Call for Submissions

Please make sure to read the following important information in its entirety! 

** The Call for 2021 Submissions are currently closed.  Please check back in early 2022 for updated instructions on how to submit.


  • UMCUR is designed to highlight the original research and creative scholarship of UM students. Participation is open to all UM undergraduates in good standing.

  • Students receiving research scholarships through the Davidson Honors College must present the results of their work within the academic year of the award. UMCUR provides an excellent opportunity to satisfy that requirement.

  • Students are welcome to present work-in-progress, as well as completed research and creative scholarship.

  • Submissions may be made for an oral presentation (individual author, co-authors, Franke Global Leadership Initiative (GLI) panel, or Visual & Performing Arts), or as a poster presentation. The five research categories are Humanities, Life Sciences, Physical Sciences, Social Sciences, and Visual & Performing Arts (music, drama, dance, film, sculpture, and poetry readings, etc. are welcome). **Note - The Franke Global Leadership Initiative (GLI) panel is considered its own category in oral presentations and has its own judging rubric & award.  

  • UMCUR attracts a general audience composed of students and faculty in all disciplines. Your intentions must be communicated in a manner that is intelligible to all audience members.


Abstracts/Artist Statements

  1. Submissions may be made as either an oral (including visual & performing art and GLI panels), or poster presentation.
  2. To apply, all applicants must have their faculty research mentor review and approve the abstract prior to submission. Submitters will be asked to provide the name and department of their mentor in the submission form.
  3. Abstracts/Artist's Statements (circa 300 words) must include the following elements (as applicable to your field): Your UMCUR abstract must be specific to this presentation. It should not be an abstract that you previously submitted for an award application; rather, it should be revised to reflect your most recent work on the project. View our sample abstracts for strong examples. Artist's statements may be submitted in lieu of an abstract to the Visual & Performing Arts category. Entries should also include research or explanation of artwork, sculpture, painting, writing, reading, dancing, playing an instrument, etc.
    1. Title – Describe your topic in language that is intelligible to a general audience.
    2. Purpose – State your main thesis or rationale.
    3. Methods – How did you carry out this project?
    4. Significance – Explain the contribution of this project to your field and/or to society.  Your explanation can include reasoning or inspiration for choosing this topic, or what details lead you to this research. No need to have conclusive answers or evidence, especially if your data is still being processed.
  4. Complete the ScholarWorks Online Submission Form by the March 15, 2021 deadline at midnight.  It is suggested the final abstract be uploaded at this time. However, edits to the submission (i.e. updates to abstract, data & co-authors) may be made any time prior to the presentation upload deadline (April 11 at midnight).

Submitters must upload their final poster and/or presentation slides ALONG with their video accompaniment (MP4) to ScholarWorks by the deadline - Sunday, April 11 at midnight to be considered for an award (see Awards & Judging section below). 

In addition to the visual component, poster presentations should include up to 10 minutes of audio or video description. The individual poster or multiple slides isolating figures of the poster during the presentation is accepted.  Oral presentations (including GLI) should be no more than 15 minutes and should include a visual presentation with accompanying video or audio. Visual & Performing Arts submitters should upload a JPEG image of a single artwork and/or a video clip from two minutes to 15 minutes in length.

Although there are many options to record an audio and/or video presentation, we recommend participants use the video-conferencing tool Zoom. If this format is uncomfortable for you, but you are interested in recording your presentation, we encourage you to use a method you are comfortable with such as recording your video on a cellphone, etc. Zoom allows you to record an audio component over your presentation slides or to accompany a poster. Participants can access their free UM Zoom account with their Net Id & password (see tutorial video under Additional Resources below).



UM Writing and Public Speaking Center Logo

If you would like to have additional assistance in prepping your abstract, recording an effective presentation, or would like to practice with feedback, the UM Writing and Public Speaking Center Website has created the following resources. Click on the links to view.

Additional Resources


The Committee on Undergraduate Research with support from Experiential Learning & Career Success will present awards to the top oral and poster presentations in each of the five research categories (Humanities, Life Sciences, Physical Sciences, Social Sciences, and Visual & Performing Arts).  **The Franke Global Leadership Initiative will present an award to the top GLI capstone team oral presentation on April 26. 

In order to qualify for an award, the author must, submit an abstract (previously approved by faculty mentor), and upload their recorded presentation, slides, poster, and/or photograph by the listed deadlines.  Awards will be presented for outstanding achievement to winning projects across UMCUR categories.

Tailoring your video presentation to a general audience is an important factor in obtaining a UMCUR award.  So, take the time to get it right.  This is an excellent opportunity to introduce yourself and to explain the purpose, methods, and significance of the project.  **Research conclusions are not mandatory if data is still on-going and/or not complete. 

Presentations will be judged based on the UMCUR Rubric.  Franke Global Leadership Initiative (GLI) presentation judges will be using the GLI Rubric.

Judges will deliberate April 16-21 and awardees will be announced on April 23, 2021. (GLI-April 26) Watch emails for more information.  UMCUR Past Awards & Archives

Judges Needed!!  The Davidson Honors College invites you to be a part of this year's UMCUR.  Please sign-up to be a judge today!  Your time is greatly appreciated.  Read More.

Questions?  Please email the conference coordinator, Michelle Eckert.