Learning Through Research


Student presentations are welcome in all fields and disciplines from the creative and performing arts to biomedical, engineering, and social science research. The National Conferences on Undergraduate Research is a wonderful opportunity to meet peers and faculty from around the country working in similar research fields, learn about how research and scholarship is conducted in fields very different than your own, to learn about graduate school and employment opportunities, and of course to develop your presentation skills. All abstracts and applications will be reviewed by a faculty committee from the host institution.

Students presenting at the National Conference will have the option of doing an oral or poster presentation.

NCUR Proceedings

As a student presenter at NCUR you will also have the opportunity to publish your work in the Conference Proceedings edited and produced annually by the University of North Caroloina at Asheville and distributed across the nation. All student presenters at the Conference are invited to submit manuscripts for review by the Proceedings Board. Submitting work to the Proceedings can benefit you in several ways:

• the opportunity to receive comments from faculty outside your own campus enhancing your opportunity to submit your publication for submission to other sources
• the opportunity to list your publication on your resume for graduate and professional school applications
• the opportunity to publish in fields in which it is hard to find peer review publications accepting contributions from undergraduates

Attending a Professional Research Symposium

The National Conference on Undergraduate Research is the largest such symposium in the country bringing together 2000 undergraduate students from all fields and disciplines. The symposium is organized just like a professional meeting your faculty sponsor might attend with colleagues in his/her profession. In this case, your colleagues are your peers--the other students and the audience are other students, faculty sponsors and administrators. This is your opportunity to share with your peers the expertise you have gained during your year in research. You can also learn what your colleagues have discovered through their projects. This is your chance to see the vast array of research taking place in all fields and disciplines and meet students from other campuses who are doing very similar research. We encourage you to be an active participant in the conference. Use this event as an opportunity to teach and learn. Here are some helpful guidelines for you as presenters and participants.

  1. Dress for Success. While you do not need to wear a business suit, you should dress business casual. Take pride in your work. Avoid jeans, wrinkled shirts and t-shirts, short skirts, low cut tops and uncomfortable or dirty shoes. Look professional.
  2. Anticipate Questions. Try to anticipate the type of questions you might be asked about your research experience. Think of ways to explain your work in non-technical terms.
  3. Learn. Use this event as an opportunity to understand a wide variety of research methodology and creative/scholarly activities currently being conducted in fields different than your own.
  4. Celebrate. This is an opportunity to celebrate your achievements and those of your peers.


  1. Invite the other students from your campus to come see your poster and/or hear your talk. Act professionally. When you are presenting your research, spend time talking about your work. Do not stand around joking and talking about other things with your friends.
  2. Encourage visitors to talk with you about your poster by your actions and words. Look attentive. Tell them you would like to talk to them about your research project.


  1. Visit at least ten posters in your discipline. Have a conversation with the presenter about their project and what they have discovered. Remember: you would like them to visit your poster when you are presenting. Visit at least ten posters in fields outside of your own discipline and learn how research is done in different disciplines. How do the research methods and questions differ from your field? How are they similar? Attend oral sessions either in your discipline or a different field. Think about which one you would like to attend. Attend the plenary sessions and if you are in the sciences or social sciences be sure to attend one of the performing arts or humanities presentations.
  2. Use your time wisely. Use this as an opportunity to learn and to interact with students and faculty from all over the country.