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Open to all undergraduate, graduate, and doctoral students, the Student Symposium is an opportunity to share a video of no more than 3 minutes about your research, service learning project, study abroad experience, creative work or other academic endeavor with a general audience of students, staff, faculty members, deans and department chairs, and members of the extended UMass Lowell community.

Overview of the Process

  • UMass Lowell student participants must first submit an abstract (up to 250 words). Team submissions are welcome. All abstracts must be approved by a UMass Lowell project advisor in order for your video to be considered. 
  • Once the abstract is approved by the UMass Lowell project advisor, the student who submitted the abstract ("lead author") will receive an email with instructions for how to submit your video. If it is a team submission, the lead author will need to inform all members of the team of the next steps.
  • Video submissions will be posted by an event organizer to the UMass Lowell Student Symposium YouTube Channel. Viewers will be able to vote for their favorites (via the "like" button).

Video Guidelines & Requirements

  • All projects must be submitted as a 3-minute (maximum) presentation video. Presentation videos that exceed 3 minutes will not be accepted. Please be sure your presentation video does not exceed the time limit.
  • Students are encouraged to be creative with their videos as long as the videos effectively demonstrate their projects. Students can use one or a mix of elements and formats such as multiple slides, demos, interviews, animations, etc.
  • Presentation videos that include information collected from human subjects require approval from the Institutional Review Board (IRB) prior to data collection. Please contact your project advisor if you have questions about whether your project is subject to IRB approval and how to acknowledge approval during your presentation video.
  • Presentation videos will be captioned using the YouTube's machine learning algorithm. Please ensure you include clear audio as it is key to quality captions.

Video Creation Resources and Tips

  • Students are encouraged to use recording tools currently available to them, e.g., through a webcam, cell phone camera, an iPad, etc. You can also record your presentation as a PowerPoint presentation with voice-over narration. For step-by-step instructions on how to record a PowerPoint presentation with voice-over narration and save it as a .mp4 file, visit Microsoft's support page for recording a presentation. Another option for recording your presentation is to use Powtoon animation software (a free version is available).
  • Video editing is encouraged. For suggestions on free editing software visit Hootsuite's blog post, Best Free Video Editing Software: Top 10 for 2023.

ViewingAudience&VotingViewing Audience & Voting

  • Presentation videos will be available for public viewing on the UMass Lowell Student Symposium YouTube Channel.
  • The viewing audience will include fellow students, UMass Lowell faculty, deans & department chairs, alumni, community partners, and others that are part of the extended UMass Lowell community. In addition, we anticipate that middle school and high school student viewers, prospective UMass Lowell student viewers and many others will be part of the viewing audience. Please keep this in mind as you develop your content and record your presentation video.
  • Once the viewing period opens, presenters are encouraged to promote their own video with family, friends, faculty, colleagues, etc.
  • During the viewing period, viewers will be able to post questions and comments on individual presentation videos using the YouTube comment feature and will have the opportunity to vote on each presentation video (via the "like" button). Students should monitor and respond to the questions and comments on their video throughout the viewing period. Actively engage with those who took the time to view your video! Please remember that replies to viewer questions and comments should be appropriate and professional. Also remember that the viewers of your comments are likely to represent a range of ages and expertise.
  • During the viewing period, a team designated by each college dean will view videos and select a certain number of finalists proportional to the number of submissions from their college to continue to the next round. In Round 2, finalists will be asked to participate in an in-person Q&A session with a panel of 3-5 judges.
  • At least one "Fan Favorite" winner from each college will be selected based on the number of "likes" on YouTube and input from judges. Students may elect to only participate in Round 1 if they only want to be considered for the Fan Favorite category.