only submit Microsoft PowerPoint or PDF files for oral presentations. Laptops will be pre-loaded with the presentations and they will be PCs, not Macs. Also, if you use special fonts, please submit a PDF of your presentation to maintain these. (Note: PDFs will 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 (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. ITaP offers a wide format printing option on the 2nd floor of WALC Library. The cost is $4/linear foot with 3'-wide paper.

Discovery Park has a wide-format printer that Engineering projects and Discovery Park projects can utilize. Please see their informational flier, and remember that they need at least two business days' notice.

Faculty: If you are able to cover students' poster printing costs, but the students must print on one of the ITaP poster printers, contact to request to set up an account for students to use to print posters. A ticket will be created and an individual will be in touch with you.

As someone who wants to watch the presentations, how do I access the links?

You will need a Purdue login to watch the presentations. If you do not, reach out to the Purdue OUR or the author to request permission to view the presentation.