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Submission Process

The submission site is open to EMU undergraduate students, November 15, 2020 - January 22, 2021.

This year, students will submit their work via the Google Form link below.  Once accepted, students will be instructed how to upload their approved content to our virtual platform. 

The Symposium will take place virtually Friday, March 26th, 2021. 

Submit Now

The online submission process is completed by the student presenters and includes a single paragraph, 700 characters or less (including spaces) abstract for each presentation. Abstracts are written with support and review by the faculty mentor prior to submission.

Abstract Guidelines:

As you prepare to submit your research for presentation, you must prepare an electronic file in a .doc or .docx format for upload.

Make this document mirror how you want it printed in the program. Include in your document:

  • Presentation Title (see guidelines below)
  • Student name(s) 
  • Faculty mentor(s)
  • Abstract (see guidelines below)
  • Presentation category (oral, poster, or Design Expo exhibit)
  • Student Emich email address

Guidelines for Presentation Title:

  • Title Case Used and Special Characters Formatted
  • Max of 100 characters including spaces
  • Proper titles within title formatted in italics

Guidelines for Abstract:

  • Spell checked; concise and well-written
  • Max of 700 characters including spaces
  • Special characters formatted and proper titles in italics
  • Written for a wide audience with minimal jargon

Research presented may be the outcome of an outstanding research paper/thesis, independent study, lab research project, performance or design-based project.

Nomination Timeline for 2021 Event:

Online process opens to students on

Nov. 15, 2020

Online process closes to students on

Jan. 22, 2021

Online process closes to committee representatives on

Jan. 25, 2021

Students notified (faculty sponsors cc'd) via email of acceptance to present by

Feb. 14, 2021

Students must upload projects to virtual event platform by

March 19, 2021

41st Undergraduate Symposium

March 26, 2021

Secrets of the Symposium (SOS) Workshops

All first-time student presenters are expected to attend one of the two workshops available.

2021 SOS Workshops will take place virtually from 6:30 p.m.- 8:00 p.m. on Monday, March 1st & Tuesday, March 2nd. 

Once you've been accepted, you will receive an electronic email invite for the SOS Workshops.

Workshop topics:

  • Event logistics and expectations
  • Oral presentation enhancements
  • PowerPoint development and requirements
  • Poster design and interaction
  • Design Expo exhibit expectations and interaction
  • Scholarship opportunities as a Symposium student presenter

Poster Guidelines

Preparing your poster:

  • Each poster presentation will be displayed on our virtual platform throughout the entire day.
  • PDF uploads and a prerecorded voice over are required. 
  • Each student presenter will be assigned one of three sessions that are one hour and 30 minutes in length.
  • During your session time you will interact with attendees, discuss your work, and answer questions. 

Design tips:

Make your poster a solid review of your research; include your abstract.

Posters should be readable. 

Your PDF must be no more than 10MB in size. The file should be at least 3000 pixels or 10 inches in the smallest dimension.

Make your poster as visual as possible; let color; graphs, and photographs balance the text.

Oral Guidelines 

Presentation Tips:

  • Practice and time your presentation so it falls within a 10-minute timeframe. Each presentation, whether single or multiple authors, has a 15-minute slot; 10 minutes for the body of the presentation and 5 minutes for introductions and a short Q&A at the end.
  • Have people unfamiliar with your content read or listen to your presentation to make sure it is understandable to people unfamiliar with your topic.
  • If you are using notecards, use a brief speaking outline to remind you of main points. Number the cards to keep them in order. If you are using a manuscript, put it in a binder. Print the pages using a large font so it will be easier to read. Mark the points to emphasize.
  • Know your first sentence and if you are getting nervous, find the friendliest face in the audience and focus on that person.

PowerPoint Use:

Many students presenting in an oral format want to use PowerPoint to enhance their material. You will want to consider the best approach for this while presenting virtually. For students who utilize Zoom, sharing your screen while presenting is an option. Please reach out to us with any questions. 

Designing Your PowerPoint:

  • Use standard fonts.
  • Make a copy of the Web pages (Save As) and include them directly in your PowerPoint show.
  • Plan ahead; test and practice with your PowerPoint.

You will want to practice with your visual to get comfortable with transitions and timing. 

We will ask that you provide a prerecording of your presentation to post on our virtual platform as a back up for technology issues. 


On the Wednesday before the event, there will be last-minute rehearsal opportunities. Reservations are required and space is limited. Schedule by email to [email protected]

Crossing Lines Design Expo Guidelines

The Crossing Lines Design Expo is a virtual exhibit that allows students with creative projects a unique presentation option at the Undergraduate Symposium. The Expo features designed-based projects that are often interdisciplinary and collaborative in nature. The exhibits are on display all day, however students will be assigned a session time to discuss their project and interact with attendees. 


Because the Design Expo is an exhibit format, participating students have additional required responsibilities involved in their presentation including consideration of the best way to capture their work virtually. The Design Expo committee will be in contact with students to assist in this effort.

Faculty Mentors Responsibilities:

Stay in contact with your student to share details regarding their Symposium participation. Your encouragement and support to your students is greatly appreciated.

  • Verify details of your student's presentation including the time of presentation whether oral, poster, or an exhibit in the design expo. Discuss presentation format; especially time limits for oral presentations (10 minutes for presentation and 5 minutes for an introduction and closing questions).
  • Assist student with the presentation. Work with student to assure material is ready for presentation. Rehearse presentation and/or assist with preparation of visuals, equipment and/or exhibit.
  • Attend the virtual Symposium, itself, in support of your students. For an oral presentations  we suggest you be present to introduce your student at the assigned session and lend support to the student during the Q&A period.
  • Remind your students that scholarship opportunities are available.