23rd Annual Student Research Symposium



23rd Annual Student Research Symposium
Friday, April 23, 2021, 4:30 - 6:30 p.m.

The Manchester University Student Research Symposium is a showcase for undergraduate and graduate research across disciplines. The Symposium was started by Dean Jo Young Switzer in 1999 to give students and faculty an opportunity to collaborate on research. It continues to be one of our most significant campus events, offering high-quality presentations.

Students at this year’s Symposium will share their work with the larger academic community, enlivening the intellectual climate on campus by stimulating discussions and facilitating collaborations within and across disciplines. We hope to see you at this year's virtual symposium on Canvas!

What you need to know

  • This is a professional conference. Do not submit an abstract unless you are certain that you are available to attend the virtual conference on Friday, April 23, 2021.
  • Acceptance into the Student Research Symposium is based on the quality of your abstract submission. Abstract submissions and awards will be selected based on the rubrics below:
  • Undergraduate students may elect to be considered for three awards: the honor of being the keynote presenter, a poster presentation award, and the Jo Young Switzer Writing Award.
  • You must obtain IRB approval if you are presenting data from human subjects.
  • Learn more by reviewing Symposium guidelines here.


  • Friday, February 26: Students submit 250-300 word abstracts by 11:59 p.m., Friday, February 26. 
  • If the presentation is group authored, only one student need submit an abstract. See "Abstracts are important" below to review requirements and to submit your abstract. Submit an abstract.
  • Friday, March 5: Presenters receive their acceptance notification.
  • Week of March 22: Auditions for the honor of keynote presenter will be held the week of March 22. Students who wish to apply for the honor of keynote presenter must audition by presenting to the Symposium Committee members.
  • Monday, April 5: Applicants for the poster award must submit a PDF of their poster by 11:59 p.m.
  • Monday, April 5: Applicants for the Jo Young Switzer Writing Award submit a Word or PDF document of their full paper. If applicants for the poster award are also submitting a paper, they must submit their poster and paper separately. Submit a poster and/or paper (if applying for an award).
  • Friday, April 23: Manchester University Student Research Symposium, 4:30 - 6:30 p.m.

Preparation for submitting a proposal

Student Presenters, you'll need to include the following:

  1. Student IRB application materials must be reviewed and approved by a faculty member before submission.
  2. The title of your presentation and a brief (200-300 word) abstract of your presentation
  3. Usernames and email addresses of your co-presenters
  4. The name and email address of your faculty mentor
  5. Your preference for presentation format (Oral or Poster Presentation)
  6. The list of awards/honor for which you would like to be considered
  7. IRB approval if you are presenting data from human subjects

Abstracts are important

  • Abstracts should be a one-paragraph statement of the presentation topic or problem. It should include:
    • Statement of topic or purpose
    • Scholarly approach/methods/argument (as applicable by discipline)
    • Results and/or conclusions
  • For oral presentations, remember that you will have approximately 15 minutes to present your research in a video. If you are reading from an essay, it should be a maximum of 12 pages, so that you do not have to rush through your presentation.

Symposium Schedule

  • Keynote presentation on Canvas at 4:30 p.m.
  • Research presentations on Canvas at 5 p.m.
  • Undergraduate, Graduate and Professional student poster presentations on Canvas at 5 p.m.
  • Awards 6:30 p.m.

Student Research Symposium Committee
Katharine Ings (chair), Dennis Brown, Marcie Coulter-Kern, Kathrine Dwyer, Jennifer Robison