25th Undergraduate Research Forum charted new territory


Roshika Bhattarai, a medical laboratory science and premedical studies major, explains her poster to a Forum attendee.

The Undergraduate Research Forum turned 25 this year — a significant milestone in showcasing scholarly and creative works, conducted by our students, under the guidance of dedicated faculty, staff, and graduate student mentors. The Office of Research for Undergraduates (ORU), established in 2014, celebrated this milestone with an extra day of programming on Tuesday, April 23, followed by poster sessions and talks on Wednesday, April 24.

Several new program features were introduced for this two-day celebration to prominently showcase the wide variety of resources that make undergraduate research at Miami the successful enterprise it is. Twelve themed panel discussions took place on April 23 to raise awareness of the breadth of undergraduate research across disciplines and colleges. Mentors stepped up to serve as moderators for themed panel discussions and provide a synthesis of the presentations. Graduate-undergraduate student teams, faculty-undergraduate teams, and undergraduate teams served as presenters. More than 20 centers and research support entities across campus responded to a call to highlight their roles as resources for undergraduate research. They were featured on April 23 from 1:-00 to 4:00pm. The Undergraduate Research Forum’s staples — the poster sessions and oral presentations — had some new components as well. The first poster session was attended by a group of 40 high school students from Cincinnati Public Schools, as part of a collaboration with the Office of Admissions, whose staff plays a critical role in publicizing undergraduate research at Miami, for the purposes of recruitment. Recognizing that poster printing costs can be a barrier for students to participate in the forum, two new formats were introduced this year: e-posters presented as 10 minute talks, and storyboarding, the old-fashioned approach, which allowed for quite a bit of creativity.

Programming for the 2019 Undergraduate Research Forum aimed to:

  • Showcase research, experiential learning, and creative works across colleges;
  • Promote synergistic and interdisciplinary pursuits;
  • Recognize the role of research centers and research support entities across campus; and
  • Raise early awareness of pathways for research, scholarly works, and creative endeavors.

The ORU invites the university community to provide feedback about the new formats, as well as to suggest ideas for raising the profile of undergraduate research at Miami University.

Written by Joyce Fernandes, Director, Office of Research for Undergraduates, Miami University.

Photo of Mackenzie Mettey and Maria DeSantiago by Stephanie Danker, Miami University Department of Art. Photo of Roshika Bhattarai by Bryce Mysona, Miami University Photo Services.


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