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Undergraduate Research Day 2021

It is increasingly important that the West Virginia Higher Education community work to ensure that those in State government, who provide substantial funding for higher education, have a clear understanding of the programs they fund and why these programs are important. Scholarly activities (undergraduate research and creative endeavors) must be among those programs that members of the West Virginia State Legislature understand if it is to continue to enjoy support.
 

For many disciplines, scholarly activities are an essential component of the university educational experience. Nothing more effectively demonstrates the value of these activities than the words and stories of the student participants themselves. March 5, 2021, from 2-4:30 p.m.  presenters will engage in “synchronous commenting” for the Eighteenth Annual Undergraduate Research Day at the Capitol (URDC) .  During this time, Presenters will monitor and respond to questions and comments posted within their presentations in real-time.  During this time period, judges will ask questions and evaluate presenters’ responses. This event features presentations on research/creative endeavors from student attendees of colleges and universities around the state and will help members of the West Virginia State Legislature and Executive Branch understand the importance of undergraduate scholarly activities by providing members with an opportunity to speak directly with the students whom these programs impact. 


Undergraduate Research Day at the Capitol is sponsored by West Virginia State UniversityWest Virginia UniversityMarshall University, and University of Charleston.

CALL FOR ABSTRACTS

This is a unique opportunity that we believe will have a positive impact on the future of State funding for undergraduate education. We encourage undergraduates from both public and private institutions to submit abstracts. We anticipate selecting 80-100 students for participation in the virtual presentation session.

The Undergraduate Research Day at the Capitol Steering Committee is calling for students to submit abstracts of their research/creative endeavors that represent any of the following disciplines/fields, though presenters are not limited by the disciplines below:
 
  • African Studies, Anthropology, Astronomy
  • Biochemistry, Biology, Business
  • Chemistry, Communications, Computer Science, Creative Arts, Criminal Justice
  • Economics, Engineering, English
  • Foreign Language, Forensic Science
  • Geography, Geology, Geosciences
  • History
  • International Studies
  • Mathematics
  • Native American Studies
  • Philosophy, Physics, Political Science, Psychology
  • Physical Activity and Sports Sciences
  • Religious Studies
  • Sociology/Social Work
  • Women's Studies
  • Other Disciplines (not mentioned above)

GENERAL GUIDELINES FOR YOUR ABSTRACT
Explain the research or creative work that was performed in plain language. The abstract title is limited to 14 words and the abstract itself to 250 words (150-250 words). The abstract title should be grammatically correct, accurate and convey maximum information. In addition, use title words that can be comprehended by the general public. Within the abstract, discuss the importance of the research or creative work to the discipline and to society (i.e., What larger problem were you trying to solve or understand?). Please keep in mind that your abstract is intended for individuals who will not be experts in your field. It is not a professional meeting abstract. Students should work with their faculty research mentors in fashioning abstracts (i.e., obtain mentor feedback and approval before submission). 

For those students who intend to use a presentation previously presented at a disciplinary meeting, the abstract submitted for this event may be different.

Some capability exists for including graphics in the abstract. In this case, submit a standard text abstract on the application form and, in a separate email to URDC@wvstateu.edu,send your abstract with the graphics properly located on the page. This will be handled on a case-by-case basis.

DATES AND DEADLINES

Submissions will open during the week of September 28, 2020 at https://www.wvstateu.edu/forms/undergraduate-research-day-registration.aspx. The deadline for submission is Friday, November 6, 2020 at 11:59 p.m. No late submissions will be accepted. Students selected for participation will be notified in early January 2021.

To summarize:
  • Submission Deadline: Friday, November 6, 2020
  • Notification Date: early January 2021
  • Event date: Friday, March 5, 2021

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS (FAQ)

How do I submit an abstract?
Abstract submissions will only be accepted by using our online submission form. Students should complete the submission form in its entirety, making sure to list their mentor's proper email in the appropriate field. Messages will be sent to students' mentors requesting approval. Each mentor must then submit a quick email approving the abstract to the URDC staff to confirm. Abstracts without these approvals will not be considered. Please direct approval emails to URDC@wvstateu.edu and clearly mark that you are doing so in the subject line.

How will my project be selected?
Selection will depend on the quality of the project, the readability of the abstract, the geographical distribution of the participants, the diversity of the projects chosen and disciplines represented, and the diversity of the participating students’ backgrounds.

Must I be a major in a subject to present on that topic?
No. Abstracts are evaluated on appropriateness of the subject matter. Thus, some agriculture projects would be appropriate for the Biology area and educational psychology could be presented under Psychology, even if the department were housed in a College of Education. If you have questions as to whether or not your research fits into one of the available categories, please write to URDC@wvstateu.edu.

How many students can be attached to my presentation?
A maximum of three students may attend with each presentation.

May a student be a presenter on more than one presentation?
No. Students may co-author more than one presentation, but may be a presenter on only one. (i.e., Your name can appear on multiple presentations, but you may only be listed in the abstract booklet for one.) If your name is entered more than once on the submissions website, the URDC steering committee may remove your name from all but one submission, and may do so without consulting you.

How many coauthors are allowed on the presentation?
You may have as many coauthors on the presentation as you deem appropriate. The limit is on the number of students that may be presenters at the capitol.

The abstract asks for my House and Senate districts. How do I find this information?
You can find your House and Senate district information by viewing the West Virginia Legislature's District Maps website. Senate districts are numbered 1 through 17. House districts are numbered 1 through 67.

Is it possible to include graphics in my abstract?
Yes, but it will result in a significant reduction in the number of words you are permitted to have in your abstract. The abstract booklets are printed in 12 point Times New Roman font. Each line of text is approximately 10 words in length. Thus, a one inch tall figure will result in the loss of about 60 words. Contact URDC at URDC@wvstateu.edu for specifics. Abstract graphics will be dealt with on a case by case basis.

Are special characters allowed in the abstract?
Yes. Submit your abstract as a Word document through the submission form, properly formatted using 12 point Times New Roman font (except for the special characters). Superscripts and subscripts count as special characters. 

I am graduating in December 2020. Am I still eligible to present a presentation?
No. In order to participate in URDC, you may not graduate before May 2021.

Is submitting a presentation with incomplete results permitted?
Yes, but you should be certain that the work will be completed in time. If your work is not sufficiently complete at the time of submission, you should discuss this with your mentor and how best to represent your research.

Do presenters need to be a resident of West Virginia?
No. However, in the case of two presentations judged to be of equal quality, preference will be given to West Virginia residents. Only the lead presenter will be used in this evaluation criterion.

 
Event Date: March 5, 2021
Event Time: 2 p.m. - 4:30 p.m. EST

CONTACT INFORMATION

Attn: Undergraduate Research Day at the Capitol 
College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics
217 Hamblin Hall, PO Box 1000 
West Virginia State University
Institute, WV 25112
Phone: (304) 766-3106
Fax: (304) 766-5244 
Email: URDC@wvstateu.edu
 
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