CCU Undergraduate Research Competition - Coastal Carolina University
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Annual Undergraduate Research Competition

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

2021 Annual CCU Undergraduate Research Competition

(The URC is going VIRTUAL!)

April 21-22, 2021

Abstract Submission Deadline: Feb. 26, 2021  

COVID-19 may prevent us from meeting for our traditional competition, but it has not stopped undergraduate research at CCU!  The work of our students is too important, and we will move forward with a virtual Undergraduate Research Competition for Spring 2021. 

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 2020 or the spring of 2021.  In addition, students who had planned to present at last year’s competition, which was cancelled due to COVID-19, are welcome to resubmit their cancelled presentations this year!  Presenters can give more than one presentation if they are presenting on multiple topics.

Presenters can choose between oral and poster presentations. These will be virtual presentations, so presenters will record them ahead of time and upload their video presentation files shortly before the conference dates so that others can view them at their convenience.  During the competition dates, presenters will have live question and answer sessions with judges and others who have viewed their presentation (picture something along the lines of secure Zoom break-out rooms with any number of participants joining to ask questions or listen in). 

Oral presenters will have 12 minutes for their presentation.  It can be a simple video of the presenter speaking, a narrated set of slides (ideally such that the viewer can see the presenter as well as the slides), or some other creative presentation format. 

Poster presentations will consist of a single, static slide of the poster and an oral summary of the poster that is no longer than 5 minutes.  During the presentation, presenters may zoom in and out of specific sections of their poster.  Again, presenters may include a presenter window so that the viewer can see the presenter as well as the poster.


Competition Schedule

Wednesday, April 21, 2021 - TBD

Thursday, April 22, 2021 - TBD


Submit Your Abstract (link coming soon)

The abstract submission is not active yet, but it will be up by early January, at which point you can click on the heading above to submit your abstract. Only the abstract must be submitted by February 26.  Your actual presentation does not need to be submitted until shortly before the conference dates in April (specific deadline TBD).

When submitting, 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 – see time slots above)
  • Known time conflicts during the competition dates:  Please list any course time conflicts or known work conflicts during the competition dates (April 21 and 22) between 8:00 am and 8:00 pm. This will help us to schedule your question and answer periods. 
  • 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 14: 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.

View Competition Programs, Abstracts, and Winners from Previous Years

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: Presentation length should be about 12 minutes long.  Since this year you are pre-recording your presentations, we will strictly enforce this time limit and will not accept submissions that exceed the time limit.  List of acceptable file formats for your presentation:  TBD.

Poster Presentations: Similarly, submitted poster presentation files cannot exceed 5 minutes, and we will not accept submissions that exceed the time limit.  In the past, posters have been limited to 3 feet by 4 feet (landscape or portrait).  This year, you will be presenting a virtual file of your poster, so the actual size is less important than what you fit on a single screen.  Note that font sizes that may have worked in person for 3’ x 4’ poster maybe too small for single static image.  You may need to think carefully about how much text you use as compared to images, or you may need to plan for a mechanism to visually maneuver through your poster and zoom in and out of various sections as you make your presentation.  List of acceptable file formats for your presentation:  TBD.

Judging of Presentations

Rubric for Judging Oral Presentations (PDF)

Rubric for Judging Poster Presentations (PDF)

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
Baxley Hall 223

Rob Young
Interim Dean, College of Graduate Studies and Research

Pat Taylor
Undergraduate Research Assistant