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What Is NCUR?

The idea for a national conference open to all undergraduates was conceived and implemented at the University of North Carolina at Asheville in 1987. The first conference drew more than 400 participants from institutions across the country.
 
The National Conference on Undergraduate Research (NCUR) is dedicated to promoting undergraduate research, scholarship, and creative activity in all fields of study by sponsoring an annual conference for students. Unlike meetings of academic professional organizations, this gathering of student scholars welcomes presenters from all institutions of higher learning and from all disciplines. Through this annual conference, NCUR creates a unique environment for the celebration and promotion of undergraduate student achievement; provides models of exemplary research, scholarship, and creative activity; and helps to improve the state of undergraduate education. Each conference hosts 3,500 to 4,000 students from across the globe, presenting their research through posters, oral presentations, visual arts, and performances. Their faculty mentors also attend, often presenting in the Faculty-Administrator Network (FAN) sessions.
 
CUR and NCUR 
The Council on Undergraduate Research (CUR) and the National Conferences on Undergraduate Research (NCUR) historically existed as two separate organizations, but on October 1, 2010, the two officially joined. To commemorate this occasion, CUR and NCUR held a number of special events, including a reception, congressional briefing, and book release.
 
 

NCUR for Students

Student Presentations 
Student presentations are welcome in all fields and disciplines from the creative and performing arts to biomedical, engineering, and social science research. The National Conference on Undergraduate Research is a wonderful opportunity to meet peers and faculty from around the country and the world who are working in similar research fields, learn about the conduct of research and scholarship in fields very different from your own, learn about graduate school and employment opportunities, and develop your presentation skills. All abstracts and applications will be reviewed by faculty members.
 
Student participants in NCUR may present in one of the following formats:
  • Oral
  • Poster
  • Visual Arts
  • Performing Arts
 
Publishing in NCUR Proceedings
Student presenters at NCUR have the opportunity to publish their work in the Conference Proceedings, which are edited and produced each year by the University of North Carolina at Asheville and widely distributed. All student presenters at NCUR are invited to submit manuscripts for review by the Proceedings Board. Submitting work to the Conference Proceedings provides the following benefits:
  • The opportunity to receive comments from faculty at institutions other than your own, enhancing the prospect of submitting your publication to other publication venues
  • The opportunity to list your publication on your resume for graduate and professional school applications
  • The opportunity to publish in fields that may infrequently publish contributions from undergraduates
 
Attending a Professional Research Symposium 
NCUR is the largest symposium of its kind in the world, bringing together nearly 4,000 undergraduate students each year from all fields and disciplines. The symposium is organized just like a professional meeting of scholarly societies. In this case, the audience is composed of other students, faculty mentors, and administrators. This is your opportunity to share with your peers the expertise you have gained over the course of your research experience. 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 similar research. We encourage you to be an active participant in the conference. Use this event as an opportunity to teach and learn. Most NCURs also include a graduate school and/or career fair, providing you with opportunities to meet with recruiters and consider next steps in your education and career path. The following are some guidelines for presenters and participants:
 
  1. Dress for Success. Although you do not need to wear a business suit, you should wear business-casual attire. 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 nontechnical 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.
 
Presenters
  1. Invite the other students from your campus to attend your presentation. 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.
 
Participants
  1. Visit at least 10 posters in your discipline. Have a conversation with the presenter about his or her project and what he or she has discovered. Remember: you would like presenters to visit your poster when you are presenting. Visit at least 10 posters in fields outside of your 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. Attend the plenary sessions. 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. Take advantage of the opportunity to learn from and interact with students and faculty from around the world.
 
 

NCUR for Faculty and Administrators

NCUR is a great opportunity for students, faculty, and administrators—for students to present their research to peers and faculty from around the world; for faculty to connect with colleagues across disciplines; and for administrators to meet students, faculty, and undergraduate research program directors.
 
Student presentations are welcome in all fields and disciplines from the creative and performing arts to the biomedical, engineering, and social science fields.  NCUR provides a wonderful opportunity for your students to meet peers and faculty working in similar research fields at institutions across the globe, to learn about the conduct of research and scholarship in a wide range of fields, to learn about advanced degree and employment opportunities at the graduate school fair, and to develop presentation skills. All student abstracts and applications are reviewed by faculty members. Students  can present in one of the following formats:
  • Oral
  • Poster
  • Visual Arts
  • Performing Arts
 
NCUR also offers sessions specifically for faculty and administrators, which share best practices for undergraduate research and scholarship, and provide opportunities for faculty and administrators to interact. Sponsored by the Faculty and Administrators Network (FAN), these sessions take place during breaks between student presentations each day. The call for proposals for these sessions is issued at the same time as the student call for proposals.
 
Topics of previous FAN sessions have included assessment and evaluation of undergraduate research programs; community-based research; creating an interdisciplinary, social action-oriented student-faculty research group; expanding undergraduate research in the humanities and creative arts; integrating service learning and research in economics; interdisciplinary research in biomedical engineering; a multi-tiered, curriculum-based approach for research experiences for undergraduates; the research-rich curriculum; and running an office of undergraduate research.,  and
 
Please note: Proposals for the FAN sessions will not be accepted on individual disciplinary research.
 
 

NCUR Statement on Diversity and Inclusion

The Council on Undergraduate Research (CUR) is strongly committed to the wide expression of all forms and topics of undergraduate research, by all members of the undergraduate research community, and views with great concern any actions or policies that affect that commitment to inclusivity. As Elizabeth L. Ambos, CUR’s Executive Officer, notes:  “CUR’s programs, including its signature student research conference, the National Conference on Undergraduate Research (NCUR), serve as “home” for all champions and practitioners of undergraduate research, scholarship, and creative inquiry.”
 
 
For questions or additional information about student events, please contact Student Programs.