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 Undergraduate Research Colloquium (a poster exhibition only) recognizes the scholarly achievements of students and acknowledges the faculty contributions to the development of undergraduate research and creative activities.

ELIGIBILITY Undergraduates at any level who are enrolled at UCSB at the time of the colloquium will be considered. The work to be presented may be a completed or ongoing project. It is expected that all recipients of undergraduate research awards from the Undergraduate Research and Creative Activities (URCA) Unit will present at this event.

ENTRY AND SELECTION PROCEDURES The submission of the online colloquium entry form is required. The online entry form opened on February 1, 2015.  The 2015 Colloquium entry DEADLINE will be April 3, 2015.  We will attempt to accept all applicants; however, if we can't accommodate everyone, a faculty panel will select participants. The Colloquium date is Tuesday, May 19. Subject to their class schedule, presenters are expected to attend the entire session, 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. 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 retired UCSB Faculty, 186 members strong, is pleased to announce their annual competition to recognize outstanding scholarship by UCSB undergraduates. The Emeriti Association will present 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

There awards pay up to $500 in each discipline area. 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 on the skill and clarity of the presenter's discussion.

2014 Award Winners

Congratulations to the winners of the UCSB Emeriti Association Research Awards for 2014:

Humanities & Fine Arts First place: “R.M. Schlinder’s Only Church” -Linda Cabrera, Art Second place: “Shellshock” –Ralph Semilla and Tinbete Daniel, Film and Media Studies Third place (tied): “Assured Commitment: Ngo Dinh Diem’s Official State Visit, 1957” –Paul Pham, History and “There Are Few Heroes Here: Understanding the Devastation of the Paraguayan War” –Dominic Moretto, History of Public Policy

Science & Engineering First place: “Reproductive Division of Labor in Class Trematoda” –Anastasia Quintana, Biological Sciences Second place: “Epithelial Polarity Proteins in Cell Migration” –Yuheng Sun, Biochemistry-Molecular Biology Third place: “The Divergent Nature of Purine Utilization among Species of the Subphylum Saccharomycotina” –Nicole Allen, Biological Sciences, and Keifer Kurtz, Pharmacology

Social Sciences First place: “Gender Differences in Online Shopping” –Qinglan Li, Communication Second place: “Food Flexibility in Adults with Autism” –Ross Candelore, Biological Sciences Third place: “The Matthew Effect: Spatiality vs Gender Theme in Non-Gaming Females’ Preferences of Video Games” –Chelsea Lonergan, Psychology

Please contact the URCA Coordinator at urca@Ltsc.ucsb.edu if you have any questions.

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

  • If you are affiliated with more than one college, please indicate the college relevant to this project. If you have more than one major, please indicate the major relevant to this project.
  • 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 250 words or less for inclusion in the colloquium book. The abstract should be written for the non-specialist. Please make sure your mentor has reviewed the abstract prior to its submission.

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

Download these guidelines (PDF). The Office of Research also has an excellent page on poster presentations.

Presentations can either be self-contained posters or a group of individual exhibits that can be pinned to a rolling cork board provided at the event. Posters/exhibits should take up a space no larger than 2 ft. x 3 ft. with a portrait orientation. Please contact URCA Coordinator (urca@ltsc.ucsb.edu) if your display is not in this format. Posters/exhibits must be set up and ready to view 15-20 minutes before the start of the poster session. Subject to the requirements of his or her class schedule, 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, and diagramsco-investigator(s), and your UCSB department. The name and affiliation section is usually about 20-30% smaller than the title section.

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

1.  Abstract

A brief synopsis, one or two paragraphs long, of the entire work described in 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.

2.  Introduction

The purpose of the introduction is to present the question being explored by your research and to place it in the context of current knowledge about the topic. The introduction should convince the reader of the significance of your study. To do this well in 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

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

4.  Results

This section is intended to summarize 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.  Literature 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 need to 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


URCA Slam 2015 Entry period: February 3, 2015-April 3, 2015 via email First round (participants must schedule an hour appointment during one of the following windows): April 21 (9:00-12:00) and April 22 (2:00-5:00) in the Harbor Room Final round: May 19, 2015, from 11:00-2:00 in the Harbor Room

WHAT IS THE UNDERGRADUATE RESEARCH AND CREATIVE ACTIVITIES SLAM? The Undergraduate Research and Creative Activities (URCA) Slam is an opportunity for undergraduates from all fields to present their research and creative activities in a succinct and exciting way in FIVE minutes. The presentations will be judged by a faculty and staff committee, and the top three students will win prizes of $750 (first place), $500 (second place), and $250 (third place).

The first round of 30 presentations will take place over two days, April 21 (9:00-12:00) and April 22 (2:00-5:00), in the Harbor Room at the UCen (map). Students are not required to attend the entire event but must schedule an hour appointment during one of the windows. On April 24 we will announce the top 15 students who will move on to the final round. They will have the opportunity to make changes and to perfect their presentations before the final event takes place on May 19 from 11:00-2:00 in the Harbor Room while the URCA Colloquium is occurring simultaneously in Corwin Pavilion.

Students MUST be available during one of the two first round events and during the final event on May 19 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 Slam during their assigned time slot.

All three Slam events will be open to the public, but seating will be limited to 75, so please arrive early to secure a seat.

ELIGIBILITY To be eligible, students must: -Be a UCSB undergraduate -Be presenting a poster at the 2015 URCA Colloquium -Have worked on their research or creative activity during the 2014-2015 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 3 and closes on April 3. The first 30 students to submit an entry form (download here) via email to URCA@Ltsc.ucsb.edu will be invited to present their research or creative activity to a faculty and staff committee to compete for a spot at the final event. Fifteen finalists will be selected and invited to present at the Slam. IMPORTANT: Students will be notified of selection via UMAIL and must be responsive during the selection period or they will be dropped from the line-up.

To register for the URCA Colloquium, students must fill out a separate entry form on the URCA system.


  • Presentations for both the first and final rounds must be FIVE MINUTES in length and no longer.
  • 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.
  • We recommend using no more than 10 slides for your five-minute presentation, although you may use more if you choose.
  • Audio and video will be permitted if embedded in the PowerPoint slide, but please test thoroughly! No time allowances will be made for technical errors.
  • Students may bring pre-approved samples or props for their presentation but must speak with the URCA coordinator about them well in advance of the event (URCA@Ltsc.ucsb.edu).

JUDGING Presentations will be judged based on: -Presence and delivery -Effective use of visuals -Timing (5 minutes and no longer) -Significance of research or creative activity -Appropriateness for a non-specialist audience

Click here to download the official judging rubric.

ANNOUNCEMENT OF WINNERS First Round There are no prizes for winners in the first round. The top fifteen presenters will move on to the final event and will be notified via UMAIL on April 24.

Final Round Award Ceremony The first, second, and third place winners of the final round will be announced at an awards ceremony and reception (location and time TBD) on Thursday, May 21, as well as via email. Awards will be presented and prize money will be transferred to the top three students through their BARC accounts. Light refreshments will be provided. All participants, judges, volunteers, and project mentors will be invited. Please check back for event details.


  • February 1-April 3: Entry form submissions accepted (The first 30 students to enter will be notified that they hold a space in the first round. Others will be places on a waitlist.)
  • April 6: The official 30 first-round competitors will be announced and will receive their presentation time and further instructions.
  • April 16: PowerPoint slides for the first 30 presentations must be submitted via email to URCA@Ltsc.ucsb.edu.
  • April 21 First round: Day one of first round presentations – from 9:00-12:00 in the Harbor Room (map)
  • April 22 First round: Day two of first round presentations – from 2:00-5:00 in the Harbor Room (map)
  • April 24: Fifteen finalists will be announced via UMAIL
  • May 13: Final PowerPoint slides for the event must be submitted via email to URCA@Ltsc.ucsb.edu.
  • May 19 Final event: Undergraduate Research Slam from 11:00-2:00 in the Harbor Room (map) – participants will be alerted of their time slot via UMAIL
  • May 19 URCA Colloquium: from 11:00-2:00 in Corwin Pavilion (Slam participants will be permitted to leave their posters during their Slam time slot.)
  • May 21: URCA Slam Awards Ceremony (time and location TBD)

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