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Undergraduate Research

Information for Presenters

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Who is eligible to present and compete for prizes?

  • Southern Miss undergraduate students who have engaged in significant research or creative activity either by themselves or as a team project lead may submit an abstract to the UGS.
  • Students who performed their work as an undergraduate student but graduated in December prior to the UGS may submit an abstract.

Why should I consider presenting?

  • The UGS is an opportunity to share your work with the Southern Miss Community.
  • You gain the experience of presenting at a professional conference.
  • You can list this presentation on your resume/CV; experience of this kind is highly valued by prospective employers and may give you a competitive advantage for admission to graduate and professional programs.
  • There is substantial prize money to be won!

How are submissions judged and what are the prizes?

  • A team of faculty judges determines which submissions to accept for presentations and for the Arts Showcase.
  • Oral presentations are organized into panels according to common themes. There is one session for all accepted poster presentations.
  • Each oral and poster presentation is assigned to a prize category so that all presenters have an equal chance (typically between one in three and one in four) of winning a prize. 
  • At the UGS, all oral and poster presentations are judged by multiple faculty members using the following criteria in a seven-point rubric:

Judging Criteria

Purpose and Content
articulation and support of central idea/purpose
Project Design
understanding and justification of methods and/or interpretation
Findings and Conclusions
identification and discussion of the project’s scholarly contributions
Questions and Answers
ability to answer questions from the audience
use of standard English and technical language
Presentation Structure
content, design, layout, use of visual aids (if applicable)
Presentation Style
vocal delivery, eye contact, body language, attire


The averaged judges’ scores determine the winner(s) in each category. Typically, the presenter in first place receives $500 and the one in second place $250. Prize winners are recognized on the UGS website and through other publicity.

What are the submission rules?

Each student may submit only one abstract as presenter or co-presenter; however, a student may submit an abstract and an item for the Arts Showcase.

The work does not need to be completely finished, but conclusions must be presentable by the time of the UGS.

The work must have the support of and/or have been guided by a faculty mentor (name and contact information are part of the submission).

How do I submit?

  • You must submit your project electronically by 11:59 pm on the posted deadline (typically in early March).
  •  Log into Competition⇄Review NEXUS using your CampusID username and password.
  • Your faculty mentor may need to provide some information for and assistance with the submission. The Southern Miss Writing Center can help with your abstract or artist statement.
  • If you wish to submit a paper or project for presentation, select from the list of competitions the most current Undergraduate Symposium on Research & Creative Activity Project Submissions. When writing your submission, please keep in mind that faculty from different backgrounds will judge your abstract.
  • Here is an example of the abstract submission form.
  • Here are samples of successful abstracts.
  • If you wish to submit a contribution for the Arts Showcase, select from the list of competitions the most current Undergraduate Symposium on Research & Creative Activity – Artist Showcase Application. Artists of all genres are encouraged to apply (e.g. dance, music, theatre, visual art, creative writing, graphic design, etc.). We value promoting all selected student artists and their work; monetary awards for "best in category" are therefore not given out in this juried event.
  • Here is an example of the arts submission form.

Guidelines for Poster and Oral Presentations

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

Everyone needs to register by the posted deadline so that we know who will be attending the UGS and attend the (free!) lunch and keynote address. The registration portal opens in March; the registration deadline is typically in early April.

To register, simply complete the online UGS Registration Form.

What if I have additional questions or need help?

Please contact a member of the UGS Planning Committee in an area related to your discipline, or email Dr. Rebecca Tuuri (rebecca.tuuriFREEMississippi) or Dr. Sabine Heinhorst (sabine.heinhorstFREEMississippi).




Contact a DCUR representative:

Dr.%20Sabine%20Heinhorst or Dr.%20Rebecca%20Tuuri for all questions about DCUR

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

Contact Dr.%20Kelly%20Lester, Professor%20Allen%20Chen, Professor%20Jared%20Hollingsworth or Dr.%20Nicholas%20Ciraldo for questions related to the Arts Showcase.
Contact the Center%20for%20Community%20Engagement%20for all questions about community-engaged projects.