In This Section

Annual Undergraduate Research Competition

The annual CCU Undergraduate Research Competition is held in April of each year. 

View Competition Programs, Abstracts, and Winners from Previous Years

This year, the competition will be held in conjunction with the bi-annual Celebration of Inquiry. The competition celebrates the accomplishments of CCU undergraduate researchers and provides a venue for the dissemination of student research. Undergraduate research includes original research and scholarly or creative works, so all disciplines are represented. All CCU undergraduate researchers are eligible and encouraged to submit abstracts to present research that they completed during the previous year. Presentations are judged within broad disciplinary categories and the top presentations for each category win cash awards. 

2018 Annual CCU Undergraduate Research Competition

April 11-12, 2018

Abstract Submission Deadline: Feb. 22, 2018  

The competition includes both oral and poster presentations. All CCU undergraduates are eligible and encouraged to submit abstracts to present research, scholarly projects, and creative works that they performed in Maymester, summer, or fall of 2017 or the spring of 2018. The schedule will be determined once abstracts have all been submitted but will generally run between noon and 8:00 pm each day.  

Submit Your Abstract

Click on the link above to submit your abstract. We suggest you prepare your abstract ahead of time and collect the information below prior to submission, so that you can cut and paste as needed or refer to specific details. In general, you will need the following information:

  • Presentation Title
  • Abstract (limit to 150 words)
  • Presenter Name(s)
  • Contact email and phone number
  • Major
  • Anticipated graduation semester
  • Name, email, and department of primary faculty research mentor, and name and department of additional faculty mentors, if applicable
  • Course associated with your project (if none, NA)
  • Indication of "Approved for submission" (By doing this, you are confirming that your faculty research mentor has reviewed and approved your abstract for submission. Upon receipt of your submission, a message will be sent to both you and your research mentor confirming that your abstract has been received and that you indicated it was approved prior to submission.)
  • Preferred format (Oral or Poster)
  • Known time conflicts during the competition dates:  Classes will be redirected this year for the Celebration of Inquiry and Undergraduate Research Competition, but some lab sections and even the occasional lecture section may continue to meet.  We suggest you check with your instructors to see if any plan to meet between noon on Tuesday, April 10 and noon on Thursday, April 12.  If so, please list those time conflicts here. 
  • Citation, if the work has been presented or published externally


Humphrey D. Umpty, 843-555-5555
Health Promotion, Spring 2016
Faculty Research Mentor:  Al T. Kingsmen,
PUBH 499
Format: Oral
Time Conflicts: April 11: 2:30-5:30

Environmental Correlates of Shell Density, Wall Height, and Egg Viability
From a very young age, children are warned of the dangers of sitting on walls and having falls, but no studies have identified safe guidelines for these activities. Through a series of controlled experiments, I have quantified the complex interactions between egg shell density, wall height, and survival, resulting in a table of recommended guidelines which should be of interest to the medical and insurance communities, as well as parents.

Instructions for Presenters

Presentation Authorship: For the purposes of the Undergraduate Research Competition abstract, the listed presenter should be an undergraduate student who is the primary author of the presentation and the primary investigator/creator for the work being presented. The student is welcome to list the faculty research mentor and any number of individuals as co-authors on the presentation title slide or poster heading, but for the competition abstract, only the lead presenter should be listed. In cases where two or more students have contributed equally to a project and wish to co-present together, more than one name can be listed on the abstract as presenters. Please be aware that if a group presentation wins an award, there is only one award for the entire group. 

Oral Presentations: Oral presentations are scheduled every 20 minutes. Presentation length should be about 12 minutes long, leaving adequate time for questions and transitions between talks. Rooms will include a laptop with PowerPoint software, projector and screen. Presenters should bring their PowerPoint presentations on a USB thumb drive and will have a minute or two to load their presentations immediately before presenting. The laptops will be Windows-based, so if you build your presentation on a Mac, you should review your presentation on a Windows-based computer to check your formatting. 

Poster Presentations: Posters will be displayed for the entire Celebration of Inquiry, but one or more designated poster sessions of about two hours in length will be identified. Poster presenters must attend their designated poster session and will present their posters during that period. Judges and students will circulate during the poster session to visit posters individually. Poster easels and poster boards with clips/pins will be supplied for the poster session. You will be responsible for putting up and taking down your poster at the appointed times. Posters should be a maximum size of 3-feet-by-4 feet in order to mount on the poster boards. If you have made a slightly larger poster that will also be presented at another conference, some creative mounting on your part may accommodate a slightly larger poster, but please contact Pat Taylor for anything substantially larger (oversized posters may not be eligible for an award, but we will make every effort to display it). Students or faculty mentors/departments are responsible for any costs associated with producing the posters.

Judging of Presentations: 

Rubric for Judging Oral Presentations

Rubric for Judging Poster Presentations

Each presentation will be judged by at least two faculty judges. The judges are all volunteers with scheduling issues of their own, so it is logistically impossible to have the same judges for all presentations or to always match up the disciplines of judges and student presenters. A system is in place to identify outliers (judges who consistently score too high or too low) and adjust the scores accordingly for the final awards. You should expect to have one judge from your discipline or a related discipline and one judge who is not from your discipline (often not even your college). Audience members are likely to be from diverse backgrounds, as well. Therefore, you should plan your presentation to reach a broadly intelligent general audience, but not necessarily specialists in your field. In your presentation, do not shy away from the specific terminology and potentially complex concepts of your field, but recognize that you may need to provide some background or additional explanation as needed. You should review the presentation scoring rubrics above when preparing your presentation. The judges will score each category, so be sure you have addressed all of them. The judges know that different disciplines place varying levels of significance on different rubric categories, and they are instructed to adjust their expectations according to discipline. For example, the Methodology/Strategy portion of an English senior thesis presentation might be very short compared to the same section for a psychology presentation with extensive experimental designs and protocols, and that is appropriate. One of the categories for oral presentations is "Answers to Questions." The judges have been instructed to ask questions if no one else does; however, if your presentation goes long and does not leave time for questions, you will not get points in that category.

Contact Us

Office for Undergraduate Research
Kearns Hall 211F

Rob Young
Director of Undergraduate Research

Pat Taylor
Office Support