Undergraduate Research Day at the Capitol

Call for Nominations for Student Representatives from MU

The University of Missouri System is seeking nominations for undergraduates to share their university research experiences with state lawmakers in Jefferson City for Undergraduate Research Day at the Capitol in Spring 2016.  The deadline for University of Missouri nominees is Friday, November 2, 2015. An application is available here

Last year's event showcased the work of 30 MU students to Missouri legislators. The 2016 event will continue to be a system-wide activity with space for 40-50 undergraduates from all four campuses of the UM system.

The purpose of this event is to demonstrate to lawmakers in Jefferson City the unique opportunities undergraduate students have to participate with faculty in research at the University of Missouri.  Many lawmakers do not differentiate between regional colleges and public research universities, and we hope this opportunity to showcase our undergraduate researchers will help make the distinction.  We will also use this event to underscore higher education's role in developing educated citizens and preparing a work force with the necessary skills to further the economic growth of the state.

We are seeking undergraduates who have been significantly involved in the research enterprise of the university either with their own project or through meaningful involvement with an on-going faculty project.  To qualify for participation in this event, nominees must meet the following criteria:

Successful nominees should also be able to convey their experience and enthusiasm to state representatives, senators, and other state officials in a poster session. We are seeking students from a broad range of disciplines.  We are especially interested in projects that relate to the economic development of Missouri and issues important to the state legislature (e.g., education, health, agriculture, biotechnology, transportation and infrastructure, social services, economic development).  Presentations that include visual demonstrations or displays beyond the typical poster are also encouraged.

Selection of Undergraduate Representatives will be based on geographical distribution across the state, relevance of the project to the state, quality of the project, and distribution among the four campuses.  

Students selected to serve as Undergraduate Research Representatives will attend several meetings and workshops in preparation for the day of the event.  Workshop topics will include presentation skills, how the state legislature works, how to meet and greet lawmakers, and other protocol.  Students will also revise their poster and abstract for a lay audience and to prepare a brief presentation on their work suitable for delivering the "take home message" in a few minutes. Students will be asked to turn in the first draft of their revised abstracts early during the Winter semester.  Posters will be printed in February, and students will participate in a practice session in late February.

Students will also communicate with their Senator and Representative about the event in advance by mail and will visit those lawmakers in the capitol on the day of the event.  Parents of Ambassadors will be invited by the University of Missouri President to attend the event in Jefferson City.  Students will have the opportunity to tour the state capitol and to have their photo taken with their local lawmakers to send to their hometown newspaper.  Transportation to and from Jefferson City will be provided, along with a box lunch.  Letters explaining the student's absence from class on the day of the event will be sent to appropriate instructors upon request.

Nominations are due to the Office of Undergraduate Research (150 Life Sciences Center) by Friday, November 2 at 5:00 pm.

Faculty nominators are encouraged to request the assistance of their nominee in completing the nomination form.  For additional information or questions, please contact Michael Cohen at (CohenME@missouri.edu) in the MU Office of Undergraduate Research (882-4818, 150 Bond Life Sciences Center).