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Student Research Projects, Opportunities Take Center Stage During Weeklong Series of Events

Undergraduate Research Poster Contest

Taylor Sells, a biology major, presented her research project to judge William Pack during last year's poster contest. Sells earned third place for her work on proteins implicated in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. This year's exhibition will be Wednesday in the Visitor Center Atrium.

The UT Dallas Office of Undergraduate Education and the Office of Research will host the 2016 Exhibition of Excellence in Undergraduate Research this week. The annual event provides a chance for students to learn about research opportunities on campus, get advice from undergraduate researchers and learn how to craft a science/research-oriented résumé. 

Activities also will include lunch sessions providing information about publishing in UT Dallas’ undergraduate research journal, The Exley, as well as a poster session featuring undergraduates discussing research projects they worked on this year. 

Undergrads looking for research opportunities are encouraged to check out Match Day on Thursday. The event pairs motivated students with faculty members who have active research projects. 

Match Day

During Match Day, students looking for research opportunities are matched with faculty members who have active projects. Last year, Tri Le, a healthcare studies student, spoke with Salim Megat, a research associate with the School of Behavioral and Brain Sciences.

“At Match Day, it’s exciting to see the enthusiasm faculty have about their research inspire undergraduates to explore new topics outside of their major and encourage them to participate in applied research,” said Courtney Brecheen, associate dean in the Office of Undergraduate Education. 

A new event added this year is geared toward PhD students. The Three Minute Thesis competition, which originated at the University of Queensland, challenges doctoral students to explain their research and its importance to a general audience in less than 180 seconds. Undergraduate students will be among the judges for the Friday event. 

“Having graduate students explain their research to undergraduates is a great way for the graduate students to learn important communication skills while showing undergraduate students what work they could look forward to as they move forward in their university education,” said Beth Keithly, associate director for research development in the Office of Research and organizer of the contest. 

The partnership between the Office of Undergraduate Education and the Office of Research seeks to help balance the high student demand for research experience and the limited number of faculty who can accommodate it, Brecheen said. 

“For students, the sequence of events this week helps manage their expectations, assess their qualifications, examine examples of undergraduate research and explore current opportunities,” she said. “For faculty, our goal is to introduce them to motivated students and showcase their roles as mentors.” 

2016 Exhibition of Excellencein Undergraduate Research

Activities are open to all UT Dallas students. For more information, see the online schedule.

Undergraduate Student Research Panel4-5 p.m. Monday, TI Auditorium, ECSS 2.102Students can learn about applying for the Green Fellowship Program, Clark Summer Research Program or a Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship. Undergraduates and faculty mentors will answer questions about their research experiences and provide tips.

Research Résumé Workshop5 p.m. Monday, TI Auditorium, ECSS 2.102Students can get advice on preparing a scientific/research-oriented résumé. The workshop also will cover best practices and tips for interviewing during Match Day.

‘The Exley’ Lunch-and-Learn11:30 a.m. Tuesday, Founders 2nd Floor AtriumRSVP for lunch requiredLearn how to get published in UT Dallas’ undergraduate research journal, The Exley.

‘The Exley’ Luncheon11:30 a.m. Wednesday, Visitor Center AtriumCelebrate the latest issue of The Exley. Current contributors as well as recipients of the Patti Henry Pinch Scholarship will be recognized. Attendees will receive a copy of the new issue.

Undergraduate Research Scholar Awards and Poster Contest2-5 p.m. Wednesday, Visitor Center AtriumRecipients of Undergraduate Research Scholar Awards will present their research at a poster exhibition. Judges will determine who will go on to the finals, which will be held April 27.

Match Day3-5 p.m. Thursday, Visitor Center AtriumMatch Day pairs motivated students with faculty members who have active research projects. Dress professionally and come prepared with copies of your résumé, as well as questions to ask researchers.

Three Minute Thesis (3MT)3-4 p.m. Friday, CN 1.102The competition will challenge PhD students to describe their research and its importance to a general audience in three minutes. Judges will include undergraduates.

2016 Provost’s Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Research Mentoring The winner of this year's award will be announced Friday. The award formally acknowledges a faculty mentor who demonstrates superior leadership, support and guidance to undergraduates in their research endeavors.

Media Contact: The Office of Media Relations, UT Dallas, (972) 883-2155, [email protected].

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