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Undergraduate Research

Information for Presenters

Who is eligible to compete?

Undergraduate students at Southern Miss who have engaged in significant research or creative activity can submit their work to the Symposium through Competition⇄Review NEXUS. A few rules:  

  • The work must have been done exclusively by the undergraduate student or with the undergraduate student as the clear lead on the project (if done as part of a team).
  • The work does not need to be completely finished to be submitted, but conclusions must be presentable by the time of the Symposium.
  • Students must have the support of a faculty member for their submission (students will provide the names and contact information of a faculty member on their submission).
  • If a student completed the work as an undergraduate but recently graduated, he or she may still submit as long as the work was done while an undergraduate student.
  • Students are limited to 1 abstract submission (paper/presentation or poster) for the symposium; students MAY submit both an abstract AND an item for the Juried Arts Showcase.

How do I submit a paper or project?

  • Students are not required to have a full written paper or project done in order to participate, and students do not need to submit a paper or project at any point to attend the Symposium.
  • Submission involves writing a 250-word description of your project that explains to a group of judges from many different backgrounds what the project is and what its major claims, findings, or artistic discoveries are. Samples of successful abstracts from UGS 2017 can be viewed here. The deadline for submission for this year's UGS is March 8, 2019.   
  • While collaborative projects and presentations are allowed, one person must be identified as the primary presenter and contact.
  • When you submit, you state whether you will do an oral presentation or a poster presentation.
  • Students are encouraged to preview the application before starting it, as some questions require detailed answers and submission requires the support of a faculty member.
  • Students are limited to 1 abstract submission (paper/presentation or poster) for the symposium; students MAY submit both an abstract AND an item for the Juried Arts Showcase.
  • To submit a project for presentation at the 2019 UGS, students must log in to Competition⇄Review NEXUS using their CampusID username and password. On the Competition⇄Review NEXUS homepage, select 2019 Undergraduate Symposium on Research & Creative Activity Project Submissions under the list of competitions.

How do I submit a Creative or Performing Arts Showcase?

This Showcase is a celebration not only of the aesthetic, "art for art's sake" aspect of the arts, but art as research, that is, a work of art explores a topic that has not been explored before, or does so in a unique way, and contributes to the general understanding of the world through it. We ask that student artists put their work in the context of other artists through an "Artist Statement", so that jurors and audience members can understand the student artist's unique contribution.

The planning committee for USM's Undergraduate Symposium on Research and Creative Activities values promoting all the selected student artists and their work; therefore, monetary awards for "best in category" are not given out. Instead, selection for the Showcase is the recognition given for USM students creating innovative art. Participants receive a commendation for their selection to and participation in this juried event.

Artists of all genres are encouraged to apply. This includes, but is not limited to dance, music, theatre, visual art, creative writing, graphic design and so on. Performances should be 7 minutes max. Due date to apply is March 5th, 2019.

To submit a work of art for presentation at the 2019 UGS Creative or Performing Arts Showcase, students must log in to  Competition⇄Review NEXUS using their CampusID username and password. On the  Competition⇄Review NEXUS homepage, select 2019 Undergraduate Symposium on Research & Creative Activity – Artist Showcase Application under the list of competitions.

  • 100 word description of the art work: Include title and genre of art and any other important descriptive factors (such as media used, original premiere date, length of performance etc.)
  • 250-300 word Artist Statement: Give the jurors and audience members insight into your engagement with the work of art. You might consider questions such as: Why did you create this work of art? or why did you choose to perform it? What process(es) did you use in creating/performing it? How is the work similar to/different from other artists' work in the field, be it USM students', USM faculty's or other professional artists' work? etc. 
  • Name of a USM faculty or staff member who knows your work and can speak about it and you. 
  • Link to or jpeg of your work of art.

How are submissions judged and what are the prizes?

  • A team of faculty judges will read all abstracts and determine which submissions will be included in the program and into what categories the submissions will be grouped.
  • All oral and poster presentations at the Symposium will be judged by multiple faculty members, using the following rubrics:
         Poster Rubric
         Presentation Rubric
  • Upon submission of ratings, the scores will be tallied and averaged. The top two winners in each category will win cash prizes of $500 and $250 (1st and 2nd place).
  • Prize winners will be recognized on the UGS website and through other publicity. 

Oral and Poster Guidelines

What are the prizes and how do students win them?

  • Each submission will compete in one of seventeen possible categories.
  • The prizes are cash - $500 and $250 for first and second place in each category.
  • Each student can win no more than one prize.
  • Prizewinners will be recognized on the website and through other publicity. 

I’m an undergraduate student. Why should I consider presenting?

If you have a research project that you have conducted as a student at Southern Miss, this is the opportunity to share your work with your peers. You will learn what it is like to present a paper at a conference, and you can list it on your resume/CV, which is very impressive to both prospective employers and graduate schools. There also is substantial prize money to be won!

Do I have to register if I submit, or is that automatically done?

  • Everyone needs to register separately from submission – it isn’t automatic. Registration lets us know that you will be there and whether you will attend the (free) lunch! The registration deadline for the 2019 Symposium is April 5, 2019.
  • To register, complete the online Symposium Registration Form.


Contact a DCUR representative:

Dr.%20Sabine%20Heinhorst for all questions about DCUR

Ms.%20Jo%20Ann%20Johnson for questions related to DCUR grant processes

The University of Southern Mississippi
Drapeau Center for Undergraduate Research
118 College Dr. #5162
Hattiesburg, MS 39406-0001



Undergraduate Symposium Logo

Contact a member of the UGS Planning Committee in your area of interest for questions related to conventions of presentations in your discipline.

Contact Dr.%20Sabine%20Heinhorst or Dr.%20Ellen%20Weinauer for questions related to abstract submission or registration, UGS schedule or program, judging or moderating.

Contact Professor%20Brianna%20Jahn-Malinowski or Professor%20Allen%20Chen for questions related to the Arts Showcase.