Even with the challenges caused by a global pandemic, undergraduate students at The University of Alabama rigorously pursued research and creative avenues outside the classroom, and this year’s Undergraduate Research and Creative Activity Conference will showcase the effort.
About 350 students are participating in the 14th annual conference, held both at the Bryant Conference Center March 31 and online for students who chose to present virtually.
“This is exciting because this year has been rough on everyone, but the students have really demonstrated resilience and determination to be involved,” said Dr. Kim Bissell, director of the Office for Undergraduate Research.
Student poster presentations begin at 9 a.m. and last until 3 p.m. and the UA community is invited to attend. The College of Continuing Studies is managing Virtual presentations, which can be viewed on the website for the Office for Undergraduate Research.
The premier research event to highlight undergraduate research at UA is moving to this hybrid format after holding the 2020 conference virtually in response to the pandemic. The conference spurs interest in research among undergraduate students and helps students polish their communication skills.
There are three sessions divided to ensure adequate spacing between the poster stands and allow for all UA public health protocols regarding capacity limits and social distancing.
Poster presentations are grouped by research areas, instead of by academic colleges or departments, to align with national trends of using interdisciplinary approaches to problem-solving. The sessions, from earliest to latest in the day, are health sciences and engineering; social sciences, life science and physical science; and fine arts, humanities, business and education.
Students compete and gain experience in presenting and defending their research projects either at the in-person event or through online presentations. From each session, judges will identify the winners, who will be recognized at an awards ceremony at the Bryant Conference Center April 13.
The University of Alabama, part of The University of Alabama System, is the state’s flagship university. UA shapes a better world through its teaching, research and service. With a global reputation for excellence, UA provides an inclusive, forward-thinking environment and nearly 200 degree programs on a beautiful, student-centered campus. A leader in cutting-edge research, UA advances discovery, creative inquiry and knowledge through more than 30 research centers. As the state’s largest higher education institution, UA drives economic growth in Alabama and beyond.