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Student Research & Community Engagement Symposium

2021 Student Symposium

The 24th annual Student Research and Community Engagement Symposium will be held virtually as a multi-staged competition throughout the month of April 2021.

Open to all UMass Lowell undergraduate, graduate and doctoral students, this university-wide event is an opportunity for students to share their research, service learning projects, study abroad experiences, creative works and other academic endeavors with fellow students, faculty, deans and department chairs and the extended UMass Lowell community. Students may enter the competition as a team or as an individual.

The Round 1 student video submissions are now published on the Student Symposium YouTube channel! Show your support for our students by viewing, commenting, and voting for your favorites.

Symposium Format

Round 1

April 13–20: Students entering the competition will submit a video of no more than 3 minutes describing their project. These videos will be shared on YouTube for a week of public viewing and voting as Round 1. A team designated by each college dean will select a certain number of finalists proportional to the number of submissions from their college to continue to the next round. Students may elect to participate only in Round 1; they will be considered for the Fan Favorite category.

Round 2

April 23, 1 - 4 p.m.: Finalists selected to proceed to Round 2 will participate in a virtual, real-time presentation and Q&A session with a panel of 3-5 judges. Finalists will start by providing a short presentation followed by a series of questions from the judges related to technical aspects, challenges, solutions, impact, etc. about their projects.

Awards Ceremony/Winners

April 27, Noon to 1 p.m.: The competition will culminate in an awards ceremony to be broadcast virtually for all friends, family and community to enjoy.

The number of Student Symposium winners from each college will be proportional to the number of submissions. Each college will award at least one undergraduate and one graduate student or team as winners. Individual submission winners will each receive $300. Team submission winners will each receive $600 to be split amongst the team.

In addition, each college will recognize at least one “Fan Favorite” winner based on the number of likes on YouTube and input from judges. Fan Favorite winners will receive $150 as both individuals and teams.

How to Participate

Three young women stand in front of poster

1. Submit Your Abstract

Students who wish to participate in the Student Symposium must submit an abstract (up to 250 words) using the online submission portal by Monday, April 5 at 11:59 p.m. Abstracts must be approved by project advisors. The sooner you submit your abstract, the more time you will have to create your video.

Read more about the abstract submission process.

Young black man stands in front of research poster

2. Submit Your Video

Videos may not exceed 3 minutes. We encourage students to be creative with their videos (i.e. using different formats such as multiple slides, demos, interviews, animations, etc.) as long as they demonstrate their projects effectively. Once your abstract is approved, you will receive the link to submit your video.

Read more about video submission, resources and tips.

Young woman listen intently to person in foreground

3. Prepare for Your Presentation and Q&A

Finalists selected to proceed to Round 2 will be asked to participate in a real-time presentation and Question and Answer (Q&A) session with a panel of judges. Be sure to review your work and come prepared to explain your project and answer clarifying questions.

Read more about the presentation and Q&A session.

Student Research