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Conference highlights undergraduate research

TWU students who have completed research with a faculty mentor have an opportunity to showcase their work this spring.

The National Conference for Undergraduate Research, an annual interdisciplinary conference aimed at inspiring and promoting undergraduate scholarship, is now accepting abstracts for the 2019 conference. This year’s meeting will be at Kennesaw State University in Kennesaw, Georgia, April 10-13.

Students can present in a variety of formats including posters, oral presentations and performances.

NCUR has a rich history in support of undergraduate accomplishments, with conference events dating back to 1987 and a broad network of higher-ed members. The NCUR website claims to have “3,500 to 4,000 students from across the globe” at each conference.

Dr. Diana Elrod, Director of the TWU Center for Student Research, hopes that students will be encouraged rather than intimidated by the prospect of presenting to a large, diverse audience.

“If you’re an undergraduate researcher, to present to your peers – develop those skills – that’s a crazy set of organizational skills,” Elrod said.

TWU had approximately 34 attendees, student and faculty, at last year’s conference. Elrod hopes that this year’s attendance will remain steady.

“We hope for about the same,” Elrod said. “Last year it was easy because it was, I think, at the University of Central Oklahoma, so it was just a drive. This year it’s at the University of Kennesaw, Georgia, which I estimate is going to cost about $750 per student to go.”

Attendees will also be required to pay a registration fee of $180-$245 per person.

Elrod emphasized, however, that applicants are not entirely on their own regarding cost.

“TWU will help support the students and faculty who are accepted,” Elrod said. “We’re going to try to do something for each person who’s been accepted…and support them in the best way we can.”

However, Elrod also stressed that students understand this only applies to research conducted at TWU under the guidance of a faculty member.

“I’ve worked in student research for years, and students will have a great idea or a crazy idea, and they think they can push forward,” Elrod said. “Whether it’s a good idea or not, they have to be working with a faculty member.”

Above all, Elrod encouraged researches to take advantage of the opportunity to present at NCUR.

“If you do research and you don’t tell anybody, it’s pointless,” Elrod said. “That’s one reason why, no matter the level you are, you need to go out and expose your research to the world.”

Abstract submissions are due Dec. 4. Prospective attendees seeking guidance with the submission process can reach out to TWU’s Center for Student Research.

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