Student Research Symposium Guidelines

Abstract Guidelines

The abstract should summarize the essentials of your idea in a single paragraph of no more than 200 words.  The abstract must capture the core of your thesis or theme, so that the audience and judges will understand the direction and significance of your research.


Abstract Instructions

  • Write an abstract of no more than 200 words.
  • Prepare the abstract as part of the application form.
  • Carefully proofread your abstract and ask your faculty sponsor to also proofread the abstract; substandard abstracts risk non-acceptance.
  • Your sponsor will submit your abstract and application information via the individual or group application form.
  • If accepted, your abstract will be included in the symposium's published program.  It should reflect the quality of your work as a scholar.  Please work closely with your faculty sponsor to produce an abstract that exemplifies academic excellence.

Research Paper Guidelines

If you are selected as a winner in the oral or poster competition, your paper/poster will be published as part of the symposium's online anthology.  You must submit a copy of your final paper/poster to no later than May 1.  This gives you sufficient time after the symposium to revise and finalize your paper/poster based on questions and comments you received as part of your presentation.  The paper should be saved as a Word document (.doc), using the style guidelines of your particular discipline (MLA, APA, Chicago, etc.). If you are unable to create a Word document, please contact Jessica Martin at 788-7154 for instructions.



Your abstract must be prepared as part of the appropriate application form which is due March 1, 2019.

Institutional Review Board Approval

A student who is considering presenting research that involves working with individuals or groups of people or distributing surveys should complete the procedure for submitting a research proposal with a copy of the request for human subject consent form that will be distributed to each participant in a survey.  Each chief investigator is responsible for protecting the rights of participants in a study, and the participant should not feel coerced to participate. All research procedures are outlined at the IRB website.

Suggestions for a successful IRB submission

  • Contact with the participant and gathering of data must not occur until approval is received from the IRB, and first date of contact on the application cannot be before approval by IRB. Failure to comply will result in withdrawal of IRB approval for the project, and the student cannot present at the Research Symposium.Allow at least a week, preferably two, for the IRB to review your procedure.
  • State where data will be securely stored, i.e. password protected computer, and when the data will be destroyed.
  • Submit a copy of your NIH certificate, not just the number.
  • Faculty may apply for approval for a course requirement for research.
    • The faculty member presents the completed Application for Course Approval  (PDF will open in a new tab) form to the IRB for approval.
    • The faculty member demonstrates completion of the Health and Human Services course for conducting human subjects’ research found at Protecting Human Research Participants. At the point of approval, the faculty member accepts responsibility for overseeing all research performed by students in the approved course.
    • NOTE: Design and presentation of the research or poster is the responsibility of the course instructor and the student.
  • For questions regarding IRB approval contact Becky Timmons at 479-788-7680.


Questions?  Please contactBrandon Hutchison (479-788-7414) at