Research Day at the State Capitol
Undergraduate Research Day at the Capitol
Each spring, the University of Missouri System seeks nominations for undergraduates to share their university research experiences with state lawmakers in Jefferson City for Undergraduate Research Day at the Capitol. The event is a system-wide activity with space for 50-60 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 seek 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:
- Students must be undergraduates at MU during the Academic Year.
- Research must have been completed under the guidance of an MU faculty member.
- Research projects must represent significant investment of time by the student outside of normal course requirements and class projects.
- Research projects must follow the methodology of the appropriate academic discipline.
- The research project must be of sufficient quality to be presented at a professional academic meeting.
- Students must have previously presented their research project in an oral or poster format at an MU event or a regional, national, or international professional conference
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 seek 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 attend several meetings and workshops in preparation for the day of the event. Workshop topics include presentation skills, how the state legislature works, how to meet and greet lawmakers, and other protocol. Students also revise their poster and abstract for a lay audience and prepare a brief presentation on their work.