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Graduate Scholars Symposium

Your Chance to Shine

The Graduate Scholars Symposium showcases the outstanding research and scholarship at UCM.

Symposium Details

Graduate students, faculty, and staff from all disciplines are encouraged to present their research and scholarly work at the annual Graduate Scholars Symposium at the University of Central Missouri. This symposium takes place during the spring semester.  This years event will be held on Wednesday, April 8, 2020, in the Elliott Student Union Ballroom.


The goals of the Symposium are to showcase the outstanding quality and diversity of graduate-level research and scholarship at UCM.  

Benefits of presenting at the Symposium

  • The presentation can be added to the student's resume.
  • The Symposium provides a comfortable environment and good starting point for student's professional or scholarly careers.
  • Provides students with the opportunity to practice and enhance their communication skills.
  • Allows students to share their projects and scholarly work with the UCM campus.
  • No cost to participate and student's have the opportunity to win prize money.
  • Students keep the poster at the conclusion of the Symposium.

Presentation Formats

Graduate Student Presentations

This event is primarily a poster presentation format that includes a student poster competition, but also includes student oral presentations and E-entry presentations for online students. 

Poster Presentation

Students participating in the poster presentation will design their own poster, with help from their faculty and the Office of Graduate Education & Research.  Posters will be printed in full color, and consist of pictures, text, charts, graphs, etc, that visually represent and summarize the project.  There is no cost to the student for printing the poster.  Students are encouraged to attend the poster workshops, to learn how to create a poster, get instruction, assistance, and feedback from experienced faculty and staff, see example posters, and use this time, with computer access, to create and develop their poster.    

Student posters are then on display throughout the day of the event.  Open viewing time of the posters is available for faculty, staff, and other students, in addition to the time devoted to judging of the posters.  See Event Schedule below for details.  The student poster competition does include a 3-4 minute verbal explanation of the poster.  Multiple students are allowed to present the same poster.  At the conclusion of the Symposium, students keep their poster for future use.  Click here for more information.  

Online Category - E-entry Presentation

The 2020 Symposium will include an online category.  E-entries will be available only to students enrolled in entirely online programs at UCM.  Students will create a four to five-minute voiceover PowerPoint presentation to submit for judging and entry into the event.  This category will be judged and receive awards separate from on campus entries.  All E-entries will be available for viewing during the day of the Symposium.  The E-entry format allows students to be a part of the academic environment and to participate in the Symposium from afar by creating an electronic presentation that includes a verbal explanation and visual aids.  Click here for more information.    

Oral Presentation

New for the 2020 Symposium, graduate students can participate in an oral presentation.  Students participating in oral presentations will give a 10-12 minute public presentation describing and showcasing their scholarly work.  The presentation is accompanied by a visual aid or display of creative works, and concludes with a three minute question and answer session.  Overall, the presentation must provide an in-depth explanation of the research project, professional topics, or creative work.  Multiple student presenters are allowed.  Students who compete in this category have the opportunity to win awards.  Space is limited for oral presentations.  

Students must be available to present on the day of the Symposium, at either 9:00 am or 11:00 am.  See Event Schedule below for details.  

Students are encouraged to attend the oral presentation workshop, to receive instruction and assistance on how to prepare their presentation and visual aid.  Click here for more information.    


For Staff and Faculty

UCM staff and faculty are invited to showcase their scholarly work for the campus community.  Staff and faculty posters will be presented along side graduate student posters, providing the opportunity for comparison and discussion.  The staff/faculty member is responsible for creating the poster and having the poster printed for the Symposium.  The Center for Teaching and Learning (CTL) provides poster printing services for UCM staff/faculty.  Furthermore, CTL can assist in the poster production and design process.  Staff and faculty are also welcome to use posters that have been previously presented or used for other presentations or conferences, as long as the content is still relevant.  All posters will need to be ready for display by April 6, 2020.  Staff and faculty are invited attend the formal awards ceremony, in addition to public poster presentations and reception.      

Registration Information

Registration for the Spring 2020 Symposium is now open!     

Registration is free for current UCM faculty, staff, and graduate students (any presentation format).  Registration is open to all current UCM faculty, staff, and graduate students enrolled during the Fall 2019 or Spring 2020 semesters, performing any type of research, scholarship, or creative work, completed or in progress. 

Before accessing the registration form, collect the following items/information:

  • title of presentation
  • abstract for presentation (250 words)
  • all authors/presenters (faculty, staff, student) name and email addresses
  • presentation format (student):  oral presentation, poster presentation, E-entry presentation
  • DOR response letter or IRB/IACUC approval letter
  • April 8, 2020 marked on your calender!  

Registration ends Sunday, March 1, 2020 by 12:00 (midnight).  

Register Now!


Students who register for the poster competition, oral presentations, or E-entry competition, by the registration deadline, have the opportunity to win awards. Students who compete in the E-entry category have the opportunity to win awards, separate from the on-campus poster and oral presentations.  The awards consists of a financial prize and certificate. There are two levels of awards, Level 1 - $200 and Level 2 - $100. The number of awards granted will vary based on the number of qualified applicants.  E-entry winners will be announced ahead of the Symposium.  E-entry winners are welcome, but are not required, to attend the Symposium awards ceremony.  Poster winners and oral presentation winners will be announced during the awards ceremony of the day of the Symposium, April 8. 

Event Schedule

2020 Graduate Scholars Symposium
Wednesday, April 8, 2019
Elliott Student Union, Ballroom 240

9am:  Open Viewing of Posters and E-entries
            Student Poster Competition begins
            Session #1- Student Oral Presentations

11am:  Open Viewing of Posters and E-entries
             Session #2- Student Oral Presentations

3pm:  Formal Ceremony and Awards Recognition 

4:30pm:  Open Viewing of Posters and E-entries
                  Public Poster Presentations


Graduate Education & Research
Ward Edwards 1900
Tel: (660) 543-4729


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