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Submission Instructions

For Student Presenters 

We recognize that you all faced some unique challenges to your research this past summer, and yet you produced some truly impressive projects.  Normally, we would hold the annual Undergraduate Research Symposium in-person during the spring semester, a combination of poster presentations, talks, and more.   Because of COVID-19 restrictions, we are unable to organize an in-person event, but we invite you to share your work as part of W&M's virtual Undergraduate Research Month.  

All students who engaged in summer research (grant funded or not) are encouraged to participate in the virtual Undergraduate Research Symposium. Click on the applicable category below to see guidelines, instructions, submission information, and deadlines. 

First-Year Monroe funded students

This year, all first-year Monroe summer grant recipients will be required to write an abstract describing their research project.  Your abstract will be published online by the Charles Center and will serve as the formal presentation of your research, fulfilling your presentation obligation.  Abstracts are due by Friday, March 19 at 12:00 PM EDT. 

This document contains instructions, guidelines, and formatting standards to help you prepare your work for submission.  We have also included two sample abstracts for your reference.  Please read through everything included here BEFORE submitting your abstract!

Honors and Honors Fellowship students

If you received an Honors Fellowship or Charles Center summer funding and are currently pursuing an honors thesis, you are required to create a three minute, one-slide presentation on your research that will be showcased as part of Undergraduate Research Month in April. If you are currently pursuing an honors thesis but did not receive summer research funding from the Charles Center, we encourage you to participate! 

Students will follow the Three Minute Thesis (3MT®) format. The goals of the three-minute video are to cultivate students’ academic, presentation, and research communication skills. Students will learn to effectively explain their research in three minutes in language appropriate for a general audience. 

We ask that you describe your research project using both video and ONE PowerPoint slide. While 3 minutes might not seem like a lot of time, most researchers keep a 3-minute-long "elevator pitch" of their research on-hand to quickly explain their project at conferences, during interviews, when talking to colleagues, or for that chance meeting with a Nobel Laureate in the elevator.  The choice to require only ONE PowerPoint slide is to challenge you to think critically about what exactly you want to showcase about your research. This graduate-level presentation style will prepare you for your honors defense, post-grad, and/or professional presentations. 

This document provides some context, contains instructions, guidelines, and formatting standards to help you prepare your work for submission. Submissions are due by Sunday April 4 at 8:00 PM EDT. 

All Other Undergraduate Researchers (not First-Year Monroe or Honors/Honors Fellowship students)

This year, you can select one of two options for presenting your work at our virtual Undergraduate Research Symposium during W&M's Undergraduate Research Month.  Whether or not your received Charles Center funding, either option is available to you.  These options are listed below:

  1. Create a Visual Abstract of your work.  This is a visual depiction of your research question, methods, and main finding.  This is a newer mode of sharing research and might be unfamiliar to you, but visual abstracts are growing in popularity as an eye-catching and succinct way to share research. This document provides some context, contains instructions, guidelines, and formatting standards to help you prepare your work for submission.
  2. Create a 3-minute video presentation of your work.  This is more similar to the poster session-style pitch that you might give at a typical research symposium.  We ask that you describe your research project using both video and a short slideshow of no more than 8 slides total (although we strongly encourage you to use only 4).  While 3 minutes might not seem like a lot of time, most researchers keep a 3-minute-long "elevator pitch" of their research on-hand to quickly explain their project at conferences, during interviews, when talking to colleagues, or for that chance meeting with a Nobel Laureate in the elevator!  This document provides some context, contains instructions, guidelines, and formatting standards to help you prepare your work for submission. 

Before making your selection, we encourage you to look through the instructional documents for both options.  Think about which sounds more interesting or exciting to you; which mode of communication might best display your work; and which might be more useful to you in the future.  You should also get the opinion of your research advisor.  Whichever option you choose, read through the ENTIRE instructional document BEFORE making your submission. Visual Abstracts and Video Submissions are due by Monday, March 22 at 5:00 PM EDT. You may only select ONE option to submit!