UCSB Undergraduate Research Colloquium

About the Colloquium

Colloquium 2016
Tuesday, May 17, 2016 from 11:00-2:00 in the Corwin Pavilion
Entry forms are due by 11:59 pm on April 1, 2016.

PURPOSE The Office of Undergraduate Education invites UCSB undergraduate students to present their research or creative activity at the 2016 Undergraduate Research Colloquium. Held annually, this poster exhibition recognizes the scholarly achievements of undergraduates and offers an opportunity to share their hard work with the campus and community members.

ELIGIBILITY Undergraduates at any level who are enrolled at UCSB at the time of the Colloquium will be considered. Work presented may be completed or ongoing projects from the 2015-2016 academic year. All Undergraduate Research and Creative Activities (URCA) grant recipients must present at this event.

ENTRY AND SELECTION PROCEDURES To participate, please submit a Colloquium entry form. The online entry form opens on February 1, 2016. The 2016 Colloquium entry DEADLINE is April 1, 2016 at 11:59 P.M. We will attempt to accept all applicants; however, if we can't accommodate everyone, a faculty panel will select participants. Presenters must attend the entire session unless class schedules conflict. Presenters are encouraged to invite their faculty mentors, family and friends. All members of the UCSB community will also be invited to attend.

UCSB EMERITI ASSOCIATION RESEARCH AWARDS The UCSB Emeriti Association, a group of 186 retired UCSB faculty, is pleased to announce their annual research prize competition to recognize outstanding scholarship by UCSB undergraduates. The competition is held in conjunction with the campus-wide Undergraduate Research Colloquium.

The Emeriti Association will provide awards for the best research in three major discipline areas:

  1. Humanities and Fine Arts
  2. Physical Science, Math, and Engineering
  3. Social Sciences and Psychology

Research awards range from $200 and $400 in each discipline area. The judges are emeriti faculty in each of the discipline areas. The awards are generated by individual contributions from the emeriti faculty who fully support undergraduate research at UCSB. Award winners will be contacted by the Emeriti Association by June 1, 2016.

All projects presented at this year’s Colloquium will be considered for an award based on the quality of the research as presented on the poster and in the abstract and the skill and clarity of the presenter’s discussion. 

Entry Form

Undergraduate Research Colloquium - Entry Form

The entry form will open on February 1, 2016, and the deadline to complete an entry form is April 1, 2016 at 11:59 pm.

General notes: The abstract should be written for the non-specialist. Please make sure your mentor has reviewed the abstract prior to its submission. If you are submitting an entry for an individual project or are in charge of submitting the abstract for a group project, the abstract must be limited to 100 words or less for inclusion in the Colloquium book. 

Group project submissions: Projects with more than one undergraduate researcher are considered to be group projects. The group must designate one undergraduate presenter to upload the project’s abstract on his/her entry form. This individual must submit his/her entry first. The remaining group members must include the project title on their forms so they can be identified and associated with the correct abstract. An entry form is required from each individual in the group seeking to present or be recognized at the colloquium. Remember that your group only needs to submit one abstract.

Open the Colloquium Entry Form

Poster Guidelines

Undergraduate Research Colloquium - Poster Guidelines

The Office of Research has an excellent page on poster presentations.

Presentations must either be self-contained posters that can be pinned to a rolling cork board provided at the event or an exhibit approved by the Undergraduate Programs Coordinator. Posters should be no larger than 2 ft. x 3 ft. with a portrait orientation. Posters/exhibits must be set up and ready to view 20 minutes before the start of the poster session. Subject to class schedule or participation in the Undergraduate Research Slam, the author of the poster must be present and remain for the entire session so that attendees will have the opportunity to ask questions.

The goal for your poster exhibit is to have an organized and attractively displayed presentation of your research findings or creative work. Posters/exhibits should be self-explanatory and readable within about five minutes. Your mentor should provide guidance on poster content. Your poster should contain the following elements:

Title: At the top of your poster/exhibit, you should have a title that is both short and very descriptive of your project. As a rule, the title should be easily readable at a distance of about 4-5 feet.

Name and Affiliation: Directly under the title, you should include your name, your faculty mentor’s name, name(s) of any illustrations, tables, figures, photographs, diagrams, co-investigator(s), and your UCSB department. The name and affiliation section is usually about 20-30% smaller than the title section. Please also include acknowledgement of any grants received, including an URCA grant.

Body of the Poster/Exhibit: The information about your work can be presented in the following categories:

1.  Abstract

A synopsis of no more than 100 words of the work described on the poster. The abstract should be understandable, allowing the readers to decide whether they would like to continue reading the entire poster. The abstract should contain (a) the purpose of the study, (b) a brief statement of what you did, (c) a concise statement of the major findings, and (d) the major conclusions. Do not include details of the methods. Crafting an effective abstract is challenging. Please look here for more resources.

2.  Introduction

The introduction presents the question being explored, the work's significance, and its place in the context of current knowledge about the topic. To do this well on a poster is a challenge. Be brief, but include the important points to be sure the reader sees the relevance of your work.

3.  Methods

This section describes your procedures. Describe your methods in sufficient detail to allow a reader who works in your field to understand how you collected data. Illustrations are appropriate for complex experimental design, etc.

4.  Results

This section summarizes the data. Report the results of any statistical tests here. Present all of your results, whether positive or negative. A table or figure may substitute for a written summary as long as each table or figure has a legend that explains the graphic clearly.

5.  Discussion

In this section you should interpret the meaning of your results with respect to the original questions. The discussion should include your conclusions about the answers to the questions that motivated your research that you described in the introduction. If appropriate, mention any alternative explanation for your results and mention possible explanations for unexpected results.

6.  Works Cited

This section is optional in the poster unless citations are used in the text. Include only those papers cited in the text, and do not cite a paper unless your have read it yourself. Cite all of your references in text and list them in the Literature Cited section, using a format from a major journal within your discipline.

7.  Graphics

Illustrations, tables, figures, photographs, and diagrams should have unique identification numbers and legends. In the text, use the numbers to refer to specific graphics or pictures. In your legends, include a full explanation and, where appropriate, include color keys, scale, etc.

Poster Samples

Download sample poster layouts here

Photo Gallery

UCSB Undergraduate Research Colloquium Photo Gallery

Undergraduate Research Slam

Congratulations to our Undergraduate Research Slam Finalists! Come see their final presentations from 11:00am to 1:30pm on May 17 in the Santa Barbara Harbor Room.


Sarah Bay – Are Acute Changes in Endogenous Testosterone Associated with Changes in Cellular Immunity?
Anthropology, College of Letters & Science

Nicole Bush – Circularized RNA in Fruit Fly Eggs
Biology, College of Creative Studies

Jennifer Cruz – Performance Moderates Female-directed Hostility in Male-dominated Environments
Communication, College of Letters & Science

Andrew Dawson – Testing Pharmaceuticals’ Authenticity for Developing Areas
Chemistry/Biochemistry, College of Creative Studies

Kevin Dervishi – Investigating Tau Dimerization: The Implication of Tau Oligomers in Neurodegeneration
Biology (Biochemistry emphasis), College of Creative Studies

Nicole Dodd – Language Contact Between Andalusian Arabic and Spanish: The Orientalizing Suffix
Linguistics (Spanish emphasis) and Global Studies, College of Letters & Science

Zachary Feinn – Providing Free WiFi to the Homeless
Computer Engineering, College of Engineering

Michelle Higgins – Investigating the Effects of Vinca Alkaloid Drugs on the GTP Binding Site of Tubulin
Cell and Developmental Biology, College of Letters & Science

Risa Jensen – Emotions, Message Framing, and Persuasion
Sociology & Communication, College of Letters & Science

Henry Morse – Applied Microbial Extracellular Polysaccharides as a Method of Increasing Plant Production
Biochemistry, College of Creative Studies

Dinh Nhan – The Role of YciB Protein in E.coli
Microbiology, College of Letters & Science

Kelly Noah – Mindfulness Meditation Effects on Breast Cancer Survivorship Stress
Biochemistry, College of Creative Studies

Tyler Ogunmowo – Understanding the Generation of Sleep Patterns using the Fruit Fly
Biochemistry, College of Letters & Science

Gold Okafor – Did I Do That?: Locating and Disrupting Neural Processing for the Sense of Agency
Biopsychology, College of Letters & Science

Alexander Smolentsev – Making the Familiar Novel - Familiarity in a Virtual Environment and its Effect on Immersion
Biopsychology, College of Letters & Science


Undergraduate Research Slam 2016 Entry period: February 1, 2016 - March 18, 2016 

First round: April 19 (9:00-12:30) and April 20 (1:00-5:00) in the Student Resource Building, Multipurpose Room. 50 presenters.

Final round: May 17, 2016 (11:00-1:30) in the Santa Barbara Harbor Room - University Center. 15 presenters.  

The Undergraduate Research Slam offers students the chance to give dynamic, 3-minute oral presentations of their research or creative activity to a panel of judges. All UCSB undergraduates participating in the Undergraduate Research Colloquium are eligible. The top 3 students will earn research awards ranging from $1500-$2500.

The first round of 50 presentations will take place over two days, April 19 (9:00-12:30) and April 20 (1:00-5:00), in the Student Resource Building, Multipurpose Room. Students are not required to attend the entire event, but must schedule an hour appointment during one of the windows. A panel of judges will determine the top 15 finalists, who will compete in the final round on May 17 (11:00-1:30). 

Students MUST be available during one of the two first round events and during the final event on May 17 to be considered. Students who compete in the Slam MUST have a poster on display at the Colloquium and will be permitted to leave their poster to compete in the final round of the Slam during their assigned time slot.

All three Slam events will be open to the public.

ELIGIBILITY To be eligible, students must:

  • Be a UCSB undergraduate
  • Be a participant in the 2016 Undergraduate Research Colloquium
  • Have worked on their research or creative activity during the 2015-2016 academic year
  • Be an individual (While groups are allowed to present a single poster at the Colloquium, students may not present as a group in the Slam. Participants within a group should focus their presentation on their particular contribution to the group project.)

Students do not need to have been awarded an URCA grant to participate in either the Colloquium or the Slam.

ENTRY AND SELECTION PROCEDURES Entry for the Slam opens on February 1 and closes on March 18 at 11:59 P.M. Students submit an entry form online. Sign up is first come, first served – after 60 students choose a time slot for the first round (50 + 10 wait list spots), students will not be able to sign up for the Slam, and the entry form will be closed. After submitting an entry form, students will be notified via UMAIL if they were selected to participate. Wait listed students will be contacted in case a presenter withdraws from the first round.

To register for the Undergraduate Research Colloquium, students must fill out a separate entry form. Students will not be able to sign up for the Slam without first filling out the Colloquium entry form. 


  • Presentations for both the first and final rounds must be THREE MINUTES in length and no longer. 1 point deductions will begin every 10 seconds a presenter goes over the limit (e.g. 3:10 minute presentation = 1 point deducted from final score). 1 point deductions will also be given for presentations under 2:30 minutes. We will have a timer in the first row to indicate when the presenter has reached 2:30 minutes and 3 minutes.
  • Students must use Microsoft PowerPoint for presentations and will be required to submit their slides prior to each event so they can be compiled and loaded onto the computer being used (see deadlines below).
  • Slides must have a width of 10 inches and a height of 7.5 inches.
  • No more than 3 slides are allowed (1 title slide is not included in this total). Embedding of audio and/or video clips is allowed.
  • Props must be approved by the Undergraduate Programs Coordinator one week in advance.

JUDGING Presentations will be judged based on: 

  • Presence and delivery
  • Effective use of visuals
  • Timing (3 minutes and no longer)
  • Significance of research or creative activity
  • Appropriateness for a non-specialist audience
  • Clarity and organization
  • Engagement

Click here to download the official judging rubric.

PHOTOGRAPHY AND VIDEOGRAPHY By entering the competition, the presenter agrees to allow UCSB's Office of Undergraduate Education to use the resulting photographs and/or video from the Undergraduate Research Slam, which may include the presenter’s image or presentation, for publicity surrounding the contest and/or in other contexts, such as promotional materials, website, etc. If the presenter has questions or concerns about making their presentation publicly available, please contact the Undergraduate Programs Coordinator.

AWARD CEREMONY The first, second, and third place winners will be announced at an awards ceremony and reception in Mosher Alumni House on Thursday, May 19 (2:00-4:00). Research awards will be presented, and light refreshments will be provided. Finalists, mentors, judges, and staff will be invited. 


  • February 1 - March 18: Undergraduate Research Slam entry form submissions accepted. Confirmation emails will be sent shortly after entry form closes.
  • March 29: Activate to Captivate workshops with Bri McWhorter – 10:00-12:00 & 2:00-4:00 in the SRB MPR.
  • April 1: Undergraduate Research Colloquium entry form closes.
  • April 1: Undergraduate Slam workshop with Professor Gina Genova – 5:30-7:00 in the SRB MPR.
  • April 8: Undergraduate Slam workshop with Professor Gina Genova – 5:30-7:00 in the SRB MPR.
  • April 14: PowerPoint slides for the first 50 presentations must be submitted via email to URCA@Ltsc.ucsb.edu.
  • April 19 First round: Day one of first round presentations – from 9:00-12:30 in the SRB MPR
  • April 20 First round: Day two of first round presentations – from 1:00-5:00 in SRB MPR
  • April 25: Fifteen finalists will be announced via UMAIL.
  • May 12: Final PowerPoint slides for the event must be submitted via email to URCA@Ltsc.ucsb.edu.
  • May 17 Final Round: Undergraduate Research Slam from 11:00-1:30, Santa Barbara Harbor Room, University Center – participants will be alerted of their time slot via UMAIL.
  • May 17 Undergraduate Research Colloquium: from 11:00-2:00 in Corwin Pavilion (Slam participants will be permitted to leave their posters during their Slam time slot.)
  • May 19: Undergraduate Research Slam Awards Ceremony from 2:00-4:00, Mosher Alumni House

Please contact the URCA office with any questions: URCA@Ltsc.ucsb.edu, (805) 893-3090, 2110 North Hall