Search This Site

Information For Students

The Undergraduate Research Symposium took place on Tuesday, April 12th, 2022. 

Abstract Submission Process

Abstract submission closed on Tuesday, March 1st, 2022. The process outlined below details abstract registration for the 2022 Undergraduate Research Symposium. 

Undergraduate students from all disciplines at UVA are welcome to present their research and creative inquiry at this event. Students will use the abstract submission form to provide information about themselves, any co-presenters they are working with, their research mentor(s), and their project. 


For group presentations, the primary presenter should submit co-presenters’ information during the abstract submission process. Only one abstract should be submitted for group presentations - please discuss your shared availability with each other before completing the Abstract Submission form.

Research Mentors

You will need to enter the name and email address for your primary research mentor. The primary research mentor is either a faculty member or postdoctoral researcher. Additionally, you may enter a graduate student mentor as a secondary mentor if applicable.

Abstract Guidelines

Abstract Title: (15-word max): The title should clearly indicate the nature of the research performed. Describe your research in succinct terms, reflecting the contents of your abstract. Use keywords, and do not use abbreviations, acronyms, or chemical formulas.

Abstract Body: (250-word max)

  • Abstracts should generally address the purpose and motivation for the work to be presented, the methods/sources/media used, the primary findings/outcomes and conclusions, and a statement of significance of the research or creative work.  

  • Abstracts should be accessible to people who are not experts in the field. That means it should avoid jargon.

  • Abstracts should not include chemical formulas, figures, tables, or special characters; these are easily mis-represented as we work across platforms to publish information on the Symposium website.

NB: Your abstract and title will be published in the Symposium Schedule along with the names of your collaborator(s) (if applicable) and mentor(s). Therefore, you should only submit a high-quality abstract that has the approval of your faculty mentor.

Session Type

You may apply to present your research as a poster, oral presentation, or in the performing, visual arts and design showcase.

If you intend to present in the performing, visual arts & design showcase you should be prepared to clearly communicate how you intend to present your work (setup, perform, display, etc.)

Session Times

You will be asked to provide your anticipated availability for the day of the Symposium (Tuesday, April 12th, 2022) when submitting you abstract. Your availability should include any and all times for your selected presentation type during which you are not attending classes.

Faculty mentors are encouraged to attend their students’ presentations. We therefore strongly encourage students to address their availability with their faculty mentor when discussing their presentation titles and abstracts.

Before the Symposium

Presenters will be assigned their session type and time based on the information provided in their abstract submission, which they will receive via email by late March.  

The Office of Undergraduate Research offers workshops tailored to students presenting their research and creative work in the spring term each year. Relevant sessions address preparing and presenting effective posters and talks. Learn more about workshops here.

We strongly encourage students to share and practice their presentation with their mentor once drafted so they may provide input.

Presentation Formats & Information

Poster Presentations

Preparing your poster: The poster should include a statement of the idea investigated, a description of the method or approach used, findings or progress to date, and a summary. Visit this page to learn more about poster presentations. Students presenting a poster should keep in mind the following information:

  • Size requirements for posters are 36” x 48” (H x W).

  • Your poster should be ready to display on poster boards we will provide at the event. Your poster should not be free-standing.

  • Printing your poster:

    • The best options (and usually the most cost-effective) for large-format poster printing are:

      • Staples, FedEx Kinko’s, your department (yes - many UVA departments have printers for academic posters!) 

    • You should submit your printing request to your vendor of choice at least 10 days in advance in order to guarantee your poster is ready on the day of the Symposium (we recommend you do this by April 1st). 

    • Communicate with your faculty mentor early in the process to discuss getting your poster printed.  

Presenting your poster: You should be prepared with a three- to five-minute summary for visitors using your poster as a visual guide and be prepared to take questions as asked.

On the day of the symposium: You will present your poster during your assigned Poster Session. Presenters should arrive at Newcomb Hall with their printed poster and go to the registration table in front of the Ballroom at least 15 minutes before the start of their session time. Presenters are asked to remain at their posters throughout their entire designated session and should remove their poster at the end of the session. 

Oral Presentations

Preparing your oral presentation: Oral presentations should be tailored to an educated, non-field expert audience and may be accompanied by a visual slide show, handouts, live demonstrations, performance, or audience participation. Visit this webpage to learn more about preparing an oral presentation, and keep the following information in mind:

  • Your presentation should be exactly 10 minutes in length. Immediately following your presentation there will be an additional 2-3 minutes for Q&A with your audience.

  • Your presentation may be accompanied by visual aids.

  • Please practice and time your presentation prior to the day of the Symposium.

Technology: Each room will have a projector or digital display screen and computer provided; presenters will be asked to upload their presentation to the room computer before the session begins. You may not use your own device.

  • The computer will be a PC running the newest version of Microsoft Office, including Powerpoint.

  • You may not have access to “Presenter View” during your presentation – we strongly recommend you plan to not have access to this feature.

  • Naming convention: please name your file with your last name followed by your first name so it is easily accessible during the session in which you are presenting. 

  • You should have a way to easily access and upload your presentation to the computer provided for the session. This may include a USB flashdrive or a file stored in your UVA Box account. 

  • Students planning to use Google Slides or access their presentation using email should be prepared to share their presentation with the session moderator before the session begins to prevent login/logout delays during the session.

  • All students are encouraged to have a PDF copy of their presentation as a back-up.  

  • All students should test their presentation on a PC before arriving at the Symposium.

  • Presentation visual aids should not include audio or video files.

On the day of the symposium: You will give your oral presentation during your assigned concurrent session (communicated to you via email in March). Concurrent sessions are 60 minutes long with 4 student presenters in each. The session will be organized according to discipline and a moderator will be present to guide questions, discussion, and presentation transitions. Presenters should arrive in their presentation session room at least fifteen minutes prior to the start of the session and should plan to remain for the entirety of the session regardless of where they fall in the presentation order. If you have questions or need help finding your presentation room, please visit the registration table in front of the Ballroom on the third floor. 

Performing, Visual Arts & Design Showcase

Abstract submission: Students should be prepared to clearly communicate how they intend to share their creative work(s). This includes relevant details such as how they intend to set up, perform, and/or display their work.

Preparing your presentation: Performances should be limited to 10 minutes in length and may include the use of props. A computer and digital display screen will be available for use in the session room for performance or presentation-based pieces. Students planning to share artistic or design-based works which do not require a performance should plan to have no more than 5 samples of their work and should address how their work will be displayed during abstract submission. Students displaying their work but not including a performance will not be able to use the digital display screen.

On the day of the symposium: Presenters should arrive in the presentation session room at least fifteen minutes prior to the start of the session, though the room will be available up to an hour early if students need more time to set up their pieces. Performance-based pieces will be assigned a presentation time at the start of the session. All students should plan to remain for the entirety of the session regardless of their presentation needs, and those displaying pieces should plan to answer questions about their work(s) during the showcase.