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Sixth annual Undergraduate Research Fair showcases immersion, draws record number of participants

Sep. 23, 2019, 8:24 AM

The sixth annual Undergraduate Research Fair, held Sept. 19 at the Student Life Center, provided students a forum in which to showcase their research conducted across all fields and disciplines. (Anne Rayner/Vanderbilt)
The sixth annual Undergraduate Research Fair, held Sept. 19 at the Student Life Center, provided students a forum in which to showcase their research conducted across all fields and disciplines. (Anne Rayner/Vanderbilt)

A record 200 undergraduate students shared their research projects through poster and slide presentations at the sixth annual Vanderbilt Undergraduate Research Fair held Sept. 19 at the Student Life Center. More than 580 faculty, students, staff and community members were in attendance.

The annual showcase provides students a forum in which to present undergraduate research conducted across all fields and disciplines. A variety of research opportunities were represented at the fair, including research for credit, such as honors thesis research, as well as not-for-credit projects and research completed at other universities. Student presenters came from all four undergraduate schools and colleges, and faculty mentors represented over 60 academic departments across Vanderbilt and other institutions.

Student presentations were evaluated by faculty, staff, postdoctoral fellows, Ph.D. candidates and undergraduate peer evaluators, a new addition to this year’s fair thanks to a partnership with Vanderbilt Student Government’s Academic Affairs Committee.

Several breakout sessions led by faculty, staff and students provided information regarding ways undergraduates can become involved in research opportunities in a variety of disciplines, both on and off campus.

The fair was sponsored by the Office of Immersion Resources, the Vanderbilt University Summer Research Program, the Littlejohn Family and the Goldberg Family.

“This year’s Undergraduate Research Fair was larger and more interactive than ever,” said Vanessa Beasley, vice provost for academic affairs and dean of residential faculty. “This tells me that our undergraduate students are eager to conduct original research and also that our larger community, including faculty, staff, graduate students and postdoctoral scholars, is eager to hear their findings and arguments.”

The Office of Immersion Resources organized the research fair. It also coordinates initiatives affiliated with undergraduate research, including the Vanderbilt Undergraduate Summer Research Program. Research is one of the four Immersion Vanderbilt pathways and presents many opportunities for undergraduates to investigate and explore areas of interest and create meaningful, immersive experiences.

For more information about how to make original research the focus of a project for Immersion Vanderbilt, contact the Office of Immersion Resources.

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