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Undergraduate and Master's Research Symposium

A faculty member discusses research at the 2017 symposium

Join us for the eighth annual School of Human Evolution and Social Change Undergraduate and Master's Research Symposium.

Undergraduate students participating in this symposium are presenting posters on a range of projects, papers and research experiences they conducted throughout the year. In keeping with the central focus of our school, these projects all engage with the most complex and critical issues facing humans today. They highlight the wealth of research opportunities available to our undergraduates, and how these experiences shape their critical thinking, analytical abilities and intellectual curiosity beyond the walls of the classroom.

Graduate students participating in this symposium are presenting research based on one of the papers they will be submitting as part of their research portfolios. These portfolios are a key component of their master’s degrees. They demonstrate the student’s ability to systematically gather, analyze and interpret data and to use those data to address a question of disciplinary or interdisciplinary interest. For many students, this symposium is a culmination of their master of arts work; they will be receiving their degrees next month and advancing into Stage II of the doctoral program.

The event will be held Friday, April 20, 2018, in the SHESC Innovation Gallery and on the SHESC front patio. It is from 9 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., with graduate research in the morning and undergraduate research in the afternoon.

For Students

All undergraduate students in the School of Human Evolution and Social Change (and students in other majors with projects related to anthropology, global health or applied math) are welcome to present a poster. To participate in the symposium, students will need to submit an online form in which they will be asked to provide a brief abstract of their project. The application is due April 6. Students will receive confirmation the following week that their project is in the symposium. 


Q: Why can't I open the submission form to apply for the symposium?
 The submission form is a Google Doc linked to your MyASU Gmail account. In order for it to open, you need to be signed out of any personal e-mail account that you have (Gmail, Yahoo, AOL, etc.) and signed into your MyASU account. You should then be able to open the submission form without any errors. If you still are having trouble with it, please e-mail Undergraduate Inquiries.

Q: Does my project need to be complete in order to present at the symposium? 
A: No. Academics and professionals often use symposiums and conferences to get feedback on an ongoing research project. If you are working on a research project, you can put together a poster to present the research you have done so far and your preliminary conclusions on that research. Of course, be sure to inform the audience as to what direction you will continue with your research. Questions from the audience can often help to inspire new questions and directions for your project.

Q: Do I need to have a project completed or underway already before I submit my abstract via the online form? 
A: No. You can propose a new project or poster presentation that you will present at the symposium. Your poster presentation just needs to be finished by the day you present at the symposium.

Q: Do I need to present original research at the symposium? 
A: No. You are free to present on original research you are conducting, research that you are helping a faculty member with or on another topic related to anthropology, global health or applied math. For example, you could present on a term paper that you wrote for a class. Or you could take an experience you had on a study abroad program and present on your interpretations (of course, it should be an academic experience or finding). If you went on the New Zealand study abroad program, you could present on your interpretations of the New Zealand health care system. Or if you attended an archaeology field school, you could present on the research that you were a part of during your excavations.

Q: Can I present on my Barrett Honors Thesis project? 
A: Of course! If you are an anthropology, applied math or global health major, or if you are doing a project related to those fields, you are more than welcome to present on your honors research.

Q: Do I need to turn in a paper? 
A: No. You do not need to turn anything in for the symposium.

Q: What does presenting a poster entail? 
A: Presenting a poster is basically taking all the information you would give in a presentation, but condensing it into poster form. Research posters generally have eye-catching graphics and pictures. They lay out your research methods, findings and conclusions in an easy to read manner. Presenters stand by their poster and viewers walk freely between poster presenters to ask them questions about their projects. Students who do not feel comfortable with public speaking may prefer to present a poster since their research presentation will be more one-on-one rather than speaking to a wider audience. Students are free to also use their laptops as their “poster” to give a multi-media presentation during the poster session. Please click here for a step-by-step guide to creating a poster on the American Anthropological Association website.

Q: What size and format should my poster be? Do I have to print it professionally?
 You do not need to print your poster professionally. You are more than welcome to use the inexpensive tri-fold cardboard model that can be purchased at office supply stores. If you choose to print your poster professionally, you can use the poster format for the School of Human Evolution and Social Change (Office presentation icon download the SHESC poster template). Most professional posters are 36” x 48”. At the symposium, we will provide easels, cardboard backing and tacks to pin your poster up.

Q: If I participate in this symposium, can I put it on my resume? 
A: Most definitely! This is a fantastic opportunity to see how a professional research conference or symposium is run but with no registration or travel costs! We encourage you to participate to showcase your research or simply to use the experience as professional development.

Q: Can my family and friends attend the symposium? 
A: Of course! We encourage everyone who is interested to attend.

Q: Can I attend if I am not presenting? 
A: Yes! Come see what your peers are presenting and ask them questions about their projects.

Q: Can the School of Human Evolution and Social Change help pay for my poster? 
A: Unfortunately, it is not in our budget to reimburse for the cost incurred if you print your poster professionally.