Undergraduate research symposium

PULLMAN — The second annual WSU Undergraduate Research Symposium is set for Oct. 17 in the Smith Center for Undergraduate Education on campus.
The deadline for submission of abstracts is Oct. 10.  Instructions, a template, and examples are available on the Web site at undergraduateresearch.wsu.edu, said Dave Bahr, director of WSU’s Office of Undergraduate Research.
“This WSU-wide symposium is an awesome venue for students who are really digging into a subject with a faculty mentor to show others what they are doing,” Bahr said.  “The variety of what they might be working on is virtually without boundaries.  We hope students from freshmen through seniors and from every discipline will sign up.”
The WSU Undergraduate Research Symposium is unlike any other showcasing event at the university, Bahr says.  Following the same format as last year’s symposium, students can choose to give oral presentations on their work or display their projects on large posters.  Both types will be evaluated by judges and more than $3,000 will be awarded to more than a dozen students in both oral and poster categories. Judges this year will include emeritus and current faculty and staff.
Bahr explains that “undergraduate research” is not at all limited to activities conducted in lab coats.  “It’s much broader than that.  It’s research, scholarship, and creative activity that happens any time students are working with faculty to create, design, or discover.”
In general, he says, research projects and activities need to have four components:  mentorship (be supervised by a faculty member); originality (have a novel aspect with meaningful contributions from the student); acceptability (employ techniques or methods that are appropriate for the discipline); and dissemination (have a plan to share the results with the broader field or the community).
“The WSU Undergraduate Research Symposium is a local and friendly way for students and their mentors to disseminate students’ work, and it may be the stepping stone for them to present at larger events if they choose,” said Bahr.
For more information, visit the Web site at undergraduateresearch.wsu.edu.