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How to Submit

Preparing Your Abstract for a WVU Symposium

WVU Office of Undergraduate Research hosts three symposia each year: Fall, Spring and Summer Undergraduate Research Symposia. Undergraduates engaged in mentored research at WVU are eligible to submit to any and all of these events.

Abstracts must be submitted through the Symposium platform by ForagerOne. Note: you will need to create a ForagerOne account if you do not already have one.

Important: Be sure to provide your title and abstract to your mentor and any co-authors for their approval before you submit. You  MUST  include your mentor as a co-author. Before you begin your submission, you will need the following information. Please be prepared before you begin.

Authors/Presenters and Co-Authors/Presenters:

The student presenter should be the lead author/presenter of the presentation and the mentor MUST be included as a co-author/co-presenter. You may add up to 7 additional co-authors/co-presenters for a total of 8 authors/presenters. Typically, a student includes their mentor and any other people that have made significant and meaningful contributions to the work. Discuss with your mentor who should be included as an author on your abstract.  For yourself and each co-author/co-presenter, you will need:

  • Full name

  • email address 

  • Level/classification (freshman, sophomore…graduate student, faculty, etc)

  • Department name

  • Institution. If the contributor is in industry or private, ask them how they would like their department and affiliation to read.


Your title should be 14 words max and be entered using title case. Capitalize the first letter of each main word. For example: "Success in Undergraduate Research at WVU". Your title should succinctly communicate the subject of your poster to a wide audience. Avoid technical jargon to engage the widest audience possible. Think of your grandparents or a family friend – will they understand your title? Share your title with your mentor and at least one non-specialist before you submit to be sure it makes sense, is grammatically correct, and has no typos or errors.


Your abstract should be 160-250 words and structured as a single paragraph that: 1) conveys the motivation for the work, 2) research question/hypothesis/purpose, 3) methods/approach, 4) results, and 5) significance of your work to science and/or society. Write for a general audience. Please note when pasting your abstract, certain formatting (e.g. bold, italics, etc.) may not be kept. Please do not include figures, tables, or references in your abstract. Images, tables and figures can be included in the media section. Please double check your abstract. BE SURE TO GET FEEDBACK FROM YOUR FACULTY RESEARCH/CREATIVE MENTOR AND ANY CO-AUTHORS ON YOUR ABSTRACT BEFORE SUBMITTING YOUR FINAL VERSION.

Example Abstract

Abstract originally by: Brittany Witherspoon and Eva Erdosne Toth

The introduction of novel technologies, such as nanotechnology, has become a topic of interest in scientific literacy and education. Consequently, the perspectives of the public on the risks and benefits associated with Nanotechnology are important. In this study, we collected and analyzed pre-service elementary teachers’ perceptions on nanotechnology to further inform a larger scale instructional innovation for pre-service science teacher education. We surveyed students in an elective, media-literacy course through measurement instruments such as pretests, worksheets, and posttests to analyze their perspectives and reasoning as related to the use of nanotechnology for everyday problem solving. The results indicated that students had a “cautiously optimistic” perspective on the application of nanotechnology and that this general perspective was stable and unchanging after instructional innovation. However, we found interesting changes in how students reasoned for these opinions. The significance of the study is that it addresses the concerns of improving public literacy about novel technologies by way of elementary teacher training, and thus it establishes a way for public literacy that starts early in K-12 education.


You will be asked to choose a category for your poster or oral presentation. Posters and presentations will be judged by faculty, staff and graduate student judges by category. Typical categories include (see rubrics below): 

Oral presentations:

  • Human Engagement
  • Science & Technology

Poster presentations

  • Arts, Humanities & Design 

  • Biological & Biochemical Sciences

  • Environmental & Agricultural Sciences

  • Health Sciences & Community Health

  • Physical Sciences & Engineering 

  • Social & Behavioral Sciences 


You will be asked to provide the name(s) of any organizations funding your work. Some examples:

RAP example:

Sponsored by Federal Work Study (Federal Student Aid, U.S. Department of Education)

Sponsored by First2 Network, NSF INCLUDES (Award Numbers: HRD-1834586, HRD-1834595, HRD-1834601, HRD-1834575, HRD-1834569)

WVU SURE example:

Sponsored in part by the West Virginia Research Challenge Fund through a grant from the Division of Science and Research, HEPC and in part by (i) the WVU Provost’s Office, (ii) the Davis College of Agriculture, Natural Resources, and Design, (iii) the Eberly College of Arts and Sciences, (iv) the Statler College of Engineering and Mineral Resources, (v) the School of Medicine, (vi) the Colleges of Creative Arts, Education and Human Services, and Business and Economics, (vii) the Honors College and (viii) the Departments of Chemistry and Biology.

SURE/LSAMP example:

Sponsored by NSF Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation (LSAMP) KY-WV Mid-Level Alliance Phase II (LSAMP-1305039) grant with partial funding through SURE.

Research Mentor Name, Email: 

To prevent conflicts of interest in judging, you will need to provide the name and email address of your faculty mentor (not your secondary mentor or graduate student) in the form. Be sure to enter your faculty research mentor’s email address correctly. We will email all mentors to notify them that their students have submitted an abstract.

Author Agreement: 

You will be asked to “sign” an agreement confirming that all co-authors have reviewed and approved the abstract you are submitting. Your submission will be public and all co-authors will be invited to view your submission. 

Once your abstract has been accepted, you will receive an email notification to submit either a PDF or a link to a video on YouTube before your presentation.


To enhance your presentation, you must submit some form of media associated with your poster or oral presentation. You have the option to submit any one of the following:  

  1. PDF: poster, image, a figure, or graphical abstract
  2. MP4: 30 second elevator pitch, recording of your presentation, or other video clip of some element of your presentation/poster/performance.
  3. Link to a YouTube video: 30 second elevator pitch, recording of your presentation, or other video clip of some element of your presentation/poster.

This is a chance to share a graphical, sound or video element that will be publicly viewagle alongside your abstract. You will be able to update this element up until abstracts close. Each presenter must include one of these items to complete the submission.


For the day of the event, poster presenters should fashion a one panel discipline-specific poster of 36” wide x 46” tall (portrait). Check out our resources for How to Present

Oral Presentations:

Oral presenters and performance presenters (music, film, dance, and theatre) will have up to 15 minutes to present or perform.

Visual Arts presenters will have up to 15 minutes to deliver an oral presentation on their research and process related to the work in the exhibition.

Check out our resources for How to Present


Each poster presentation will be evaluated by at least two faculty, staff or graduate student judges. Judges may or may not be from your specific discipline and may not identify themselves. You will automatically have access to their feedback after the event. This feedback is meant to be constructive and helpful to you. We will also use this feedback to select winners in each category. 

Judging Rubrics: 

Below are links to two example judging rubrics, one for Arts, Humanities & Design and one for all other categories. In each category, judges will assign a score ranging from Poor to Excellent. Judges also have a chance to provide qualitative comments. This is a great chance for you to improve your presentation for a professional conference or future symposium.

Arts, Humanities & Design

STEM, Social & Behavioral Sciences

After Submission:

Your abstract will be publicly visible on the ForagerOne platform once it has been approved by our reviewers. We will do our best to place you in your requested disciplinary category. Please be flexible.


Contact the Office of Undergraduate Research at or (304) 293-9354