Workshops for Presenters


Eligibility and Registration

Dates and deadlines to know

  • Registration opens: February 1
  • Registration closes: February 15
  • Scheduling closes: February 15
  • Workshops: TBA
  • Material submission deadline: April 4
  • Student Research Symposium: April 9-10

In order to register for one of USU’s annual Student Research Symposia, you must meet the following requirements:

  • Enrolled in any USU campus, including Statewide, or online (but excluding concurrent enrollment in high school), within the last semester prior to registration:
    • An undergraduate student (including degree- and non-degree-seeking)
    • A graduate student (including those in dissertation credit semesters)
  • An individual student or a group of up to four students 
  • Working with USU-affiliated research faculty or staff (who may be credited with authorship alongside presenters but are not accepted to present)
  • Compliant with all university, state and federal regulations relating to the appropriate conduct of research, including human and animal subject protections and intellectual property rights
  • Compliant with any funding agency rules relating to the dissemination of funded research 

To register for the symposium you’ll need to fill out the initial submission form, then fill out the scheduling form to select your presentation time from the available slots. The schedule is on a first-come, first-served basis, so presenters are encouraged to register early. All presenters are required to register and schedule their presentation for the event before the deadline.

To submit a presentation, you will need: 

  • Presentation title
  • The discipline category you would like your work to be evaluated as:
    • Arts & Humanities
    • Engineering
    • Life Sciences
    • Physical Sciences
    • Social Sciences & Education
  • Presentation format choice (see below)
  • Faculty mentor name and email
  • Any additional authors’ names 
  • Student presenter(s):
    • Name
    • Email
    • A-number
    • College and department

Groups should submit one registration and select only one session in the schedule for their presentation. Abstracts are NOT required during registration, though you will be required to submit an abstract of up to 500 words with your presentation materials online the week before the symposium. Details on this will be shared with all presenters via the email addresses they include in registration.

Presentation Format Options

Each student or group should select one format that best fits their presentation. Once you have registered and scheduled your presentation, you will not be able to change your format. Read the brief summaries below to choose your presentation type, then learn more about how to develop your presentation on the resource pages linked for each format!


Posters are a common academic communication tool and are recommended for first-time presenters of every discipline at our Student Research Symposia. 

Poster sessions are fifty minutes long and include 25-30 posters per session. Presenters bring physical posters to pin to their assigned poster board, then stand with the board for the duration of the session. Evaluators and attendees will walk around looking at various posters and some will stop and have conversations with you that may last anywhere from seconds to several minutes. 

In this format, you need a quick introduction to your project for each interaction. Before the symposium, spend some time developing this — one or two sentences is plenty to explain what your research is about and why it matters. Be aware that most, if not all, attendees will not be experts in your field. An important aspect of your responsibility as a presenter is to translate your research or creative work so that anyone can understand it.

You are the presentation, not your poster. Use your poster as a tool to help you explain your research or creative work, not as a dumping ground to put all the information that you might say. Refer to our poster presentation resource page for more information about designing your poster, including helpful templates and and printing suggestions.

A digital version of your poster will also need to be uploaded prior to the symposium. You will receive instructions and deadline details for submitting those materials after the registration process has closed.

Oral Presentations

Oral presentations allow for a longer, more directed interaction with your audience than a poster, making them ideal for more advanced researchers. They are also the required format for online or Statewide students.

Oral presentation sessions are fifty minutes long and include up to five presenters per room (with a few rooms per session). Online and Statewide students will present in online Zoom rooms. A moderator will run the session and introduce each presenter; your prepared talk should last no more than 8 minutes, after which you will have about two minutes for questions from your evaluators and attendees. Please attend the full session you are scheduled in as a respect to the other presenters.  

You are the presentation, not your slides. Use them as a resource to enhance what you’re saying — don’t put every word you want to say onto your slides. Cluttered and overfilled slides will distract your audience more than help them. Refer to our oral presentation resource page for more information about formatting and designing your slides.

In-person presentation slide decks will need to be uploaded to the symposium planners before the event so that they are loaded for you on the room’s computer during your presentation session. We will ask online oral presenters for their slides in advance as well, but you should plan to screenshare your presentation during your Zoom call. You will receive instructions and deadline details for submitting those materials after the registration process has closed.


The standard for creative performances varies depending on discipline, so you should talk to your mentor(s) about expectations for academic performances in your field . Artists are also welcome to present their work in oral or poster format if preferred.

In all cases, we hope that you’ll take a moment as you introduce yourself and your piece to talk about the process of creative inquiry that your work has gone through. The act of creation or performing is itself a form of research, and your audience would appreciate understanding what that looked like for you. Be aware that most, if not all, attendees and evaluators will not be experts in your field. An important aspect of your responsibilities as a presenter is to translate the piece you perform so that anyone can understand it.

When you register for the event as a performer, you will be asked about any additional supplies or equipment that you may need. We will try our best to facilitate your requests! Think about things like music stands, how much space you will need, what props you may be bringing with you, if you’ll require access to an outlet, or other such considerations. 

Performances are expected to be a total of ten minutes long, including your introduction and any closing remarks or time for questions. If your work requires additional time, please reach out to symposium organizers before registering to see if we can accommodate this. 


The Library has a variety of spaces available for exhibits.  For details about exhibit options, refer to our exhibit presentation page. Artists are also welcome to present their work in oral or poster format if preferred. 

 The act of creation is itself a form of research. Before the symposium, spend some time developing a brief introduction to your exhibit — one or two sentences to explain what your work is about and why it is significant to you. Be aware that most, if not all, attendees and evaluators will not be experts in your field. An important aspect of your responsibilities as a presenter is to translate the work you’ve created so that anyone can understand it.

When you register for the event as an exhibitor, you will be asked about any additional supplies or equipment that you may need. We will try our best to facilitate your requests! Think about things like tables, easels, wall mounting, how much space you will need, if you’ll require access to an outlet, or other such considerations.

Exhibits should be installed prior to the first session of the symposium and remain up for the full event; however, you are only required to be with your work during the fifty minute session that you schedule during registration. Attendees will move around the symposium to look at exhibits throughout the day, while evaluators will attend only during your scheduled session.

Event Day

Know what to expect beforehand! It not only helps you limit nerves, be on-time, and be able to focus on your presentation, it will also make the event a more enjoyable and valuable experience. 


When you first arrive, you’ll check in at a table in the Main Atrium of the Merrill-Cazier Library (the large space when you first enter through the security gates of the building). We recommend you show up 10-15 minutes before your scheduled presentation time. At the check-in table you will pick up your name tag and lanyard, and can ask the event staff questions if you have any. Presentation locations will be available at check-in or on screens in the atrium.

For those presenting in one of our online sessions, you don't need to check-in before your session. Simply join your Zoom session a few minutes before your scheduled time. It’s helpful to have your presentation slides already open to facilitate transitions between presenters.

Presenters should dress in business casual or business professional attire.


For Poster Presenters

You will need to bring your poster with you on your presentation day. The previous session should conclude 10 minutes before your scheduled session, giving you enough time to set up your poster. Large, numbered presentation stands are assigned to each student in the presentation space in the Main Atrium, and pins will be provided for you to hang your poster on your assigned stands.

For Oral Presenters

There will be a moderator in each presentation room ready with your slide deck already pulled up on the computer. If you have any questions/concerns about your slides, they will assist you. 

For Art Exhibitors/Performers

As part of your registration for the event, you will have the opportunity to request some specific items or equipment you’ll need for your performance or display. When you check in you will be shown to your space and, if available, volunteers can assist you in setting up your presentation.

Top Tips

Want to make the most of your experience at SRS? 

  • Use the resources and rubric to build your presentation. From structure to delivery, we give you the tools to present your best work when it’s your session.   
  • Spend time practicing your presentation before the symposium. Evaluators will give you more useful feedback if your presentation is polished, and you’ll feel less nervous!
  • Spend time at the symposium at other sessions besides your own. It’s the best way to interact with other students and you’ll likely see research from disciplines outside your own. Plus, you might even learn something interesting!
  • On that note, learn from the other presenters. You’ll pick up tools to improve as a presenter and as a researcher. They may also spark future research ideas, collaborations, and opportunities for further work!
  • Review the feedback you get from the evaluators, with your mentor if possible. They’re experienced researchers and have likely presented at multiple professional conferences before. They’re a great resource and they donated their time and expertise to help you develop your skills!

To help you prepare, you’ll be receiving a lot of communication from the symposium organizers. In case you missed or lost one of our emails, we’ll have you covered with links to each communication here:

  • FEBRUARY 29 — Includes the symposium presentation schedule and an initial look at deadlines.
  • MARCH 7 — Reminder of training workshops, last chance to confirm session time and location in the schedule.
  • MARCH 13 — Information about the SRS Poster Design workshop.
  • MARCH 18 — Breakdown of what presentation materials should look like, when and where to print them, and what materials we need submitted to us.
  • MARCH 25 — Guide to submitting materials, and an opportunity to update presentation information.
  • APRIL 3 — Walkthrough of what to expect on event day, including check-in location, what to bring, clothing guidelines, etc.
  • APRIL 8 — Last-minute reminders for the Symposium.

Evaluation and Feedback

At USU, we believe that no research is finished until its results have been disseminated. The Student Research Symposia are designed to be educational tools for our researchers in developing the  skills necessary to communicate what they did, why they did it, and what it means for their audience. Having more advanced researchers provide you with scoring and feedback on the various facets of your presentation will allow you to learn from mistakes and celebrate strengths. 

After the symposium, you will receive emailed evaluator feedback from at least one evaluator. For the December event, this is simply helpful in improving your presentation skills. After our April event, we announce discipline winners for poster/exhibit and oral/performance undergraduate and graduate work at the Student Research Awards Ceremony, based on the evaluation criteria below.

All evaluators are volunteers. We invite faculty and PhD-holding research staff to review the work of graduate students, and faculty, staff and graduate students may review undergraduate work. Volunteers indicate discipline groups they are comfortable reviewing, meaning that your evaluator is almost certainly outside of your department if not your entire college! 

This means that you need to tailor your presentation to fit a non-specialist audience. Review the resource pages above to learn more about how to communicate your work to the general public.

Our symposia use an in-house, USU-developed rubric that provides scoring from novice to professional on six main criteria. Additionally, evaluators will give written feedback and constructive criticism. For the Awards Ceremony, scores are standardized by evaluator to limit bias and averaged per presentation to select the winner in each prize category.   

Evaluation Rubric

We strongly recommend that you review the rubric before you start building your presentation, especially if this is your first presentation.