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Students at the Student Symposium

Undergraduate Student Symposium

Showcase Your Research and Creativity

NSU’s Undergraduate Student Symposium (USS), hosted by the Farquhar Honors College, showcases the outstanding scholarship and creativity of NSU undergraduate students in all disciplines. Since 2002, this annual event has encouraged students to explore their passions and share their discoveries through poster displays, oral presentations, and short films.

Many projects featured at the symposium lead to further research, publication, or presentation at national conferences and film festivals. We encourage NSU undergraduate students of all disciplines to participate and attend.

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Important Dates 

The 21st Annual USS is on Wednesday, April 5, and Thursday, April 6, 2023. 

  • Application Opens: January 9, 2023
  • Application Deadline: February 12, 2023
  • Notification of Acceptance: week after spring break
  • Film Completion Deadline: end of March

Project Categories

Poster Presentations
Display your scholarship via posterboard
Oral Presentations
Present your work with a talk or slideshow presentation
Film Festival
Screen your 5-10 minute narrative, documentary, or avant-garde short film

You can easily convert existing projects into a poster or oral presentation to present. We'll provide workshops to help you create your presentations. Examples of projects you may convert include:

  • Research or creative papers
  • Class presentations
  • Marketing plans
  • Independent study work
  • Senior capstone projects
  • Synthesized data and insights from class activities, internships, student-run businesses, and field experiences 

Benefits of Participating

  • Gain valuable research, writing, presentation, and filmmaking skills
  • Develop mentoring relationships with faculty
  • Network with peers, professors, and the broader NSU and local community
  • Demonstrate a unique and elevated level of academic engagement and initiative to prospective employers and graduate schools
  • Receive a commemorative pin and certificate, with outstanding projects receiving additional awards
  • Potentially earn 1 ExEL credit if you complete additional requirements (we'll provide more information if your project is accepted)


Film festival applicants should contact the festival organizers by email: Marlisa Santos, Ph.D., at, or Weylin Sternglanz, Ph.D., at

Submitted projects will undergo a competitive selection process for inclusion in the symposium. You may be a part of more than one project but can only submit one project as the lead researcher or filmmaker. If both projects are accepted, you must present both.

To participate, you must: 

  1. Create a project and secure a faculty sponsor.
  2. Complete CITI Training for any research involving human subjects (see details below).
  3. Complete and submit the online USS Application.
  4. Upload a correctly formatted abstract at the time of application. Faculty sponsors should review and approve the abstract before submission.
  5. Upload any necessary CITI documentation at the time of application for all student participants and faculty sponsors.
  6. Check the box at the bottom of the application to receive an email copy of your application. Please verify all information is correct. If you do not receive a separate email confirmation or need to edit your application, contact Robin St. George ( in the Honors College immediately.
  7. Receive notification of your project's acceptance into the symposium. We'll notify you via email regarding the acceptance status of your project. This email will provide additional information and instructions.
  8. Attend supplemental workshops to help prepare your presentation or short film. 

If participating in the USS Film Festival as a filmmaker, you're responsible for all legal matters related to your film, including getting actors and crew members to sign the appropriate release forms.

For research projects involving human subjects, researchers and the faculty sponsor must complete CITI training before submitting a project for Institutional Review Board approval. This training is also required for projects that seek IRB exemption. The training is offered online on the CITI training website. Investigators must register before completing the training modules. Please complete the online form with your faculty sponsor.

Investigators conducting research in science/biomedical areas must complete (at a minimum) the following modules:

  • History and Ethical Principles
  • Basic Institutional Review Board
  • Informed Consent
  • Records-Based Research
  • Genetic Research
  • Vulnerable Populations: An Overview
  • Hot Topics

Investigators conducting research in social/behavioral sciences or humanities must complete (at a minimum) the following modules:

  • History and Ethical Principles
  • Defining Research with Human Subjects
  • The Regulations and the Social and Behavioral Sciences
  • Assessing Risk in Social and Behavioral Sciences
  • Informed Consent
  • Privacy and Confidentiality
  • Research with Children
  • Research in Public Elementary and Secondary Schools

As appropriate, additional training modules may be required depending on the specific research.

Along with the commemorative pin and certificate awarded to all participants, outstanding projects in each category receive additional prizes. Winners are announced at the USS Awards Ceremony.

Poster and Oral Presentation Judging 

The judges use the criteria below to select the poster and oral presentation winners during the symposium, not to determine which projects are accepted. As you plan your poster or oral presentation, be sure to address each of these aspects:

  • Significance and appropriateness of the research question
  • Quality of the argument/research
  • Soundness of conclusions
  • Creativity and originality
  • Clarity of presentation

Film Festival Judging

Judging will take place before the film screenings at the USS. Participating judges include NSU faculty and industry and community professionals. During the USS, the top twenty films are showcased as part of the NSU Film Festival.

AAUW Award

Each year, NSU's American Association of University Women (AAUW) chapter awards one project that best supports the organization's mission of "advancing gender equity for women and girls through research, education, and advocacy." All projects focusing on women's issues are considered.

Learn More

For questions about the USS, contact, or call (954) 262-8408.

For questions about the Film Festival, contact Marlisa Santos, Ph.D., at, or Weylin Sternglanz, Ph.D., at 

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