Undergraduate Research
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TIPS FOR A SUCCESSFUL POSTER EVENT

  • Be sure to contact and invite your representative and senator to your poster session. (There are sample messages on this website.) Legislators tell us the reason they visit this event is because students invite them. Someone at your university may be able to help you contact both the legislators from your home district (if you are a PA student) and the district of your college or university.

  • Make an appointment to meet with your representative and senator after the poster session if they cannot attend. An email or quick phone call to their office is all it should take to schedule an appointment. Again, someone at your university may be able to help you with this contact.

  • Bring a camera. Someone in your group should bring a camera to take pictures of the poster event. (When the session is in progress, no pictures are allowed on the House floor.) After the poster event, be sure to share your photos with your legislators, faculty supervisor, and your public relations office.

  • Know your research and be sure to talk about it in language that will resonate with your legislators. Some suggestions.

TALKING POINTS FOR STUDENTS ADVISOR TIPS

  • State and federal investments in undergraduate research become more vital to the future of America and the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania every day and have a profound impact on local communities across the nation and our Commonwealth. (Explain the relevance of your own research --- how it addresses fundamental issues of science or social science or how it addresses a problem of interest to society, especially as it impacts constituents in the legislator’s district.)

  • Students learn science by doing science. (Talk about how your research experience has affected your career decisions, your intellectual maturity, your learning, and your desire to pursue further study in your field.) Hands-on research goes beyond what can be done by computer simulation, by distance learning, or traditional lectures.

  • Research and education are indivisible; mentorship is vital for successful undergraduate research projects. (Discuss the positive impact that your faculty member has had on you and your research.)

  • There are a number of federal agencies, including NSF, the NIH, the Department of Energy, the National Endowments for the Arts and the Humanities, and others that support varied research and education programs as independent grant-making agencies, and particularly facilitate research and original scholarship. (Discuss any collaborative research grants, grants for HBCUs and HSIs, or any other funding under these agencies you have received.)

  • Most importantly, thank your state representative and senator for their support.

For additional advice to presenters for a successful poster event, click here.

ADVISOR TIPS

Watch your email!  During the month of January academic officers/advisors will receive an email announcing the date for the year.  Advisors should follow these tips to assist students prepare for the Undergraduate Research Day at the Capitol:

  • The selection process may vary at each school therefore, you and the interested students should confirm your institution’s internal process for participation;

  • Confirm that your student followed the steps to register outlined in the “How do I participate in URC-PA?” section including the intent to register email.  This step is vital as it indicates their intent to participate and provides the necessary contact information;

  • Check with your institution to ensure that it has registered the correct number of posters;

  • Work with the Government Affairs Office of the institution for the purposes of contacting the appropriate legislators;

  • Encourage students to make the contact with their legislators;

  • Have students practice presenting their comments on their poster to individuals who are non-experts in their discipline;

  • Be certain that the presenting students are able to indicate why their research is important to their discipline;

  • Confirm that students know who their funding source is and that they have a detailed understanding of that funding source;

  • Be sure that the student can describe what undergraduate research has meant for them personally and how it is different than classroom instruction; and

  • Confirm that the student is ready for the day of the event with the presentation poster and an easel.
     

 

Home | Abstract Submission | Advice to Presenters | Directions | Event Agenda
Hotel Information | Legislative Contact | Organizers | Participants | Poster Guide | Tips