More than 100 years ago, The University of New Mexico offered for the first time a dedicated research arm of the university, launching the Graduate School, which offered a master’s degree. The Graduate School is now known as Graduate Studies and the school highlights its research legacy during its annual Shared Knowledge Conference. 

The conference is a yearly event designed to celebrate and showcase UNM graduate students and their outstanding research and scholarship. The conference exclusively features the work of UNM graduate students and provides a venue for these students to share their work with the UNM and larger New Mexican communities, bridging borders that too-often divide academia from the larger world, and in so doing spark conversations and forge lasting partnerships.

This year's Shared Knowledge Conference will be split into two separate days.

  • The LoboBITES competition takes place on Wednesday, Nov. 3, 4-5 p.m., PAÍS building auditorium. 
  • The poster showcase is set for Monday, Nov. 8, 11 a.m. – 1 p.m., Student Union Building, Ballroom C. The top three finalists from the LoboBITES competition will give their presentations during the poster showcase at noon.

This year's conference will be split into two separate days.

The LoboBITES event will take place in several stages. Preliminary rounds were held on Nov. 1. Those who made it through the preliminaries will continue to the LoboBITES final on Wednesday, Nov. 3, from 4 to 5 p.m. in the PAÍS building auditorium. 

LoboBITES are soundbites of a student's research or scholarship, essentially a three-minute thesis competition, explained professor of Civil Engineering and dean of Graduate Studies Julie Coonrod.

The top three finalists will be asked to present their LoboBITES during the Poster Showcase the following Monday, Nov. 8, at noon in the Student Union Building, Ballroom C.

In the poster session, graduate students from programs across campus display their research in poster format and engage directly with conference attendees and fellow scholars. Research posters come in a wide variety of topics, crossing fields throughout the humanities and sciences. Poster evaluators are also be on hand to provide feedback to presenters. Students are nominated by their academic program to display a research poster at the conference.

The conference is free to attend for everyone, and no affiliation with UNM is required to attend. The conference does NOT charge any fees for students to participate or present.

"At a public research institution like ours, an important element of student research is its communication to the community, and the Shared Knowledge Conference represents the breadth of UNM like no other single event, with a focus on discovery and innovation across our 12 colleges with graduate programs," Coonrod observed.

LoboBITES are verbal presentations on theses, dissertations, and other substantial research projects, similar to the trademarked Three Minute Thesis (3MT). 

“Think of them as short-format TED talks,” Coonrod said.

Students explain their research in a compelling and easily digestible way, foregoing jargon and instead using language and terms accessible to a general, non-academic audience likely unfamiliar with the student’s specific discipline. Presentations are judged by a panel consisting of UNM and Albuquerque community leaders. Top contestants can win up to $1,000 in scholarships, and the first-place winner goes on to represent UNM at a regional Three-Minute Thesis competition. All graduate and post-undergraduate professional students at UNM are eligible to participate.

Graduate Studies oversees all degrees with theses and dissertations, ensuring that graduate committees and graduate exams are in line with the graduate catalog and that theses and dissertations are properly published in the UNM Digital Repository, professor of Civil Engineering and dean of Graduate Studies Julie Coonrod explained. The school also processes all the graduate teaching and research assistantships. Graduate students on assistantship receive a stipend as part of an educational relationship, making their situation unique compared to other employment opportunities on campus.