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2021 Research Day

Thursday, April 8 2021

University of Northern Colorado, University Center

UNC Research Day brings together research, creative and scholarly works for one day of undergraduate and graduate presentations. A faculty Poster Session also provides faculty researchers the opportunity to present their work to students. UNC RESEARCH DAY 2021 highlights UNC’s commitment to undergraduate and graduate student research. Faculty members are urged to assign course credit/extra credit for students in their courses to attend or participate in Research Day.

Research Excellence Awards are included in the Research Day events and highlight the best of undergraduate and graduate level work. First and second year undergraduate students may compete for the Developing Scholars Awards in the poster presentation category. All students may compete for awards with their posters and oral presentations in one of the three disciplinary groupings:

  • Humanities, Arts & Creative Endeavors
  • Natural & Health Sciences
  • Social Sciences, Business & Education

If possible, based on all current guidelines issued by UNC in conjunction with state and local requirements, Research Day will be held in person.  If some or all of Research Day cannot be held in person, then the event will be held as an online conference.

Digital 2021 Research Day

If Research Day cannot be held as an in person event, then all categories of presentations will still be accommodated in the following manner:


Posters will be uploaded to a website for public viewing (no oral presentation)

Oral Sessions

Oral sessions will be scheduled and held as on line video sessions.


Roundtables will be scheduled and held as on line video sessions.

Research Excellence Awards

The awards judging will be scheduled and held in an on line video format for live judging and questions.

The live sessions will be on Thursday April 8, 2021 and Friday April 9 2021.

Application information for participants

Presenter Information

  • You must have the bear e-mail addresses of all student presenters and the unco.edu e-mail address for your faculty sponsor in order to list them on the application.
  • Only the "primary" presenter will receive communication e-mails about Research Day.
    Please check your email account for the email confirmation from Research Day which will be sent the week after Spring Break.
  • The faculty sponsor may submit the application for the student presenters (using the faculty tab in Ursa), in which case the faculty member must have all of the bears e-mail addresses for the student presenters in order to list them on the application.

Oral Research Sessions

The oral presentations are held in one of the University Center conference rooms (Spruce, Aspen, Columbine or Council room), based on the size of room you request. Due to discipline-based groupings, presenters will now initially select either a morning or an afternoon 3-hour time block for their presentations. Research Day system automatically assigns presenters a room and a one-hour block of time from the information given in the presenters' application based on discipline groupings. Presenters may find that their assigned time conflicts with normally scheduled classes.  In order to continue to promote undergraduate research and scholarly work at UNC, the Research Day planning team encourages instructors to either reassign classes on that Thursday to attend Research Day or at a minimum excuse those students who are presenting, in the same manner that student athletes are excused for athletic events. Oral presentations may be organized for an individual presenter or a panel of presenters. Panels may include a faculty member. Individual presenters must be either undergraduate or graduate students enrolled at UNC.

Each presentation is scheduled for 15 minutes in one hour session blocks. You may utilize the time based on your needs, such as 10 minutes for the presentation and 5 minutes for questions. Individuals may also request a 30 minute time slot for longer presentations or panels, and instructors or groups may request a 1 hour time slot for class or group presentations. E-mail hsl@unco.edu with any issues you experience or for any special needs.

Projectors and laptops

Projectors will be available in every room along with a PC laptop. You should bring your presentation on a USB drive to load on the laptop in the room you will be using.  No laser pointers will be provided, so please bring your own if you would like to use a laser pointer.

Distance presentations

Research Day is offering a room that will be set for distance presentations using conference software and the distance presenter will be projected onto a screen.  If you are an extended studies student, and would like to present via distance technology, please include that information in the "additional equipment needed" section. 

Poster Presentations and Creative Endeavors

Posters and other creative endeavors are displayed in a group session in the Ballrooms. Posters and creative endeavor displays may include a variety of project types including individual research projects, group research projects, class-based projects, creative works (please include specifications in the "other information" box about your creative works display needs), applied projects, or for faculty-led research with student participation. Poster boards or panels for hanging posters will be available and some locations will include slim tables for displaying other items.

Poster specifications

Posters should adhere to the following standards:

  • No more than 48" wide x 36" tall
  • May be printed as large format poster
  • Or may be on a tri-fold poster or other poster backing
  • You may bring handouts to the poster session.
  • Only a small number of poster set-ups include a slim table for handouts.
  • The digital version of posters should be saved as a reduced size .pdf, but should originally be designed as a PowerPoint (or similar) single slide that is 48"x36" (landscape).

Faculty Poster Session:

Research Day and Distinguished Scholars Awards have collaborated to host a faculty poster session at Research Day. More information to come.

Time Slot Selections

  • Sessions will be scheduled after the application deadline based on discipline, topic, or requests from the faculty mentors. When you submit your application you will choose either Morning or Afternoon.
  • Oral presentations will be assigned a time slot within a one hour session, and even if you are only presenting for 15 minutes, you will be required to attend your entire one hour session.
  • Poster presentations are scheduled for 1-hour time blocks, and presenters must be present for the entire hour.
  • For oral presentations, you have the option of choosing your length of presentation ranging from 15 minutes to one hour. One hour sessions are primarily reserved for those that are presenting as a panel or for full class presentations. Please do not select a full hour time slot unless your faculty sponsor has requested that selection.


Roundtable sessions will be available for Graduate or Undergraduate students who would like to present their research, scholarly project, or topic in a roundtable format.  Roundtable talks are perfect for students working in the proposal phase who would like feedback on their topic, or for those who have a project that aligns with a more collaborative discussion.  One to three projects will be placed together at a single roundtable for a one hour session.  You may select from either the morning or afternoon roundtable sessions available.  Roundtables will be held in Panorama room. 

Research Excellence Awards (REA)

Students are encouraged to submit their own research proposals for presentation; however, the faculty mentor or a related administrative staff person may also submit the application. Any problems with the submission should be addressed to hsl@unco.edu.

Complete Information on the Research Excellence Awards Page

Developing Scholars Awards:

  • Lower division undergraduate poster presenter students (Freshmen or Sophomores) will have the opportunity to be selected into a new "Developing Scholar" Research Excellence Award category for their poster display.  You will select the Developing Scholar checkbox if you wish to enter this research poster competition. 

Abstract Guidelines

  • The abstract must be no more than 300 words.
  • Abstracts should include information that is pertinent to a general audience. Please include an opening statement that highlights the significance of your project. Include information in the body of the abstract about research methodology, and preliminary results, if applicable. An overview of what the audience will experience in the presentation or view on the poster may be appropriate.
  • An abstract must be submitted at the time of application. It is recommended that you compose your abstract in a separate document, then copy and paste it into the form. Special characters do not always transfer through.  If your abstract has specific math symbols, etc., please email the abstract to hsl@unco.edu with the presentation confirmation number in the subject line.
  • Abstracts should include:  the central purpose of the research or project, a brief discussion of research methodology as applicable, and research conclusions either final or anticipated. 
  • Do NOT use subheaders, do not include the presenter names, and do not include "key words" section or citations section with your abstract.  Please keep your abstract to one block of text.  The title will go into the slot for title, and should NOT be repeated in the abstract. 
  • The title and abstract will be listed exactly as you post them on the application. Please PROOF your title and abstract before submitting.
  • Abstracts will be posted in the downloadable version of the program. The printed program will have the titles only.
  • Your research will be selected for the awards competition based on the abstract along with the criteria mentioned above.

Research Excellence Awards Abstract Evaluation Forms