Undergraduates Research Conference coming to GSU

Jozsef Papp

The Georgia Undergraduate Research Conference (GURC) will take place for the second year in a row at the Nessmith-Lane Conference Center on Nov. 6-7, 2015.

The event, which began four years ago, consist of presentation session to showcase undergraduate research being conducted around the southeast, mainly in Georgia. A total of 12 universities in the state, including Georgia Southern, collaborate in organizing and participating in the event. The conference rotates every two years between the Georgia system of universities.

“It is a collaboration between 11 different universities in the state that participate. It has origination at Columbus State and rotates through universities. It has been at Georgia Southern for two years and then it will go to another university next year,” said Kymberly Harris, Co-Chair for GURC.

There is a wide variety of session for students and faculty to learn more about their own field of study, how to mentor undergrads.

“There are session provided by faculty on how to mentor undergrads and research. Honestly, it’s a very student-friendly forum, especially for people that have never presented their research before and allows them a safe space to go in and present, as undergraduate researchers in all disciplines,” said Harris. “We have about a 100 presentations. With the faculty mentor and the person in attendance is usually around 200 people.”

However, the goal of this event is to provide undergraduate students with an opportunity to present their research and network. Graduate universities attend the event to give students other opportunities for their futures. 

“The benefits for the students, especially those that are just starting on their research, is to give them an opportunity to be an expert on what they do. It also gives them practice in speaking to other faculty from other universities,” said Harris. “There are a lot of different types of benefits for them.”

Although the conference is taking place at Georgia Southern, there is a $50 registration fee to participate, but most of the students that attend are taken care off by their different colleges and departments. In addition, volunteers are not charged to attend.

“For our students, the vice-president of research pays for half the registration. If they are presenting, then their college or department, for example biology, chemistry, or the honors program, is actually paying,” said Harris. “That is why usually everyone that attends is either presenting or volunteering, so they are working in one of the sessions.”

To participate in the event, you can register online and the registration deadline is Friday Oct. 30, 2015.