Undergraduate Research & Scholarship Symposium
Undergraduate Research and Scholarship Symposium
URSS Design Contest is Back!
Submit a unique design to be incorporated in advertisements for undergraduate and graduate research symposiums. Creativity is highly encouraged! Avoid simply taking photos of the campus.
Guidelines for participating in contest
Prize: Winner will receive a $100 Barnes & Noble Gift Card!
Deadline: Friday, October 15th, 2021
Submit your design HERE!
Save the Date
Our in-person event will be held on Wednesday, April 20, 2022!
The 2022 URSS will be a hybrid event!
Students will upload virtual posters and accompanying videos via Symposium by Forager One. Online Symposium will be available to view throughout Undergraduate Research Week (April 18 - April 22) and after.
Our in-person event will be comprised of poster sessions and oral presentations.
Abstracts Due: Wednesday, March 23 (Must submit abstract and info in order to participate)
Upload Deadline: Monday, April 11 (All participants must upload their virtual posters and videos)
2021 Virtual Undergraduate Research Symposium
View archived posters & presentations on our Virtual URSS page.
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.
Who participates 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.
What kind of research/projects are accepted?
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.
Check out the Rules and Regulations tab for more information surrounding poster printing and presentation.
For questions, please contact Mary McConnell in the Office of Research and Innovation, email@example.com.
Held annually each spring, the Undergraduate Research & Scholarship Symposium (URSS) gives DU 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, oral oresentations, and a video competition. Participants are provided with a free boxed lunch and are eligible for several cash awards.
Who is eligible to participate in the URSS?
The URSS is open to DU undergraduate students from across the disciplines/majors who have completed or are in the process of completing individual or collaborative research as part of a course or major.
How do I participate in the URSS?
Participants must submit an abstract and other information by the deadline specified on our main page. Registration typically opens late fall semester and the deadline is usually about one month from the event (which takes place in April).
Registration will include:
- Student contact info + major, school, year.
- Faculty Advisor name & email.
- Group members' names/info (if applicable).
- Title of your project and an abstract (max. 250 words)
- Whether or not you'd like to be considered for an oral presentation.
- Whether you will display your poster on a corkboard with pushpins or on a table. If you choose table, your poster will need to be able to stand on its own.
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.
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 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 tab 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. Please note: if the other conference has difference poster dimensions, you MUST inform the Office of Student Research at the time of submission or no later than the deadline in order for us to accommodate you.
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.
Does my research project require Institutional Review Board (IRB) review/approval?
If you are interacting with human subjects or analyzing data from human subjects, your research will need to be reviewed before you begin your project. If you are uncertain about whether your project needs reviewed, please contact one of the IRB review faculty in your school to discuss the details of the project. If it is determined that your research does need review, you should allow for 20 - 45 days depending on the type of review. Developing your skills as a researcher requires good ethical practices, including how best to engage with the IRB process. If IRB is required, you will also need to complete the CITI Training on ethical research practices. To learn more about the IRB at Duquesne University, including the CITI Training, visit http://www.duq.edu/mentor. The institution ID is duq and you can login with your multipass credentials. There is a great deal of information about CITI and the IRB submission process. Also, it will be important to work closely with your faculty advisor who can help you navigate the process.
What dimensions should my poster be?
Posters must be NO LARGER than 36" (tall) by 44" (wide). 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. Corkboards and tables will be labeled during the URSS set up, so that you will know exactly where to place your poster.
Where can I get my poster printed on campus?
If you choose to have your poster printed, you can do so on campus at the Copy Center, located in the basement floor of Fisher Hall across from the elevators. Due to the high volume of participants, posters should be turned in to the Copy Center 7 days in advance of the URSS. This will help ensure timely and accurate delivery.
A 36" by 44" poster will be around $48. If your department is paying for the poster, the email MUST include a budget number, and whoever supplied that number MUST be CC'd in the email. If you are paying by cash or check, you should state that in the email. The copy center CANNOT ACCEPT CREDIT/DEBIT or PCARDS. The cost for printing is $1 per inch for the longer side so a 36" by 44" inch poster will be $44.
Posters should be submitted in Power Point format but pdf's are also accepted. Poster must be designed to the actual printed size (more on their website). Please name your file: 2022URSS-LASTNAME. Please submit all posters to the copy center via this email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Note: The Office of Student Research and Innovation does not handle poster printing. Questions regarding this should be directed to the copy center 412-396-5802.
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.
Even if you are not selected to orally present, you will still 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.
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. There will also be continental breakfast in the morning.
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 award opportunities page for more information.
How are the awards judged?
Judges representing various departmental and organizational sponsors will be given the abstracts in advance of the event. After the mandatory set-up the evening before the URSS, the judges will have the opportunity to view posters without the students present. At this time, some judges choose a select amount of posters belonging to groups or individuals who they would like to talk with the next day. The day of the symposium, judges will also be present to interact with student. Please note that due to the volume to presenters, not all students will get the chance to speak with judges in person.
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?
A representative from the sponsoring award will reach out to you via email for information in order to process the award checks.
If you have additional questions, please contact Mary McConnell, Office of Research and Innovation, 412-396-1537 or email@example.com.
Undergraduate Research & Scholarship Symposium
Each year, various university departments generously sponsor cash awards for outstanding research and scholarship.
Note: All awards are subject to change.
Undergraduates who win awards at the URSS will be invited to submit a 2000-2500 word paper to the Office of Research.
Papers will be published in the DU Scholarship Collection. For paper formatting, please click the Rules & Regulations tab.
Bayer School of Natural and Environmental Sciences
2 for Excellence in Research in the Basic Sciences: $300
4 Honorable Mentions: $100 each
Students participating in the Undergraduate Research & Scholarship Symposium whose project fall within the realm of the basic sciences will be considered for this award.
Duquesne Award for Excellence in Biomedical Engineering: $100
Center for the Catholic Faith and Culture
Common Good Research Award: $250
This year, the Center will recognize and reward research from any discipline that aligns with Duquesne's Catholic, Spiritan mission, particularly our commitments to:
· the dignity and equality of all persons
· working with vulnerable populations for systemic change
· preserving justice, peace, and integrity of creation
Center for African Studies
Award for Undergraduate Research in African Studies: $300
The award is intended to encourage and reward undergraduate research in African Studies and related areas that engage Duquesne's ongoing commitment to Africa.
Award for Undergraduate Research in Global Health: $300
The award is intended to encourage and reward undergraduate research in Global Studies
Center for Community-Engaged Teaching and Research
CETR Award for Undergraduate Research: $150
The Center for Excellence in Diversity and Student Inclusion
Undergraduate Research Award
The Center for Excellence in Diversity and Student Inclusion is pleased to sponsor an award for outstanding, undergraduate research. The aim of this award is to recognize and celebrate research that contributes to creating, and maintaining an inclusive campus community here at Duquesne University.
Center for Teaching Excellence
Award for Undergraduate Research : $250
Eligible projects focus on the study of human learning in any of its many contexts, including but not limited to K-12 education, college, community, and clinical settings. Projects will explore topics such as how and where learning happens or what empowers or hinders people in their learning.
Center for Global Health Ethics
Award for Undergraduate Research in Ethics: $250
This award aims to promote the interest of students for issues in healthcare ethics within contemporary society and culture. It also intends to encourage undergraduate research in the area of healthcare ethics. The HCE price is for the presentation that best highlights ethical issues in healthcare and ethical dimensions of developments in science and technology for human health and wellbeing.
Center for Women's and Gender Studies
Award for Undergraduate Research: $250
Best Presentation/Poster within the field of Classics: $250
The Department of Classics aims to promote the study of language, literature, history, and material culture from Ancient Greece, Rome, and the Middle Ages. This award recognizes excellent research addressing issues or questions relating to the field of Classics or its influence on later historical periods.
Counselor Education Program
2 Award for Undergraduate Research: $125 Each
Department of Physician Assistant Studies
Award for initiative and potential for future research as a physician assistant: $50
Gumberg Library Award for Undergraduate Research: $500
Honorable Mention: $100
The Gumberg Library Award judges posters based on their intellectual merits and demonstration that the research presented meets the standard of its field.
Clio Award for Undergraduate Research
First Place: $200
Second Place: $150
Third Place: $100
Named for the muse of History, the Clio Award for Undergraduate Research includes first, second, and third place categories, and is given to History and/or Art History majors who participate in the Annual Undergraduate Research and Scholarship Symposium (URSS). A panel of judges comprised of the Department Chairperson and the Director of Graduate Research selects the winners.
Outstanding Poster: $250
Outstanding Video: $250
Symposia posters are at their best when they optimally combine intellectual sophistication with legibility to the non-specialist. Therefore, criteria for this award include: scholarly rigor; visual appeal; organization; professional polish.
Mary Pappert School of Music
Mary Pappert School of Music Undergraduate Award: $250
The Mary Pappert School of Music Undergraduate Award is open to all music students who participate in the URSS.
McAnulty College and Graduate School of Liberal Arts
Outstanding Research Merit: $250
The McAnulty College and Graduate School of Liberal Arts Outstanding Merit Award is open to undergraduate participants in the liberal arts. A committee of Liberal Arts faculty and administrators will evaluate the posters' intellectual merits and demonstration that the research presented meets the standard of its field.
School of Pharmacy
Award for Undergraduate Research: 2 for $250
The Mylan School of Pharmacy Award for Undergraduate Research serves to recognize projects in the field of pharmacy which demonstrate a high level of scholarly merit.
Office of the Provost
Provost Award for Outstanding Research: $250
Office of Research Award for Outstanding Research: $125
Provost Award for Best Presentation: $125
This award serves to recognize outstanding scholarship within the university across all of the fields of study. The awards will be given to a student demonstrating exceptional scholarship through either poster or oral presentation.
Office of Disability Services
Outstanding Undergraduate Research, 2 Awards: $250 Each
The Office of Disability Services is pleased to sponsor an award for outstanding undergraduate research. The aim of this award is to recognize and celebrate research that contributes to the field disability research through direct services, policy development, community service, research, or organizational leadership.
Peace Justice and Conflict Resolution
The Peace, Justice and Conflict Resolution (PJCR) Minor Program Award: $100 & Commemorative Plaque
The Peace, Justice and Conflict Resolution (PJCR) Minor Program offers an undergraduate research/scholarship award for research related to peace or conflict studies. The reward hopes to stimulate undergraduate awareness of factors for a sustainable social and political stability, the obstacles to peace, and the building blocks of a just global society.
Phi Kappa Phi, National Honors Society
Outstanding Research: $200
Honorable Mention: $100
Posters from all disciplines accepted to the URSS will be considered for the Phi Kapp Phi Awards.
Rangos School of Health Sciences
Rangos School of Health Sciences Award for Undergraduate Research: 2 award, $250 each
Students of the Health Sciences who are participating in the URSS will be eligible for these awards.
School of Nursing
School of Nursing Undergraduate Research Award: $250
The School of Nursing Undergraduate Award is available to students participating in the URSS whose research is applicable to the healthcare and/or nursing field. Projects will be evaluated based upon the the use of existing research for support, understanding and application of principles of research, effective communication, etc.
University Academic Sustainability Committee
Excellence in Sustainability & the Environment: $200
3 Honorable Mentions: $100
Office of Research
Video Competition Award
2 awards: $150 each
The URSS Video Competition allows DU undergraduates a creative opportunity to convey their research or scholarship via a video platform. Students must create a video under 3 minutes, which will be viewed by a panel of judges, and featured during the annual Undergraduate Research and Scholarship Symposium. The top two videos will win cash awards.
Information you will need to register
PLEASE READ THE RULES & REGULATIONS TAB AND THE FAQ's PRIOR TO SUBMISSION.
- Faculty Advisor's Name
- Co-Authors names if you are part of a group
- Project Title
- Abstract (No longer than 250 words)
- When filling out the submission form, be extra careful and ensure that all entry fields are filled out completely. Information that you enter (including your abstract and author names) will be transferred as-is to the program booklet. The email address that you enter in the form will be used for vital communication regarding the event.
For general questions, please contact Mary McConnell, firstname.lastname@example.org, 412.396.1537.
Resources & Preparation Tips
- Academic Poster Preparation Guide - tips and pointers for creating your poster.
- Creating Posters in the Humanities, Powerpoint by Dr. Alima Bucciantini, History Department.
- Abstract Preparation-What is an abstract? Learn more about writing an abstract.
- Gumberg Library Undergraduate Poster Tips
Student may choose to have their poster printed on campus at the Copy Center, located in the basement floor of Fisher Hall across from the elevators. Due to the high volume of participants, posters should be turned in to the Copy Center no later than 7 business days before URSS. This will help ensure timely and accurate delivery. A 36" by 44" poster will be around $48. Posters should be submitted in Power Point format. For more information contact email@example.com.
September - January: Begin thinking about the Symposium and what you might want to present. You may present work completed as a student at Duquesne University. Your research does not have to be complete at the time of presentation and can be ongoing.
January - March: Write your abstract and complete online registration. Work with your faculty advisor on your abstract and allow plenty of time for him/her to review it.
March: If you have not done so already, submit your abstract and information on our online registration page by the deadline. Begin to plan our your poster and/or presentation. Ask your faculty advisor for guidance. Pay attention to any emails received by the URSS coordinators.
April: Put your finishing touches on your poster/presentation and practice. Invite mentors, friends, and family to attend the URSS. The day before the symposium, be sure to set up your poster and attend the reception. Schedule and additional information will be posted on the home tab.
Feel free to view the following poster examples that Washington University in St. Louis has generously allowed us to borrow.
- View poster examples from previous URSS participants:
Trashed Perception: A Sociological Comparative Investigation
By: Brittany Urban and Shacini Mustachi
Sociology | McAnulty College and Graduate School for Liberal Arts
10th Anniversary Article by undergraduate Caitlin Wigney-Hartz.
Proceedings in Duquesne Scholarship Collection online
Proceedings in Duquesne Scholarship Collection online
Program Booklet and Proceedings
Undergraduate Research & Scholarship Symposium
- Must be a current Duquesne University undergraduate student from any discipline or major.
- Students are permitted to use projects from either Spring or Fall Semester.
- All Duquesne undergraduate students who submit a valid abstract & list their current Faculty Advisor will be accepted to participate in the Poster Session at the URSS.
- Group projects are accepted. Please assign only ONE group member to act as your "Group Leader." He/she will be responsible for submitting the abstract and passing on any email communication that happens between submission and the symposium.
- Please note: Our submission form will only accept ONE abstract per user. If you are part of a group project and also wish to participate in the URSS with an individual project, you must assign someone else in your group to be the "Group Leader."
- Abstracts must be 250 words or less.
- SIZE: POSTERS MUST BE NO LARGER THAN 36" by 44". Posters which are larger than the maximum size will be disqualified from participating!
Trifold Posters: If you selected a table for your poster and plan to use a trifold, you may use the standard sized trifold which is 36" by 48"
- Poster Templates - Power Point
36 x 44 - 3 Column
36 x 44 - 4 Column
36 x 44 - Small Columns
- CONTENT: Posters should contain a prominent title, name the authors, & effectively convey the findings of your research.
- DISPLAY METHOD: Participants may either elect to use a corkboard or a table for poster display. If your project is going to be 3D (such as a tri-fold or containing props, a computer, etc), we suggest the use of a table. If your poster is going to be flat, we suggest that you use a corkboard. It is VERY important that you make this decision when you submit your abstract because every poster will be assigned a number, and the layout is very difficult to change. A trifold poster should be displayed using a TABLE. A flat poster should be displayed using a corkboard. Pushpins will be provided for students who use a corkboard for display.
Note: Participants are expected to share one side of the corkboard or table with another person/group.
- If you choose to have your poster printed, you can do so on campus at the Copy Center, located in the basement floor of Fisher Hall across from the elevators.
- Due to the high volume of participants, posters should be turned in to the Copy Center no less than 7 business days before the URSS. This will help ensure timely and accurate delivery.
- A 36" by 44" poster will be around $44. Posters should be submitted in Power Point format but pdf's are also accepted. For more information contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
- To be considered for an oral presentation, you must indicate your interest when submitting your abstract.
- Students who wish to present at the URSS will be notified of their acceptance by a couple of weeks after the deadline.
- NOTE: Oral Presenters are also expected to participate in the poster session.
- Presentations will be limited to 15 minutes. Power point will be available for those who are interested.
- Oral presenters will be invited to submit a 2000-2500 word paper to the DU Scholarship Collection following the symposium. These papers will be published to our online digital Proceedings. For paper formatting, please see Digital URSS Proceedings below.
- The URSS consists of a poster session, oral presentations, a video competition, and an award ceremony.
- Mandatory set up of posters will take place the day before the symposium between 9:30 and 2:00.
- Continental breakfast will be provided for participants between 8:00 am and 9:00 am.
- A specific schedule will be posted to the website in advance of the symposium.
- Event dress is business casual.
- If you have class during the day that you are unable to miss we understand! We have several students that leave throughout the day for class and then return.
- Cash prizes will be awarded to a select number of students who show outstanding research and scholarship.
- Judges from each sponsoring department will select the winners. Due to the high volume of posters, judges walk through the evening before during a "sneak peak" viewing of posters without the students present. At this time, judges may determine in advance the posters they deem qualified for their award.
- If the winning project has multiple authors who have participated in the URSS, the award money will be split evenly between all student authors.
- Please see the URSS Awards tab for a list of the various awards.
- Students submitting to the URSS must list a faculty advisor and email address. The faculty advisor will receive a confirmation of your submission.
- Your faculty advisor will most likely be the faculty member who assigned the research or project, however, we understand that sometimes students complete work independentally. In this case we recommend you speak with a faculty member within your department and ask them to serve as your faculty advisor for the purpose of this event.
Duquesne Scholarship Collection
- URSS Award Winners and Oral Presenters are invited to submit a paper for online publication in the DU Scholarship Collection.
- Papers for the URSS Proceedings must be submitted 3 weeks following the URSS. The paper must be in the following format:
-Paper must be submitted as PDFs.
-Font: Times New Roman Size: 11 point, Color: Black
-Margins: Standard 1"
-Spacing: double spaced
-Paper should be between 2000 and 2500 words. This is approximately 7 double-spaced pages.
- The Submission Process:
1. Papers will be submitted along with consent forms via the DU Scholarship Collection website.
2. Students must have their faculty advisor approve their paper prior to submission.
If you have additional questions, please contact Mary McConnell in the Office of Research and Innovation.
Phone: 412.396.1537 Email: email@example.com
URSS Video Competition
The URSS Video Competition allows DU undergraduates a creative opportunity to convey their research or scholarship via a video platform. Students must create a video under 3 minutes, which will be viewed by a panel of judges.
2021 Video Competition Submissions (type "video competition" in the search bar)
Why should I enter?
This is a creative opportunity to concisely communicate why your research and scholarship is important to non-experts. This practice is essential for future communications throughout your career.
Who is eligible to participate?
Duquesne University undergraduates from any major who are involved in research or a creative activity. Your project can be independent or collaborative.
Am I required to participate in the poster session at the URSS if I submit a video?
Students who submit a video to the competition are not required to participate in the URSS poster session, however it is encouraged.
How to submit
• Create a Youtube account and upload your video. Make sure the video is set to "unlisted". Do not select the status of "this video is for kids".
• Once you have uploaded the video, go to our submission form and enter your information and the link to your public uploaded YouTube video.
Other than the 3-minute time constraint, there are no restrictions on the format.
You can talk directly to the camera, discuss your work with another person, use animations, graphics, etc. The goal is to explain your research or scholarship to a non-expert audience and why it matters.
As you are working, consider the following tips:
• Capture the audience's attention. Create a strong "hook" leaving viewers interested in hearing more.
• Tell your story - your methods and findings.
• Limit the jargon! Make sure your video is geared towards an audience of "non-experts" who are not in your field.
NOTE: Any student or team who submits a video to the URSS Video Competition, must review the Fair Use and Copyright information.