The Undergraduate Research, Arts & Design Network (URAD) hosts its annual Undergraduate Research Conference (UROC) on Thursday, April 7. After a virtual event last year, UROC is planning a hybrid event this year. The daylong conference runs from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

“We are especially excited for this year’s UROC, giving students the option for in-person or virtual presentations," said URAD Student Success Specialist Jennifer Payne. "Sharing their research in a professional context helps them to build valuable skills for their future, whether that is graduate school or the job market.”

The Spring 2022 Undergraduate Research Opportunities Conference will take place in two formats: online Zoom presentations and on-campus, in-person at the Student Union Building. UROC organizers are currently seeking abstract submissions. Students can choose between those two options when they submit their abstract.

The research abstracts include four different types of presentations. The different formats include a 10-minute oral presentation, poster presentations, In-person 180-second (3 minutes) research presentation or a research story (webpage, essay or video) that describes your journey in research. The submission deadline is Feb. 28. On March 8, presenters will be contacted via email with a confirmation of their submission and further information regarding their particular presentation type.

The UROC180 Competition, similar to an elevator pitch, challenges students to present their research in just 180 seconds to the general audience with no background in their research area. The top 3 winners will receive scholarships (1st prize - $500, 2nd prize - $300, & 3rd prize - $200). 

Additionally, several preparation workshops are scheduled prior to the conference to assist undergraduate students with their presentations. The interactive workshops teach students what it takes to prepare a presentation from a mental and constructive feedback perspective, and also how to orally deliver both oral and poster presentations effectively and with confidence. For more information and to signup, visit UROC Preparation Workshops.

In addition to the various in-person and virtual presentations that highlight the day, the conference also features a Grand Challenges Scholars Research presentation from 9 to 9:50 a.m., and between1:30-3:30 p.m., attendees are invited to take a break from research presentations to visit the student art exhibits currently on display in Popejoy Hall. Snacks and refreshments will be served upstairs near the Clinton Adams Gallery, and attendees will be entered into a drawing to win a door prize. 

UROC also seeks volunteers to help with all aspects of the conference, including moderators, evaluators and general conference support. This event has been planned and sponsored by various programs, departments, and colleges in order to promote and showcase the UNM undergraduate research activities. Volunteers are an essential component of the conference playing a big role in its success. To volunteer, fill out the UROC Volunteer Sign-Up Form.

“The success of UROC depends greatly on the time and energy devoted by volunteers," said Payne. "We are so grateful for all of the volunteers from main, north and branch campuses who have already marked their calendars to help us on 4/7 and look forward to even more volunteers pledging their support in the coming weeks – it really shows how much we are all invested in the success of our students!”

UROC was created with several goals in mind and is essential to providing undergraduate students a platform to present their research projects outside of a classroom or lab setting; creating opportunities for undergraduate students to network with faculty, graduate students and the greater UNM community and to showcase the undergraduate research to UNM communities including donors, policymakers, local businesses and industries.

The Undergraduate Research Conference is sponsored by the Office of Academic Affairs, College of Arts & Sciences, Division of Student Affairs, Engineering Student Services, ECURE, Honors College, McNair/ROP, Office of the Vice President for Research, School of Engineering, University College, and URAD.

For more information and a conference schedule, visit UROC Conference Schedule.