As I mentioned in an earlier post, the deadlines for undergraduate research courses are looming before us. Two related events – ones that could be really helpful for students thinking of applying to any one of these courses – are the upcoming Cell and Systems Biology and Ecology and Evolutionary Biology research poster presentations.
EEB Undergraduate Research Fair:
EEB‘s Undergraduate Research Fair occurs on Friday March 26 in the foyer just outside of the Earth Science Auditorium (ESC 1050) from 1-3 pm. While there appears to be a no cohesive record of past poster presentations, a few photos are available from presentations done several years ago.
CSB Poster Session and Project Seminar:
The CSB Poster Session will be held a few days later on April 5 in the basement of Ramsay Wright, just outside Room 010, from 1:30-3:30. Students will present posters, discuss their research and answer questions.
The CSB Student Union is also hosting a project seminar on March 18 in Ramsay Wright (RW432) from 6:10-7:20 pm. Third- and fourth-year students, as well as two professors, will discuss the CSB research projects.
The presentations are a bit like the grand finale for students who, nearing the end of their 497H, 498Y and 499Y independent courses, come together to present the research and findings they’ve produced over the course of their fourth-year experiments.
While most departments offer independent research courses, not all require that students complete an oral presentation at the end of the year. In this sense, the CSB and EEB poster sessions are particularly useful because they showcase current undergraduate projects, giving onlookers an idea about the breadth of research undertaken in these courses. For students interested in applying to do a independent research course, the presentations also provide a way to see which projects end up being successful.
Planning an experiment or research project is not always as easy at it sounds. Neither is producing a specific question that is to be answered over the course of a year, especially since the results of scientific work are not always expected or anticipated. Planning out research is made a lot easier if you’re able to view other work, seeing the types of questions broached by other students, as well as the kinds of results elicited by these questions. The presentations also provide undergraduates with a way to meet other students with experience in research, and to ask questions about the courses.