Graduate Research Competition

April 3rd, 2018 - Ballroom, Kansas Union

Application Deadline: Monday, February 5, 2018

The Office of Graduate Studies invites graduate students to apply to participate in the 2018 Graduate Research Competition, which will be on April 3, 2018. The competition is a campus-wide event focusing on graduate student research and provides graduate students the opportunity present their research to faculty judges and peers from across the University. Prizes will be awarded by Graduate Studies.

Participants with presentations in engineering or the social/behavioral/physical/biological sciences may also elect to participate in the Sigma Xi Research Paper competition.  Those electing to participate will be judged during their presentations and the top early and advanced graduate students will receive a token of recognition at the Sigma Xi award ceremony in May 2018.  (Early graduate students are defined as master’s candidates or doctoral students who have not passed comprehensive exams.   Advanced graduate students are defined as doctoral students who have passed preliminary/comprehensive exams.)  Award winners in the Sigma Xi competition will also receive one free year of membership in the KU Chapter of Sigma Xi.  Sigma Xi is an international, multidisciplinary research society whose mission is to enhance the health of the research enterprise, foster integrity in science and engineering, and promote the public's understanding of science for the purpose of improving the human condition. 

Nonparticipants, both undergraduate and graduate students, as well as faculty, are encouraged to attend. Attendees will be exposed to the breadth and depth of the research being pursued across the University and have networking opportunities.

The Graduate Research Competition features the following activities for students:

Poster Presentations 1:00 – 3:00 pm, Ballroom of Kansas Union

Oral Presentations 1:00 – 4:00 pm, Conference Rooms through out the Kansas Union

Applying to Participate in the Competition

Each student is allowed ONE entry into the Graduate Research Competition: you can apply either to give a poster presentation or an oral presentation. Multiple submissions are not allowed.

Poster Presentation

Poster presentations will be given by individual students. To apply to give a poster presentation, please submit the following information:

  • Poster Presenter’s information (first and last name, department/program affiliation, faculty advisor, etc.)
  • Poster Title and Research Abstract (maximum of 250 words)

Oral Presentations

Oral presentations will be given as panels consisting of three different presenters united by a topic relevant to their research. The panel will be one hour long with each presenter having 15 minutes to present their research. The topics for proposed panels are open to your discretion. Be creative: for example, topics could include a shared methodology, geographic area, human population, or physical process.

To apply to give oral presentations, please submit the following information about your panel and all three different persons participating in the panel:

  • Title of Panel
  • Panel Description: Briefly explain the panel’s shared topic in one to two sentences
  • Three Panelists’ information (first and last names, department/program affiliations, faculty advisors, etc.)
  • Three Panelists’ Poster Titles and Research Abstracts (maximum of 250 words)

Application Deadline: Monday, February 5, 2018

Frequently asked questions:

Why should I participate in the Graduate Research Competition?
The Graduate Research Competition is an opportunity for you to practice communicating your research, a chance to present and share your research with the wider campus community, a line for your CV - and you might even win an award!

How do you determine the winners of the Graduate Research Competition awards?
Faculty members from various departments generously donate their time to judge the student presentations. Student will be judged on their knowledge of the research topic, the clarity and effectiveness of delivery, and the organization and completeness of the presentation.

I need help with my abstract. Where can I find advice and information?
If you need help writing the abstract, consider visiting the KU Writing Center or attending the Writing Research Abstracts workshop.

Additional advice may be found on the following websites:

I have never made a research poster. How do I make one?
To make a poster, begin with UNC's guide, Designing Effective Posters.

For further advice on and examples of posters, see Colin Purrington and the Better Posters blog.

I need accessibility accommodations. How can I receive support?

If you are in need of an accommodation due to a disability, please submit your request at least seven days in advance of the event to the Office of Graduate Studies. Email, phone (785) 864-8040, TTY: 711.

Do you have other questions? Please contact us at

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