Undergraduate Research, Scholarship, and Arts
Undergraduate Research, Scholarship, and Arts
Established in 2011 to increase the number of undergraduates completing their own research projects or collaborating with faculty on their research, the annual Undergraduate Research, Scholarship, and Arts (URSA) symposium provides an on-campus venue for Benedictine students to present work they have done as part of their university careers.
While undergraduate research is often most associated with the natural and social sciences, URSA interprets the category of scholarship in the broadest possible terms and strongly encourages participation by undergraduates who have undertaken significant research in a humanities discipline. Students working in the fine arts are also urged to take part by, for instance, displaying artwork or preparing a presentation on a musical composition.
A secondary goal of URSA is to encourage students to expand their participation in similar off-campus events, such as the ACCA Student Symposium. Presenting at URSA offers students an excellent opportunity to do a “dry-run” for larger, regional conferences they may plan to attend.
We are now accepting applications from students interested in participating in URSA 2023 which will be held on Thursday, April 13, 12:00 p.m. – 4:30 p.m.
Applicants may submit a proposal for a 10-12 minute oral presentation or a poster to be displayed as part of the URSA poster session. Students may also apply either individually or as part of a group that has collaborated on a research project (maximum of four students).
Prior to beginning your application, make sure you have the following information ready:
Applicants should consult programs from previous URSA symposiums for examples of presentations/posters titles and abstracts. Applications with incomplete, insufficiently detailed, or poorly written titles and/or abstracts may be rejected.APPLY: Oral Presentation APPLY: Poster Session
›› When is URSA 2023 happening?
URSA 2023 is scheduled for the afternoon of Thursday, April 13, from 12:00 pm to 3:30 pm. All URSA events are currently scheduled to take place in Goodwin Hall. The poster display will be held in the lobby of Goodwin Hall (i.e., the main atrium), while oral presentation sessions will take place on the third floor of Goodwin (locations tba). You’ll be able to check the URSA program to find out where your session has been scheduled.
In the event that URSA cannot be held in person as scheduled, student projects will be displayed online in the Desire2Learn (D2L) environment.
›› When should I arrive for URSA?
Students doing oral presentations will be notified by email of the time and location of the session to which they have been assigned. Presenters should plan to arrive at least 5 minutes before their session is scheduled to begin.
Students displaying posters will need to check in and set up their posters in the Goodwin Hall atrium between 11:45 am and 12:15 pm, as the poster session will begin at 12:30 pm sharp. Poster students will also need to make themselves to explain and answer questions about their poster for most of the afternoon.
›› How long should I spend at URSA?
As long as you want! We encourage presenters to visit the poster session and hope students displaying posters will also attend one of the presentation sessions. Refreshments will be available.
Note: presenters are required to be present for the entire duration of their assigned panel. Similarly, those participating in the poster session are required to stay with their poster for at least 2 hours over the course of the afternoon, though the time spent need not be continuous. If you are presenting a poster as part of a group, you are welcome to split this responsibility among your group members.
›› What should I wear for URSA?
While formal attire is not required, opting for overly casual clothing may cause your audience to take you and your presentation/poster less seriously. We recommend wearing neat, clean clothing that’s comfortable: think business casual.
›› What requirements do posters need to follow?
Posters to be displayed at URSA 2023 are REQUIRED to meet professional research poster standards. This means that all URSA posters must be printed as one large sheet of paper (size: 36″x48″). Posters will NOT be accepted for display at URSA if they:
We recommend using PowerPoint to create a poster that can be printed, although it’s also possible to do this by using programs like Publisher and Photoshop.
›› What guidelines should I follow in designing my poster?
Your poster should also adhere to these basic design principles:
Using a PowerPoint research poster template can help you follow these guidelines. You can download a number of good templates here (be sure to download the 36×48 size).
Once you have finished designing your poster in PowerPoint, save it as a pdf file.
›› How can I get my poster printed?
URSA will assist students with printing posters, though they are also welcome to make their own arrangements for printing at locations such as Office Depot and FedEx Office.
URSA will provide foam board, binder clips, and poster stands so students will be able to properly display their posters.
›› What will happen during URSA oral presentation sessions?
All presentation sessions will be moderated by a faculty member who will introduce student presenters, assist with technology, and ensure that presenters don’t exceed their allotted time (12 minutes). Audience members will have the opportunity to ask students questions about their presentations. Faculty volunteers will also evaluate each presentation; this feedback will be provided to faculty sponsors, who will in turn share it with their students.
›› What if I need to use technology as part of my presentation (e.g., PowerPoint, etc.)?
Students planning to use PowerPoint or some other software package are required to bring a copy of all files needed for their presentation on a flash drive. If special software or media elements are used in the presentation, students should arrange to test out their presentations on campus systems ahead of time in order to make sure that there are no problems on the day of the event.
Please note that, due to time constraints, presenters will not be able to access PowerPoint and other files stored in e-mail accounts or in cloud storage (e.g., Dropbox, Google Drive, Box.com, iCloud, etc.).
›› Other tips for presenters
URSA presenters can find a very useful list of tips on how to prepare for and give an effective presentation: 15 Strategies for Giving Oral Presentations. Item #3 on this list is especially crucial: be sure to practice your presentation and also time it in order to make sure that you do not exceed your allotted time (12 minutes).
Every spring semester since 2011, Benedictine University has held its annual Undergraduate Research, Scholarship, and Arts (URSA) symposium.
|URSA Program Archive|
April 14, 2022
April 12-23, 2021
April 21-May 1
April 4, 2019
April 5, 2018
March 29, 2017
April 7, 2016
April 9, 2015
March 26, 2014
April 2, 2013
April 12, 2012