Presentation Information & Guidelines

SUNY undergraduates in all academic fields are invited to submit proposals to present their independent research and creative activity projects at the 2018 SUNY Undergraduate Research Conference (SURC), to be held on April 20 at SUNY Oneonta and April 21 at Monroe Community College. Student presenters can select their presentation venue.

Students are encouraged to submit proposals to present their original:

  • Research (15-minute oral presentation includes Q&A; or one-hour poster presentation)
  • Creative writing (15-minute reading/interpretive presentation includes Q&A)
  • Visual art (15-minute interpretive presentation with slides includes Q&A; or one-hour poster presentation)
  • Music composition (up to 20-minute performance/interpretative commentary includes Q&A)
  • Dance choreography (up to 20-minute performance/interpretative commentary includes Q&A)
  • Theatrical script (up to 20-minute performance/interpretative commentary includes Q&A)

Upon submission, students abstracts will be emailed to their faculty mentors for their review. When the SURC Committee receives faculty mentor approval by email, it will forward student abstracts to a panel of faculty reviewers for evaluation based on the criteria below and the standards of the specific academic discipline.

If you have questions, please contact

Eligible Undergraduate Student Research and Creative Projects

  • Produced by student(s) under faculty supervision or in collaboration with faculty
  • Associated with: thesis and/or capstone project; advanced methods, independent research, applied learning or other course (in which project represents substantial research or creative work); summer research experience
  • Based on advanced methodologies in the discipline and (in the case of research) on relevant data (statistical, lab, field, or survey) or primary source material

Submission Information

Please have the following information available when submitting your presentation proposal:

  • Primary presenter name, e-mail address, phone number, college/university, academic field
  • Faculty mentor name and e-mail address
  • Secondary presenter(s) name(s) and e-mail address(es)
  • Presentation type: oral presentation; poster presentation; performance
  • Presentation title, abstract (200-300 words)
  • Special equipment or space requests

Abstract Guidelines

An abstract is a one-paragraph summary of your project.

Abstract should clearly and concisely:

  • Identify the central research question, objective, or thesis of the project
  • Summarize the methodology and/or findings of the research or creative work
  • State conclusions, significance, and/or current state of the project

    In addition:
  • Abstracts should be written at college level (e.g. spelling, grammar, clarity, etc.) since they will include names of student(s) and faculty mentor.
  • Upon submission, abstracts will be sent to faculty mentors for approval. Abstracts that do not receive faculty mentor support will not be accepted.
  • There is a limit of one presentation proposal/abstract per primary author.

    Abstract Format:
  • Titles should be bolded, short and specific, and in mixed UPPER and lower case letters.
  • Use 12-point Times New Roman font.
  • Abstract should be 200-300 words.
  • Include plain text only- DO NOT include tables, charts, pictures, foreign characters, or scientific symbols.
  • The title and abstract will appear in the conference program exactly as inputted, so double check spelling, punctuation, and clarity of prose.

Sample Abstracts:

First Sample

The idiom “cold feet” can be interpreted as a sudden reversal of commitment, such as a groom’s change of mind about getting married. This phrase may in fact represent a cardiovascular response to stress orchestrated by the Sympathetic Nervous System (SNS). The SNS can be activated by both physical and psychological stimuli. Its response to light exercise is diverting blood away from the skin toward skeletal muscle which cools the skin down. You could hypothesize that psychological duress could trigger a sympathetic response which redirects blood from the skin cooling it down. The purpose of this project was to assess whether public speaking, a situation common to the classroom can initiate an anxious response by the cardiovascular system which causes a cooling of the skin. Twenty four students in Human Physiology class participated in this study. Electrocardiograph, heart rate and skin temperature were obtained on each student at rest, light exercise and during public speaking using the Biopac System. The mean surface body temperature was significantly lower during the time students were public speaking (Avg. 85 0F) than at rest (Avg. 89 0F) P < .01. The results would suggest that a sympathetic response to psychological stress was the culprit.

Second Sample

Alzheimer’s disease has a complex mechanism and is not fully understood. As many Alzheimer’s patients have no family history of this disease, it may be implied that a metabolic or environmental factor is a cause. These patients’ brains present deposits mainly composed of amyloid beta-peptides (AB). Some toxins have shown to elevate beta-amyloid precursor protein (ABPP) expression, thereby increasing AB peptide levels. Some pesticides contain manganese, which in high doses can be toxic and has been shown to increase NF-kappa-B, which activates the transcription of ABPP and AB production. It is hypothesized that the manganese containing pesticides maneb (MB) and mancozeb (MZ) will also increase the expression of ABPP and eventually increase the production of AB. To this end neuroblastoma N1E-115 cells were grown and treated with various concentrations of MB and MZ to create dose-response curves. ABPP expression was measured through Western blot analysis; AB expression was measured through both Western blot analysis and ELISA. Western blot data indicated that ABPP and AB expressions increased in a dose-dependent manner of MZ exposure, but not after MB exposure. Our results suggest MZ increased the expressions of ABPP as early as after 24 hours exposure and that MZ is a stronger inducer for AB expression. In the future, the transcription activation of ABPP after MB and MZ treatments will be determined by using real time PCR.

Third Sample

A survey of students was conducted to test the idea that use of electronic devices in the classroom is related to class participation, grades, and satisfaction with school. To collect data on use of electronic devices, and on educational variables, we randomly distributed a paper survey to 53 students on the local college campus. Students who reported frequent use of cell phones during class also reported the lowest level of participation in class and the lowest overall grades. Satisfaction with the course was not correlated to cell phone or computer use. There was a significant gender difference with females reporting the highest use of cell phones in class. Results suggest that women might be losing their academic advantage over men due to increased cell phone use in the classroom.

Fourth Sample

This paper investigates various scholarly interpretations of the formless construct of American prose poetry since the 1950’s. It uses post-structuralist theory to deconstruct poets Robert Bly’s, CK Williams’s, and Michael Klein’s writing style and iteration of the prose form. Building on literary scholar David Orr’s contention that poetry is intensely personal and “the pure expression of our inner lives,” this project discusses how each poet exemplifies the idea of personal poetry in unique ways. Bly uses the prose form to illuminate the objects around him as he utilizes traditional poetic conventions of image and metaphor to “see” the world and his place in it in novel ways. Williams’s prose style is modern, conversational, and informal as he discusses the death of a loved one or a New York City cab ride. Last, Klein adopts a contemporary confessional style, engaging the reader on a deeply intimate level, sometimes uncomfortably so. Alongside close readings of Bly, Williams, and Klein’s prose poetry, this paper also engages the current conversation on the prose poetry “form,” claiming identifiers that help define true prose poetry.

Submission Deadlines


January 1, 2018


February 19, 2018


February 28


March 9, 2018

March 19, 2018

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