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Frequently Asked Questions

Online symposium setup will have different formats.

What are the requirements for posters?
We suggest that posters be presented on a 36-inch high by 48-inch wide tri-fold poster board. Lettering should be large enough to be legible at a distance of 5 feet. Presenters will be expected to display their work (Black Box Theatre, Kent Campus Center) during the morning registration session and return to stand with their posters during the Poster and Exhibit Session in the afternoon.  They will discuss their work with judges at this time and answer any questions attendees may have.

What are the requirements for oral presentations?
Presentations will be organized into sessions grouped by topics or disciplines, with each presenter allotted 12 minutes to speak and 3 minutes for audience questions. For work with multiple authors, the authors can decide among themselves their various roles in presenting within the 12 minute limit.  

What are the requirements for creative works?
Requirements vary according to the medium, so please consult a member of the Symposium committee for specifics. Performances should last no less than 10 minutes and no more than 20.

For other helpful tips and guidelines related to posters and presentations, see another UCI webpage

What is meant by research, scholarship, creativity?
Research, scholarship and creativity may be defined broadly as any self-directed work that enables individual students or small groups of students to explore an issue of interest to them and to communicate the results to others. The projects involve inquiry, design, investigation, research, analysis, scholarship, discovery, application, writing and/or performance, depending on the topic. Each field may approach research, scholarship and creativity in its own way and with its own emphases. Students are encouraged to consult with a professor in their particular field as to whether or not their project is appropriate for the Symposium.

When and where is the Symposium?
Visit main RCS webpage for specific dates and locations. For more precise times, see the schedule

Who is eligible to participate?
All currently enrolled undergraduate Simpson students are eligible to participate.

Does my project need to be course-based work, or can it be my own independent work or part of a project I did elsewhere?
As long as it is your work, it is eligible for consideration. If your work involves collaboration with another individual, you must obtain their permission for you to present it at the Simpson Symposium; if your partner(s) is a Simpson student, you may present your work together.  

Does this need to be a presentation of a project created by a single author/researcher, or can collaborative projects be presented by more than one person?
Presentations may be either individually or collaboratively created; however, though there is no limit on the number of authors involved in a project to be presented, due to time constraints no more than three students may make an oral presentation at the Symposium. Larger groups may wish to consider organizing a panel, but they will need a Simpson faculty member to apply for one.

My project is still in progress; can I still apply?
Posters may present findings of a work that is currently still in progress. All other presentations, performances and exhibits must be in a completed state, according to the standards of their particular field, by the time of the Symposium.

Can I apply more than once for different projects? Can more than one proposal by the same student be accepted?
Yes to both. Each project and/or format must have its own application, however. For example, if you wish to submit a visual art exhibit such as a painting for consideration and you also want to give an oral presentation on your painting, you must apply twice, once for the exhibit and once for the oral presentation.

What is the application process for collaborative presentations, posters and performances?
Only one student will apply per presentation, poster, or performance, listing other presenters on the application.

Can a group of students propose a panel?
No; each student application is for a single presentation, performance or poster (even if done collaboratively).  Groups that wish to make multiple presentations on a related theme should work with a faculty member, who could apply for a panel with discussion on the topic.

When is the deadline for submitting an abstract? How do I submit the abstract?
Submittal deadline is listed on the main RSC webpage. The application form is available here.

How do I write an abstract? Can I get help with writing it? How long should it be?
You are strongly encouraged to work closely with your faculty sponsor in writing and editing your abstract.  Remember that the abstract is the only way for your work to be judged during the submission and acceptance process, so please make sure it is of the highest quality.  University of California, Irvine has created a very useful webpage full of tips for abstracts. For other helpful tips related to posters and presentations, see another UCI webpage. Your faculty sponsor may be willing to look over your abstract in advance and offer you help; check with them. Your abstract is limited to a total of 300 words.

How do I obtain a faculty sponsor? We encourage students to ask the faculty member who helped them with the research to be their sponsor.  If the research was conducted at another institution, we would suggest you connect with a trusted Simpson College faculty member for sponsorship.

How and when will I know if I have been accepted?
You will be notified by email by March 22nd.

Can I decline to participate after being accepted?
This is not encouraged, but it is allowed.

Who reviews and determines who will participate?
A committee of faculty from the Division in which the student’s work is undertaken will review abstracts with the assistance of Symposium organizers.

What do I do if something happens to my project between now and the Symposium—like I change my focus or title, or I don’t get as far as I had hoped?
The unexpected is to be expected with research! Unless something major happens that would prevent you from completing your project, however, you do not need to inform the Symposium committee. When in doubt, consult your faculty sponsor.

Can I choose the time to present? What if I have a conflict?
No.  If you have a conflict with your scheduled time, please contact a member of the Symposium committee as soon as possible.

Can I present if I do not have an IRB (Institutional Review Board) or IACUC (Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee) approval and my project involves (respectively) human or animal subjects?
If your project involves human or animal research, you must have obtained such approval, unless you are clearly presenting your work as a proposed project and make it clear that absolutely no research has yet been conducted. Such criteria would be met only in the poster sessions; anyone giving an oral presentation on a project involving human or animal research must have an IRB or IACUC approval.

Can I invite people to attend?

Is there a way for me to publish my paper in association with the Symposium?
We hope to have an on-line journal in which we will publish select papers presented at the Symposium.

Is there a fee associated with the Symposium?
No. The Symposium is free for participants and attendees.
Requirements vary according to the medium, so please consult a member of the Symposium committee for specifics. Performances should last no less than 10 minutes and no more than 20.

What if I need audio-visual support? What if my needs change? By when do I need to let organizers know my AV needs?
Contact Professors listed on the main RCS webpage within a week of being accepted.  Specify the exact audio-visual equipment you will need. 

What should I wear?
Attire should be business casual or more formal (jeans are highly discouraged).  The Symposium is open to the public and many members of the Simpson community will attend along with their family and friends, so you should strive to make a good impression.

What time should I show up?
You are strongly encouraged to arrive at the room in which you are presenting at least 10 minutes before your session starts to introduce yourself to the session moderator.  You should plan on attending the entire session in which you are presenting.  The Symposium committee encourages you to attend as many Symposium sessions as possible to support and celebrate outstanding work completed by Simpson students.

What is a faculty sponsor? How does that differ from a faculty mentor? Whom should I choose as my sponsor?
A faculty sponsor is a member of the Simpson faculty who endorses your proposal and work as appropriate for submission to the Symposium. A faculty mentor is directly involved with your work, closely monitoring it and advising you throughout the process. A sponsor may also be a mentor but does not have to be.

How will I be updated as necessary about the Symposium?
All information will be sent directly to your Simpson email address.

When after the Symposium do I need to pick up my poster or other materials?
The poster session and reception runs from 3:00-4:00 in the Black Box in Kent Campus Center with closing remarks following from 4:00-4:15.  Posters need to be picked up immediately afterwards.  If you cannot stay after 4:15, please make arrangements for someone else to pick up your poster.

Will my work be evaluated?

Yes, presentations will be evaluated, and feedback sheets will be distributed to presenters in the weeks following the symposium.


Are there any awards?

Awards will be presented at the end of the day to students who have presented at the symposium for multiple years.

Can I go over my presentation with a member of the Symposium committee?
You are encouraged to practice your presentation before friends and your faculty sponsor. Be sure to time yourself. For specific questions about your presentation, consult a member of the Symposium committee.

Is participating in this something I could list on my graduate school application or résumé?
Yes! Generally this would be under an “Awards and Honors” section of your résumé or curriculum vitae.