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Frequently Asked Questions

What is the URSS
Eligibility and How to Apply
Project Questions
Poster Presentations
Oral Presentations
General Questions
Awards and Judging

Background Information

What is the URSS?

Held annually each spring, the Undergraduate Research & Scholarship Symposium (URSS) provides Duquesne University undergraduates the opportunity to share their research and other forms of scholarship with faculty, peers, and the local community.The Symposium encourages undergraduates from all areas of study to engage in research opportunities early-on in their academic career.The URSS consists of a Poster Session and Oral Presentations. Participants are provided with a free boxed lunch and are eligible for several cash awards. Visit our archive to view award winners and program booklets containing student abstracts from previous symposia.

Eligibility and How to Apply

Who is eligible to participate in the URSS?

The URSS is open to ALL Duquesne University undergraduate students from across the disciplines and colleges who have completed or are in the process of completing individual or collaborative research as part of a course or major. The Symposium serves as an excellent venue to practice and perfect presentation skills whether it is through a poster or oral presentation.

The URSS features student groups and individuals with subjects ranging from math and science to history and music. We have even had a performance of an original composition from students from the Mary Pappert School of Music.

How do I apply for the URSS?

The online submission form opens in January, after students return for Spring semester. Once the form is open, the link will be available on our main page.
The application will include:

  • Student contact information, class rank, and school
  • Name of your faculty advisor
  • Attending authors of the project (besides yourself)
  • Title of your project and an abstract with a maximum of 150 words
  • Whether or not you would like to orally present
Does my project have to be from the semester during which the URSS occurs?

No. We accept projects from either semester, as long as your work was completed as a student at Duquesne.

My research or project is not yet complete. Am I still able to submit an abstract?

Yes. Your project does not necessarily have to be complete at the time of submission or when you present.

Project Questions

What kind of research/projects are accepted?

Most presentations are based on projects associated with a class taken at Duquesne. Many students build presentations around projects from class, research papers, a thesis, service project, etc. We accept individual and group presentations from all disciplines in the form of a poster or oral presentation. Due to time limitations, we are forced to limit the number of students who present orally. However, all students who submit a valid abstract will be accepted to the poster session. The online abstract submission allows individuals & groups to register for the symposium. Please read the rules & regulations prior to submission.

Can group work be presented at the symposium?

Yes! Research and scholarship often involves peers and collaborators. If you are submitting a group project, please choose ONE group member to register on the group's behalf. This person will act as the "group leader" and will be in charge of forwarding any communication to the other members. Please use caution when filling out the registration form, because the information provided may appear on name tags, programs, and other printed materials.

I'm planning on presenting my project at another symposium. Am I allowed to use the same project for the URSS?

Yes. The URSS is a great venue to practice for upcoming symposia or other professional events. We encourage you to take advantage of this opportunity.

Do you accept projects in formats other than posters?

Yes! The URSS celebrates research and scholarship from all disciplines. We realize that not all forms of scholarship are best represented in a poster format,. Over the years, we have had a variety of creative displays of scholarship. From instrumental performances of original compositions to slideshows on laptops displaying photographs from service projects, we try our best to accommodate your work.

Poster Presentations

What dimensions should my poster be?

Posters must be NO LARGER than 36" by 48". Students are required to share a corkboard or table with one other student or group project. Therefore, it is important to stay within the dimensions to avoid having to overlap projects.

My project requires me to set up supporting material or a 3D poster. Can I use a table rather than a corkboard?

Yes! The online submission form will have a place to indicate your preference for either a corkboard or table.

How will I know where to set up my poster?

Each participant is assigned an abstract number in the weeks leading up to the symposium. It's important that students check their email regularly for instructions and other information regarding the URSS. Your abstract number will indicate where you will set up your poster. A map will be emailed to participants in advance as well as available the day of poster set up.

Oral Presentations

Who is eligible to give an oral presentation?

Due to time constraints, we must limit the number of oral presenters at the URSS. If you are interested in giving an oral presentation, there will be a box to check on the online submission form. Abstracts from students who indicate that they are interested in orally presenting are reviewed anonymously by a selection committee. Oral presenters will receive notification of their acceptance or rejection in the weeks following the submission deadline.

Students who have indicated an interest in orally presenting but who are not selected to do so will automatically be enrolled to participate in the poster session.

If I am selected to orally present, am I required to also participate in the poster session?

Yes. Oral presenters are also expected to create a poster for the poster session.

What is the set up of the oral presentation sessions?

The Oral Presentation sessions consist of a podium with a microphone, rows of chairs for the audience, and a screen for power points or other media. The podium contains a computer and audio capabilities.

What is the time limit for my oral presentation?

Oral presentations are limited to 15 minutes. If you would like to have time for the audience to ask questions, we suggest that you build it into your presentation.

General Questions

When will I find out if I have been accepted to participate in the poster session?

All undergraduate students who submit a valid abstract are accepted into the poster session. We will inform you if there are any issues with your registration. Once the submission deadline has passed, you will begin to receive email correspondence from us with further instruction.

What should I wear to the URSS?

We suggest that you dress in business casual. This means no jeans, shorts, flip flops, etc.

I have class the day of the URSS. Can I still participate?

We understand that everyone's class and work schedules vary. If you have a prior professional commitment such as work or class, you are permitted to leave and then return to the symposium. We encourage you to inform your professors of your participation in the URSS.

Will there be food?

Yes. URSS Participants will be served boxed lunches, courtesy of the Office of the Provost.

Awards and Judging

What sort of awards does the URSS have to offer?

Thanks to our generous departmental and organizational sponsors, there are several monetary award opportunities for student participants. Check out our awards page for more information.

How are the awards judged?

Faculty and staff representing the various award sponsors will view posters the evening before the URSS without students present as a "sneak peak." Judges will also be present the day of the symposium to interact with students.

When are the awards announced?

Awards are announced at the end of the day of the URSS at our Award Ceremony.

I won an award at the URSS. How do I collect my winnings?

The Office of Research will need to gather additional information in order to process the checks for students. Therefore, the checks will processed in the weeks following the symposium. You will also be given an award certificate.

If you have additional questions, please contact Mary McConnell, Office of Research, 412-396-1537 or mcconnellm@duq.edu.