Submission Guidelines

Presenter Proposal Submission Guidelines

Participation in the Undergraduate Research Symposium is open to all University of Oregon undergraduate students. Students may submit presenter proposals before March 10 through a survey link on the Undergraduate Research Symposium website homepage. It's a good idea to prepare the following information and materials before initiating your submission of a proposal:

  • Primary presenter contact information and major
  • Co-presenter contact information and major (up to five co-presenters)
  • Faculty mentor(s)/advisor(s) contact information and department (up to two mentors)
  • Category of research: single term, multiple term, program abroad, service learning
  • Preferred presentation format: poster, oral, creative work
  • Primary area of research: fine/performing arts, humanities, natural/physical science, social science, or design
  • Time preferences for concurrent panels (oral presenters only)
  • Abstract and abstract title (uploaded in MS Word file format .doc or .docx only)
  • Detailed description of any special accommodations (if needed)
  • Identification of research sponsors, grants, and/or scholarships
  • Interest in submitting work to the Oregon Undergraduate Research Journal (OURJ)
  • Interest in submitting work to UO Scholars' Bank
  • Interest in filming a professional interview discussing your research (asset for a video resume)

Abstract Guidelines

The abstract represents the most important documentation students will submit in their presentation proposals. The Undergraduate Research Symposium Faculty Review Committee will evaluate students' abstracts and return one of the following decisions: accepted without edits; accepted pending edits; declined with advice for re-submitting next year. All students submitting proposals will receive qualitative feedback from the Review Committee.

  • Students will enter their abstract titles, text, presenter/co-presenter and faculty mentor names in a fillable MS Word template (downloadable within the application), and then submit the MS Word template withinthe application. Other file formats WILL NOT BE ACCEPTED.
  • Abstract title: (30 words max) The title should clearly indicate the nature of the research performed. Describe your research in succinct terms, reflecting the contents of your abstract. Use key words, and do not use abbreviations, acronyms or chemical formulas.
  • Abstract body: (250 words max). NOTE: Abstracts exceeding the title/body length limit will be returned to submitters for correction and re-submission before review by the committee. Word counts do not include spaces.  Recipients of any UROP grant/award (e.g. VPRI, mini-grant, HURF) may submit abstracts with word counts that conform to the respective grant application, which may exceed 250 words.

Abstracts should include the following elements:

  • Introductory sentence(s)
  • Statement of hypothesis, thesis, purpose, or question of study
  • General methods, procedures, sources, or media used
  • Primary results, findings, or arguments
  • Primary conclusion/implication of the work
  • General statement of the significance of the research or creative work

An abstract should be accessible to people who are not experts in the field. That is, it should use accessible language and avoid jargon.

Students are encouraged to attend a peer-facilitated abstract writing workshop hosted by the Undergraduate Research peer-led group ASUR in winter term or schedule a tutorial appointment with the symposium faculty organizers.

Sample Abstracts

In Humanities

Title: ‘The Good and Bad of that Sexe': Monstrosity and Womanhood in Early Modern England
Author: Brenner, Alletta (UO History and Women’s and Gender Studies Major, Marshall Scholarship and Undergraduate Library Research Award Recipient)
Abstract: Monsters. In the modern mind, they have come to occupy a mere periphery. Rejected by the orderly nature of our scientific universe, they are either subsumed into the categories of routine, abnormal results, or delegated to that of the supernatural—those things which have no place in our system, and thus cannot exist. However, not so long ago, monsters occupied a very different space. Monsters were evidence of the wondrousness of our world, signs of the vastness and variety of God’s creation, and portents of his wrath. Monsters informed and reflected the way we understood our world. In recent times, historians have increasingly looked to monsters as ways of understanding the historical periods in which they appear. Daston and Park, in their extensive work on the history of wonder, have drawn this connection in terms of the heavenly and prodigious qualities perceived of monsters, and how this tied to historical circumstance. These scholars, along with several others, have drawn a clear line between the rise of monsters and periods of social, religious, and political unrest. For whenever war, famine, or discord have come to pass, monsters, as virtual embodiments of uncertainty and strife, have swelled in quantity, growing at times to such numbers as to become even strikingly ordinary.

Word Count: 209

In Science

Title: Characterization of a Gene Required for Cell Fate Specification in Drosophila Photoreceptors
Author: Oluloro, Ann (UO Biology and Biochemistry Major, McNair Scholar)
Abstract: During the development of an organism, cells undergo differentiation in order to perform specialized tasks. To understand how cells differentiate as neurons, our research focuses on identifying genes required for the development of photoreceptor neurons (R cells) in the fruit fly, Drosophila. In this study, we used a technique known as Mosaic Analysis with a Repressible Cell Marker (MARCM) to create mosaic flies in which undifferentiated precursor cells were homozygous for a new z6 mutation. We then characterized the phenotype caused by the z6 mutation and observed that in mutant z6 adults, R1/R6 cells adopted the fate of R8 cells but not R7 cells. Through a series of complementation tests, we were able to create a preliminary map of the location of the gene that z6 disrupts.

Word Count: 127

In Social Science

Title: Oregon’s Wheelmen: Oregon Bicycle Culture and Advocacy During the Golden Age of the Wheel (1885-1900)
Author: Kurushima, David (UO Humanities Major, Student Undergraduate Library Research Award Recipient)
Abstract: Bicycle culture and bicycle advocacy, as a social and environmental movement, are considerably dynamic forces in Oregon today; yet, to the astonishment of many Oregonians, the history of bicycling and bicycle culture in the state dates back to well over a 120 years. In the 1890’s, before the proliferation of the automobile and the subsequent development of related environmental, economic and social concerns, the bicycle enjoyed a brief golden age in Oregon as it did across the U.S. Although the bicycle’s Belle Epoch was most evident in the heavily urbanized cities and towns of the north eastern United States, the bicycle frenzy that swept the country in the late 19th century did not by any means pass unobserved by Oregonians. By the mid 1890’s a nascent yet considerably extensive bicycle culture had taken root in the state. Unsurprisingly, many of the characteristics and trends that had come to define this early bicycle culture in other parts of the U.S. were consciously and, in many cases, inevitably replicated in Oregon. As they had in more urbanized states, such as Massachusetts and New York, newly formed cycling clubs and wheelmen associations—overwhelming composed of well-to-do white males—became the driving forces behind Oregon’s early bicycle movement. Although these groups were fairly exclusive organizations, they came to define a cohesive bicycle culture and became the nearly forgotten symbols of a brief yet intriguing period in the state’s history.

Word Count: 236

In Art

Title: Campus Sculptures
Author: Brown, Alison, Spanish Major
Abstract: The lost wax method of casting a bronze sculpture is centuries old, yet pieces from ancient times still survive to tell the stories of our ancestors. This is the spirit of a bronze: an emotion and a message, immortalized.  As a bronze artist, I believe it is my purpose to celebrate the tales we tell as humans through sculpture. To tell my own story, I have gathered my experiences of joy and intrigue from the University of Oregon and have commemorated them in a statue of the Oregon Duck Mascot. As an entrepreneurial sculptor, my goal is to share my creativity with other alumni who want their experiences remembered in bronze.

Word Count: 111