2024 Undergraduate Research & Scholarship Symposium (URSS)

The annual 2024 Undergraduate Research & Scholarship Symposium (URSS) will be held on April 17 in the Charles Dougherty Ballroom in the Power Center. We look forward to seeing you there!

Here at Duquesne, a nationally ranked research university, our students engage in horizon-expanding research opportunities at every stage of their academic careers to reach their bigger goals!

Hosted by Duquesne's Office of Research and Innovation (ORI) each spring, the URSS offers a professional forum where Duquesne undergraduate students from all areas of study have the opportunity to showcase their research and other forms of scholarship with peers, faculty and the local community.

Please view this year's program booklet for student abstracts and award information.

All URSS presenters are eligible for several cash awards, and also receive a free continental breakfast and boxed lunch as a thank you.

Here to Help

Duquesne's ORI is here to help you with your URSS submission. Please review the FAQs below and then feel free to contact us with any additional questions.

Office of Research and Innovation


Eligibility & How to Apply

All eligible undergraduate students who submit a valid abstract are accepted into the poster session. After February 28, notifications will be sent to all students with more information. 

Who is eligible to participate in the URSS?

All eligible undergraduate students who submit a valid abstract are accepted into the poster session. Eligibility requirements for all participants, includes that they:

  • Must be a current Duquesne University undergraduate student from any discipline or program.

  • Must submit research or scholarship work that has been initiated or is in process during academic enrollment at Duquesne.

  • Must display a poster at the in-person event on April 17, 2024.

  • Must participate in the virtual symposium during Undergraduate Research Week by uploading your research poster and accompanying video to Symposium by ForagerOne.

How do I register to participate in the URSS?

To participate in the URSS, each person/group must submit an abstract and submission form by the deadline of Wednesday, February 28 at 5 p.m. The abstract and submission must include: 

  • Name of author, year, major, year, department, school & email address

  • Name of all group members (if submitting as a group)

  • Name of faculty advisor & email address

  • Title of research

  • Abstract - 250 word maximum.

  • Whether or not you'd like to be considered for an oral presentation.

  • Whether you will display your poster on a corkboard with pushpins or on a table. If you choose table, your poster will need to be able to stand on its own.

Important: The submission form only accepts one abstract per user. Projects with multiple authors should choose one person to submit on behalf of the entire group.

Is there assistance to help me with my URSS poster?

Gumberg Library offers guidance and support in helping students prepare for the URSS. Visit the library or helpful research and poster assistance.

Does my project have to be from the semester during which the URSS occurs?

Not at all! We accept projects from either semester, as long as your work was completed as a student at Duquesne.

My research or project is not yet complete. Am I still able to submit an abstract?

Absolutely! Your project does not necessarily have to be complete at the time of submission or when you present.

Who do I contact with additional questions?

Office of Research and Innovation can assist via email at oriFREEDUQUESNE or (412) 396-6326 with any additional questions about the URSS.

Project Information

What kind of research/projects are accepted?

Projects of all shapes and sizes are welcome! Many students build presentations around lab work, class projects, independent research papers, a thesis, service project, etc. We accept individual and group presentations from all disciplines in the form of a poster or oral presentation. Due to time limitations, the number of students who present orally is limited. However, all students who submit a valid abstract will be accepted to the poster session.

Can group work be presented at the symposium?

Yes! Research and scholarship often involve peers and collaborators. If you are submitting a group project, please choose ONE group member to register and submit your abstract on the group's behalf. This person will act as the "group leader" and will be in charge of forwarding any communication to the other members. Note: If your project wins an award, the money will be split evenly amongst your listed group members.

I'm planning on presenting my project at another symposium. Am I allowed to use the same project for the URSS?

Absolutely! The URSS is a great venue to practice for upcoming symposia or other professional events. Please note: if the other conference has difference poster dimensions and you plan to reuse that poster here, you are asked to inform the Office of Student Research at the time of submission or no later than the deadline se we can accommodate you.

Do you accept projects in formats other than posters?

Yes! The URSS celebrates research and scholarship from all disciplines. We realize that not all forms of scholarship are best represented in a poster format. Over the years, we have had a variety of creative displays of scholarship. From instrumental performances of original compositions to slideshows on laptops displaying photographs from service projects, we try our best to accommodate your work.

Does my research project require Institutional Review Board (IRB) review/approval?

If you are interacting with human subjects or analyzing data from human subjects, your research might need to be reviewed before you begin your project. We recommend you work closely with your project advisor to determine whether IRB review is required. If you are uncertain, please contact one of the IRB review faculty in your school to discuss the details of the project. If it is determined that your research does need review, you should allow for 20 - 45 days depending on the type of review. Developing your skills as a researcher requires good ethical practices, including how best to engage with the IRB process. If IRB is required, you will also need to complete the CITI Training on ethical research practices. 

To learn more about the IRB at Duquesne University, including the CITI Training, visit duq.edu/mentor. (The institution ID is duq and login is your multipass credentials.) There is a great deal of information about CITI and the IRB submission process under the “IRB” tab.

Poster Presentation Information

Is there assistance to help me with my URSS poster?

Gumberg Library offers guidance and support in helping students prepare for the URSS. Visit the library or view helpful research and poster assistance .

What dimensions should my poster be?

Posters must be NO LARGER than 36" (tall) by 42" (wide). Students are required to share a poster board with one other student or group project. Therefore, it is important to stay within the dimensions to avoid having to overlap projects.

Where can I get my poster printed on campus?

If you choose to have your poster printed, you can do so on campus at the Copy Center in room 119A Fisher Hall, located in the basement across from the elevators. 

IMPORTANT: Due to the high volume of participants, posters must be emailed to the Copy Center 7 days in advance of the URSS. This will help ensure timely and accurate delivery. Please submit all posters to the copy center via email: copycenterFREEDUQUESNE. ALL printing questions should be directed to the copy center (412) 396-5802.

Guidelines for Preparing & Submitting a PowerPoint Slide for Poster Printing:
    • Create a new blank slide, then go to File > Page Setup. Select "Slide sized for: Custom" and change the measurements to the size of your poster 36" x 42" (use inches); Poster MUST be designed to the actual printed size. 
    • Use standard fonts, such as Arial or Calibre, which are preferred.
    • Use the Symbol font for all bullets and special characters, rather than using the special characters in your text font; these special characters are not mapped correctly within certain fonts between computer platforms and may not print correctly.
    • Submit your poster as a PDF; PowerPoints are also accepted but not preferred
    • Save your file with the following File name format: 2024URSS-LASTNAME
    • Submit your poster file to the copy center via email: copycenterFREEDUQUESNE no later than 7 days prior to URSS event date.
Poster Print Cost:

A 36" by 42" poster is $42.00 and is payable via cash or check; please note your payment option in your Copy Center email when sending your poster PDF. If your department is paying for the poster, the Copy Center print email MUST include a budget number, and whoever supplied that number (i.e. School business manager, faculty member, etc.) MUST be CC'd in the email. No CREDIT/DEBIT cards or PCARDS are accepted.

How will I know where to set up my poster?

Each participant is assigned an abstract number in the weeks leading up to the symposium. It's important that students check their email regularly for instructions and other information regarding the URSS. Your abstract number will indicate where you will set up your poster. Corkboards will be labeled during the URSS set up, so that you will know exactly where to place your poster.

My project requires me to set up supporting material such as a laptop or visual aid. Can you provide something to help display that material?

We can try! The online submission form has a place for "Special requests". We ask that you include things like this there. We will follow up with all submitters who have such requests and we will do our best to accommodate them.

Oral Presentation Information

Who is eligible to give an oral presentation?

Due to time constraints, the number of oral presenters is limited. Those who are interested in giving an oral presentation can indicate so in the online submission form. Abstracts from those students are reviewed anonymously by a peer selection committee. Oral presentation decisions will be sent within 1-2 weeks of the submission deadline.

IMPORTANT: Even if you are not selected for an oral presentation, you will still be enrolled to participate in the poster session.

If I am selected for an oral presentation, am I required to also participate in the poster session?

Yes. Oral presenters are also expected participate in the poster session.

What is the set up of the oral presentation sessions?

The Oral Presentation sessions consist of a podium with a microphone, rows of chairs for the audience, and a screen PowerPoints or other media. The podium contains a computer and audio capabilities.

What is the proper length of an oral presentation?

The Oral Presentation is limited to 8 minutes in length to allow for a brief Q&A session to follow.

Virtual Symposium by ForagerOne

The URSS is a hybrid event and occurs both in-person and online, or virtually. 

When will the Virtual Symposium take place?

The virtual symposium takes place Monday thru Friday during the Undergraduate Research Week, which includes in-person URSS event.

What are the features of the virtual symposium?

Students feature virtual posters and accompanying videos explaining their research using the interactive virtual symposium platform, Symposium by ForagerOne.

Are we required to participate in the virtual symposium?

Yes. All URSS participants must submit a virtual poster and accompanying video to the online platform Symposium by ForagerOne for the virtual symposium. Having an online presence allows us to expand our audience to community partners, faculty, staff, peers, alumni and more.

What are my responsibilities during the virtual symposium?

Peers, faculty, staff and judges will comment and ask questions about your research during the Undergraduate Research Week. URSS participants should maintain an online presence throughout the week to answer questions and make comments on peer projects.

What should I submit for the virtual symposium?

The virtual symposium will take place on the online platform Symposium by ForagerOne.  One week prior to the URSS event, you are responsible for creating and uploading the following:

  • a PDF of your abstract
  • a PDF of your research poster
  • a 2-3-minute video (preferred format, but audio also accepted):
    • Video Content - Explain your research/project and its significance in a way that a non-expert, educated audience can understand
    • Video Recording - Record using your computer/tablet camera in a program such as Zoom or with your mobile phone. If using your mobile phone, please record your video in landscape, or horizontally. (No vertical videos)
    • Video YouTube Link (URL) - Upload your video to YouTube as an "Unlisted Video" and Save the link.

How do I upload my virtual symposium poster and video link to the Symposium by ForagerOne site?

After the abstract deadline, all participants will be sent Instructions on how to upload your research materials to Symposium by ForagerOne. All materials must be uploaded to Symposium by ForagerOne no later than one week prior to the URSS event. You will need the following to complete your upload:

    1. Title of your research
    2. List of all authors who conducted the research
    3. PDF of your research abstract
    4. PDF of your research poster
    5. YouTube link (URL) to your unlisted posted video

Awards & Judging

What sort of awards does the URSS have to offer?

Thanks to our generous departmental and organizational sponsors, there are several monetary award opportunities for student participants. Judges from each school and department will utilize the in-person event and the virtual platform Symposium by ForagerOne to evaluate student research and determine award winners.

For a complete list of our awards and sponsors, please see the 2023 Program Booklet linked below.

How are the awards judged?

Volunteer judges will be recruited from across campus and include faculty, post-docs, graduate students, and administrators. On the day of the poster session, judges will be randomly assigned to a set of posters upon arrival. Judges will be given instructions and this rubric to use to judge poster presentations. After visiting their assigned posters, judges will enter their evaluations electronically. Those evaluations will be shared with award sponsors who will make the final award determinations. Because the people judging your poster might not be from your major or discipline, you should be prepared and able to explain your research to an educated, non-expert audience.

Are the online videos judged separately?

Not separately. However, sponsors might use the online presentations to help them make their final award decisions (see below for more information on how judging will work at this year’s event). So, your videos should be a research presentation describing your project and its significance in a way that a non-expert, educated audience can understand.

When will the awards be announced?

Awards are announced via email and online the week following the event.

I won an award at the URSS. What's next?

A representative from the sponsoring award will reach out to you via email if they need additional info when processing your award check. Award checks are typically processed within a few weeks following the event.

If you have additional questions, please contact The Office of Research & Innovation at ori@duq.edu

General Information

When will I find out if I have been accepted?

All undergraduate students who submit a valid abstract are accepted into the poster session. We will inform you if there are any issues with your registration. Once the submission deadline has passed, you will begin to receive email correspondence from us with further instruction.

Are there any publishing opportunities for my research?

If you are selected to give an oral presentation, you will be invited to submit a paper for publication in the URSS Proceedings published in the DU Scholarship Collection. Oral presenters are chosen by a peer selection committee. Slots are limited. You will be informed sometime after the deadline whether or not you have been selected.

I have class the day of the URSS. Can I still participate?

We understand that everyone's class and work schedules vary. If you have a prior professional commitment such as work or class, you are permitted to leave and then return to the symposium. We encourage you to inform your professors of your participation in the URSS.

Is the URSS still offering the Creative Video Competition?

The URSS Creative Video Competition is not available for the 2024 event. Previously, this competition allowed DU undergraduates a creative opportunity to convey their research or scholarship by creating a video under 3 minutes.

NOTE: A 2-3 minute video explaining your research must still be submitted with your poster for the 2024 URSS virtual platform, Symposium by ForagerOne. View "Virtual Symposium by ForagerOne" for more information.

What should I wear to the URSS?

We suggest that you dress in business casual.

Will there be food?

Yes. URSS Participants will be served boxed lunches, courtesy of the Office of the Provost. There will also be continental breakfast in the morning.

Mark Your Calendar for April 17

The 2024 Undergraduate Research Symposium is Wednesday, April 17, 2024 from 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. in the Power Center Ballroom. Check back during Undergraduate Research Week, April 15-19, to view the 2024 virtual poster sessions and accompanying videos via the online platform, Symposium by ForagerOne.