Annual Student Research Symposium



Annual Student Research Symposium
April 28, 2023

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 the 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.

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 in-person conference on the day of the event.
  • Acceptance into the Student Research Symposium is based on the quality of your abstract submissions. 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 award, and the Jo Young Switzer Writing Award.
  • Graduate/professional students may elect to be considered for a poster award.
  • Students must obtain IRB approval if you are presenting data from human subjects.
  • Learn more by reviewing a sample of the Symposium guidelines here.



  • Late February : Students submit 250-300 word abstracts. 
  • If the presentation is group authored, only one student need submit an abstract. See "Abstracts are important" below to review requirements.
  • Early March: Presenters receive their acceptance notification.
  • Mid March: Auditions for the honor of keynote presenter will be held during March. Students who wish to apply for the honor of keynote presenter must audition by presenting to the Symposium Committee members.
  • Early April: Applicants for the poster awards submit a PDF of their poster.
  • Early April: 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.
  • Last week of April: Manchester University Student Research Symposium

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. 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.


Student Research Symposium Example Itinerary (2022)

Academic Center

3:30 p.m.                          Programs available in Academic Center Lobby

3:30 p.m.                          Rooms open for oral presentations

3:55 – 4:15 p.m.              Oral Presentations, Various Rooms

4:20 – 4:40 p.m.              Oral Presentations, Various Rooms


Jo Young Switzer Center

4:45 to 5:55 p.m.            Poster presentations and refreshments, Speicher Room

6 – 6:30 p.m.                  Student Keynote Presentation, Lahman Room

6:30 – 6:50 p.m.             Presentation of awards

7 p.m.                             Group picture