THE 28TH UNDERGRADUATE RESEARCH FORUM: Miami University’s celebration during National Undergraduate Research Week*
Joyce J. Fernandes, Director of Undergraduate Research & Professor of Biology
This the third consecutive virtual Undergraduate Research Forum since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. We continue, as we have always done, building on a rich tradition, and showcasing scholarly and creative works conducted by our undergraduate students, under the guidance of dedicated mentors (faculty, staff & graduate students).
The online format of the Undergraduate Research Forum has allowed us to continue providing an opportunity to engage the wider university community, and more importantly accepted students and alumni, who can catch glimpses of the undergraduate research enterprise at Miami University. The event website has allowed attendees and presenters to preview research projects using keywords for discipline and major and to peruse submitted abstracts and “gallery walks” of presentation and poster images. NEW THIS YEAR is a Plenary session, Noon-1pm, which is a Panel Discussion on Diversity, Equity and Inclusion in Undergraduate Research. This panel will showcase students and staff from several programs at Miami University that serve the institutional mission of enhancing diversity, equity and inclusion.
Thanks to all the student presenters who make the choice to participate in the online forum, and especially to faculty and graduate student mentors who help to prepare them. This year, all presentations are being delivered as 7-minute talks, through 21 Zoom sessions spread across three sessions: Session A, 9-1030am, Session B, 1-230pm, and Session C 4-530pm. Each session consists of seven concurrent clusters. Faculty, graduate student mentors and staff have volunteered their time as moderators to ensure a smooth running of the many concurrent sessions. As a supplemental mechanism for dissemination, we are encouraging the use of Twitter & Instagram to continue research discussions throughout the day and beyond. These social media platforms have become popular choices for the exchange of research outcomes as a result of the “forced” pandemic related transition to remote delivery.
Some statistics on the 28th Undergraduate Research Forum are as follows:
- 231 presentations will be made across three sessions each with seven concurrent clusters
- 32 volunteers will be moderating the 21 presentation clusters
- 411 student researchers are involved in these presentations, which includes-
- 159 seniors, 92 juniors, 56 sophomores, 104 first year students
- 108 faculty mentors and 49 graduate student mentors have supervised the research projects
I am very appreciative of the long hours that Martha Weber, coordinator of Undergraduate Research, devotes each year, taking care of the many little details that make the event a grand success. Lindsey Masters and Lisa Sheard from University Libraries have been significant partners, updating and populating the 2022 UR Forum website in a timely manner. The Office of Research for Undergraduates (ORU) is very appreciative of institutional support from IT services, and staff at CAS-IT to remotely deliver presentations using the Zoom platform; and to staff from Career Services and University Libraries for conducting workshops that helped prepare student presenters for the forum.
We invite the university community to engage in this unique online event, to provide us with feedback about the format, and to share your ideas for raising the profile of undergraduate research at Miami University.
* On November 16, 2010, the U.S. House of Representatives declared the week of April 11, 2011, as “Undergraduate Research Week.” This year, the celebratory week occurs from April 18-22. The Council on Undergraduate Research requests participation through Twitter #URW2022
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