Fall 2020 Undergraduate Research Week

December 1 - 3, 2020

The Office of Undergraduate Research (OUR) is excited to sponsor a Fall Undergraduate Research Week December 1 - 3, 2020, which will include our annual Fall Undergraduate Research Symposium as a venue for students to present their research to the greater WashU community. The Symposium will open December 1st and run concurrently with panels and workshops on topics ranging from getting started in research in different disciplines, to leveraging research experience towards graduate school, to student insights from conducting research in the COVID-19 era. 

To participate, go to the Welcome Page starting December 1. On the page, there will be two links in the upper right hand corner that will be most useful to you: “Presentations” and “Live Sessions.”

  • The Presentations page is home to students’ pre-recorded posters, talks, exhibits, and performances. You may filter by subject area or search by presenters' names or poster titles. Anyone can view the posters, but you will be asked to create a ForagerOne Symposium account in order to comment on posters and interact with other virtual attendees. From the welcome page, click on the “Sign in” tab on the upper right to create an account. You must use an approved @wustl.edu email address to create your account.
  • Visit the Live Sessions tab to find Zoom links for the schedule of panels and workshops included below.


Fall Undergraduate Research Week Agenda

December 1 - 3 

Fall Undergraduate Research Symposium

Explore the diverse range of impressive research projects completed by WashU undergraduates throughout the week. Find a full list of our student presenter's here.

Tuesday, December 1

3:45 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. Opening Session

Kick off Undergraduate Week with welcome remarks from the OUR’s Director, Dean Joy Kiefer.  Session will include an overview of the week’s events.

4:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m. Pivoting Undergraduate Research in the COVID-era

Over the past 8 months, COVID-19 has disrupted research at the University in a myriad of ways, from, canceled research trips, to the inability to use lab space or interact with research participants, to the need to put in-person ethnographic research on hold out of consideration for community safety. In the face of these challenges, faculty and students have collaborated to develop new methods and creative approaches to keep moving forward on their projects or to develop new lines of inquiry in response to the pandemic. This panel will bring together undergraduate researchers from across the disciplines to describe how they pivoted their research in response to COVID-19 to achieve a productive summer research experience. Sharing their insights and innovations, this panel may be particularly helpful to students who are thinking about getting started in research in the coming months or who are planning to apply for summer research funding for summer 2021.

Wednesday, December 2

Getting Started Panels

Are you interested in getting involved in undergraduate research? Wondering how to get started? This series of faculty panels provides an opportunity for students to speak with faculty from across the University about research and how undergraduates can get involved. Learn tips for approaching faculty and what undergraduate research looks like in your discipline and others. Practice talking to faculty about your research interests in preparation for your own mentor search. All undergraduates are encouraged to pop in. Considering rotating through the panels and come with questions!

  • 3:00 p.m. – 4 p.m. STEM (Chemistry, Engineering, Math and Physics)
  • 3:30 p.m. – 4:30 p.m. Biology
  • 4:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m. The Humanities
  • 4:30 p.m. – 5:30 p.m. The Social Sciences

Thursday, December 3

2:30 p.m. - 3:30 p.m. Pre-Graduate Statement of Purpose/Personal Statement Workshop

Thinking about applying to graduate school next year?  It’s never too early to start crafting your narrative and thinking about how your research experience will contribute to your application.  In collaboration with the OUR and Pre-GraduateSchool Advisors, the Writing Center will offer a workshop with tips and strategies for getting started on writing your application essays.

4:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m. OUR Summer Programs Information Session

The OUR offers financial support in the form of Summer Undergraduate Research Awards and Biology Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowships. The OUR and MARC u-STAR Program also offer the Summer Scholars Program. Join the OUR and summer program directors to learn more about these programs and how to apply!

5:30 p.m. – 6:30 p.m. Leveraging Undergraduate Research for Graduate School

Have you enjoyed research as an undergraduate? Wish to continue as a grad student? In this panel, WashU graduate students and alums will discuss their journey to and through graduate school. Topics to be covered include: How to decide whether to pursue to a PhD; How to find, evaluate, and select programs; The role of an advisor in the application process and throughout graduate school; How to manage the application process and whether to go right away or take time off.


To participate, go to the Undergraduate Research Week’s welcome page starting December 1.

Join Event

How to Create & Submit Content

STEP ONE: Write your abstract

All presenters are asked to include an abstract of no more than 300 words, and we recommend this as a good place to start. As you get to work, you may wish to look to the OUR’s guidance on how to write an abstract or the library’s resources.

STEP TWO: What kind of presentation do you want to give?

The OUR Fall Symposium is supporting three different presentation types—decide which type of presentation you wish to give:

  1. Poster presentation = PDF + an OPTIONAL 2 to 5-minute explanatory video
  2. Oral presentation = 7 to 12-minute video, can be structured around a power point presentation 
  3. Exhibit, performance, or demonstration = video of exhibit/performance + an OPTIONAL 2 to 5-minute explanatory video 

STEP THREE: Create your content

  1. To create a PDF poster, see the following resources: 

            OUR Guide     library guide 

  1. To record a video:

If you have a mobile device, you can record videos with your phone or tablet's camera. Alternately, you can record videos using software on your computer and your computer’s webcam, such as Zoom (see attached PDF for additional instructions on Zoom recordings). Make sure that you’re using one of the following formats to be compatible for submission: MOV, MPEG4, MP4, AVI, WMV, MPEGPS, FLV, 3GPP, WebM, DNxHR, ProRes, CineForm, HEVC (h265).

To ensure a high quality recording, here are some tips:

  • Make use of The Speaking Studio, a service of The Writing Center.
  • Work in a quiet location without other people, pets, or environmental noises.
  • Quit other applications on your computer and disable notifications or pop-up messages that might interrupt or could cause distractions during your recording. Be sure to turn off phones.
  • Make sure that the camera is at eye level and that you have plenty of light, but not right behind you.
  • It is highly recommended that you practice recording so that you are comfortable with the controls before you record your final presentation.
  1. To record an oral presentation with slides or multiple presenters:

We recommend using Zoom, which can be used for recording video presentations. You can initiate a Zoom meeting with or without any other participants, and you still have all of Zoom’s presentation tools at your disposal, as well as the ability to record. Find detailed Zoom instructions here. And again, make use of The Speaking Studio, a service of The Writing Center.

STEP FOUR: Post Your Presentation Video to YouTube

If you are sharing a video recording as part of your presentation, your next step will be to post your video to YouTube.  Only YouTube links will be supported for video submissions. Please make the YouTube video settings UNLISTED.  See the following pages and video guides for support with: 

          how to upload videos    HOW TO MAKE videos ‘unlisted’

STEP FIVE: Complete Your Submission

  1. Go to the submission form.
  2. Enter your and any co-presenter’s information.
  3. Enter your title, abstract (300-word max.), acknowledgements, and answer the other questions about your presentation. 
  4. Select your presentation type and upload your content:
    • Poster / Slides (PDF + Optional Video)  
      • Upload a PDF of your poster. PDF must be no more than 10MB in size. If your file exceeds this limit, you can compress the file to reduce its size. We recommend Smallpdf.com or another online tool to compress your file if necessary.  
      • Upload your optional explanatory video by pasting your YouTube link in the space provided. (Only YouTube links will be supported, and please make the YouTube video setting UNLISTED.)
    • Oral (Video)
      • Upload the video of your oral presentation by pasting your YouTube link in the space provided. (Only YouTube links will be supported, and please make the YouTube video setting UNLISTED.)
    • Exhibit, Performance, or Demonstration (Video + Video)
      • Upload the video of your Exhibit, Performance, or Demonstration by pasting your YouTube link in the space provided. (Only YouTube links will be supported, and please make the YouTube video setting UNLISTED.)
      • Upload your optional explanatory video by pasting your YouTube link in the space provided.
  5. Review your information and when you are ready to finalize your submission, click ‘Submit.’ You will see a confirmation page stating that your submission was accepted.  You will also receive a confirmation email from “Symposium by ForagerOne.”
  6. If you realize that you made an error in your submission, please do not complete a new submission.  Contact undergradresearch@wustl.edu