Undergraduate Research Education Series

The Office of Undergraduate Research offers educational events on topics of interest to undergraduate student researchers and their faculty mentors. These events are open to all and are designed specifically with undergraduate students in mind.  Flier with the full schedule HERE.

Jan 17
11:30 - 12:30

Creating Effective Research Posters

Presented by Taylor Sparks in Sill 120

In this workshop, you will learn about the characteristics of effective research poster design and how to use some tools to use to prepare a research poster. This session covers the content and aesthetics of research posters. This seminar is most useful for students currently needing to create a research poster but is also helpful for students thinking about how to talk about their project. This session will also be useful for students who are ready to start creating images for their posters.

Resources for this session will be shared in a designated Box folder. Please check this folder before attending this session!


"Very energetic, explained things well. Gave lots of resources. Really cares about his work and helping students. Was easy to understand and I loved it."

"Best session I've been to. Super informative."

"I am attending this one again because it was that good & helpful."

Jan 22
3:30 - 4:30

Introduction to the Institutional Review Board (IRB)

Presented by Gary Henderson in Sill 120

In this session, you will learn the basic history of the Institutional Review Board (IRB), what counts as Human Subjects research, and how and when you might need to use the IRB while doing research here at the U.  This session is good for anyone who is or is interested in doing research with Human Subjects at any stage of their research.

Student feedback from this session:

"I was surprised to learn that my research would likely need approval from the IRB. I think others would be surprised to learn the same about their research. I also found it valuable to learn the history that led to the IBR."

"Interacting with the IRB for my project was terrifying and confusing. I wish I had this lecture before writing my application."

"Being new to research is not only scary, but confusing as well. The amount of collaboration that labs and the IRB have to do is huge and this lecture gave a great overview about this connection. Certain aspects to the lecture were refreshers but there were lots of new things that were touched on that I'm glad I know now. :)"

Jan 23
10:30 - 11:30

Microaggressions and Research

Presented by Ella Blanchard in Sill 120


Jan 28
11 - 12

Mentorship Workshop

Presented by Elizabeth Archuleta in Sill 120

A variety of topics related to building a strong relationship with your mentor will be covered.  Some topics include: what to expect from your mentor, boundaries, problem solving when issues with your mentor come up, what you need to know about lab structures, & differing responsibilities

Come prepared to ask questions and engage in a conversation about mentorship!

Feb 13
11 -12

Giving & Receiving Helpful Feedback

Presented by Janis Louie in Sill 120

In this session, you will learn how to approach giving and receiving feedback in a productive manner.  This session will be beneficial to anyone, as we all give and receive feedback in every area of life.

Feb 13
1:30 - 2:30

Writing Abstracts

Presented by Christie Toth in Sill 120

In this session, you will learn about how to write an effective research abstract.  You will work on framing your research project concisely and accurately.  You will leave ready to write your research abstract.  This seminar is most useful for students currently needing to write an abstract.  It is also useful for students developing how to think about their project.

Student feedback from this session:

"It was interactive and I feel like I am walking away knowing how to interpret + write an abstract."

"Very interactive and productive learning experience. Even for someone well versed in the realm of writing and analyzing research papers."

"It gives the audience a good idea about abstract writing and why it's important. Also, interactive and well planned. I gained a lot from this session."

Feb 20
11 - 12

How to Read a Research Article

Presented by Behrad Noudoost in Sill 120

In this seminar you will learn about how to read a research article effectively. You will be given tips and strategies for how to read scholarly journal articles. This seminar in appropriate for any student who needs to read contemporary research in their field.

Student feedback from this session:

"I found it incredibly useful especially the focus on reader/author punchlines & the 3 pass method."

"Reading scientific articles is a daunting process when you first start. This lecture provided a good starting point to gain the skill of scientific reading."

"Many people don't know effective methods for reading research articles and end up spending significant time on less important sections. They would benefit by knowing which sections to focus on the determine article relevance."

Feb 24
11:30 - 12:30

Navigating Research, Race, Gender & Difference

Presented by Annie Fukushima in Sill 120

"Navigating Research, Race, Gender & Difference" will discuss how race, gender, and difference matters in research, working with professors/mentors, and in the dissemination of one’s research. Students will discuss a range of concepts regarding standpoints, racism, and oppression, and how such terms manifest when conducting research, collaborating with mentors, and in the dissemination of research. This workshop seeks to provide a platform for students to openly talk about conducting research while navigating difference.

About Dr. Annie Isabel Fukushima: Dr. Fukushima is an Assistant Professor in the Ethnic Studies Division at the University of Utah. She is the author of Migrant Crossings: Witnessing Human Trafficking in the U.S.

Student feedback from this session:

"Provides an excellent set of groundwork to understanding positionality's impact on epistemology in a research setting."

"It helps open your eyes to phenomena you might not experience. It helps you think more critically when performing research to give every group to respect they deserve."

"She didn't suggest we could immediately fix the problem of racial and gender bias today, but acknowledged specific actions we can take to recognize racial and gender bias in our research and address it."

Feb 28
11 - 12


Doing Library Research

Presented by Donna Ziegenfuss in Sill 120

In this session, you will learn how to navigate the Marriott Library’s online resources and how to efficiently do library research.  You will be introduced to many library resources relevant to your individual field of research including field-specific journals and citation management tools.  This seminar is useful for students at any point in their project and can be revisited as online resources continue to develop.

Student feedback from this session:

"You may think you know everything about googling and have all the resources you need - you don't. Wish I had gone to this session a long time ago - so many little tricks + tips I never would have expected or known about otherwise!"

"It provides details on how to fine tune searching for journals or references for a research."

"Very up to date information, very well organized, presenter is also a great/approachable resource."

Mar 2
12 - 1

Asking for Letters of Recommendation

Presented by Matt Haber in Sill 120

In this session, you will learn about how to approach your faculty mentor about writing you a letter of recommendation.  This is an art all its own and many students are not aware that there are professional parameters for this request.  This seminar is appropriate at any point in a student’s education.

Student feedback from this session:

"This URES session is exactly what I expected from the title: a thorough discussion about all aspects of letters of recommendations. Matt Haber is very enthusiastic and his talk made me realize the importance of not only technicalities of letters but also the need to develop relationships with professors. "

"Matt Haber is excellent at this talk. His handout is well organized and the talk in general is really helpful."

"I really enjoyed to candor and familiarity with the topic. It made clear the process and important points of a very important aspect of school."

Mar 18
1 - 2

Personal Statements

Presented by Ann Engar in Sill 120

In this session, you will learn about what content goes into an effective personal statement and how to structure your personal statement.  Personal statements are necessary for graduate, medical, and professional school applications, as well as for many job applications.  This seminar will be useful to students at any point in their education.

Student feedback from this session:

"Being able to write a personal statement is a universal skill, regardless of what you may be applying for. Such writing shows up in graduate school, law school, medical school, scholarship essays, etc. The speaker spoke clearly about important techniques to keep in mind while writing common mistakes to avoid and what to write about if no specific topics is given."

"Useful for understanding structure particularly when question calling for personal statement is vague. Good reminder to know your audience."

"Dr. Engar was very organize in her presentation and gave wonderful advice on how to open, structure, and end personal statements."

Mar 26
1:15 - 2:15

Data Managment

Presented by Daureen Nesdill in Sill 120

Effective data management is not intuitive.  In this session, you will learn about basic issues with data management (e.g. naming files, file storage, etc.) and you will be directed to useful data management resources.  As everyone who is doing research deals with some kind of data, this seminar is relevant to all researchers.

Student feedback from this session:

"It stressed the organization of file names/Data. This is a problem I have had already."

"The recommendations for data storage (file names, location, archiving, etc.) and the reasons behind them were new to me so I'll be changing how I do my work now."

"I think that this was important to know because when organizing data, if it is organized inefficiently, that can greatly negatively harm someone's research so to learn about it before we start managing data allows for organization."

Apr 3
12 - 1

Literature Reviews

Presented by Jenny Andrus in Sill 120

In this session, you will learn how to conduct and construct a literature review. This will focus on finding, analyzing, and citing relevant sources, but will also address organizing and writing the review. As all students and researchers will have to sift through relevant literature at some point, this will be useful to all researchers.

Please bring three sources for your project with you to this session.


"Very informative yet concise. Gave me exactly what I needed to write a lit review in a relatively short amount of time. Class participation was also very helpful."

"I was able to learn the step-by-step steps in order to write a literature review. Additionally, we were able to practice in groups how to make maps and nodes for a topic which is helpful when I start a literature review on my own."

"-Focus on concepts not authors - very useful. -Important info on how to construct a review. -Driving methods for different fields."

Apr 8
12 - 1

Leveraging Your Research in Industry

Panel organized by Career and Professional Development Center in Sill 120

This is a panel of local employers who actively seek out employees with research experience.  In this panel discussion, you will learn about why research experience is so valuable in industry and how to leverage your own research experience when applying to jobs. This session will be beneficial to any student who is currently seeking or who will soon be seeking employment.


Student feedback from this session:

"This event gave a unique insight into the hiring process for companies."

"The information given was extremely helpful. Getting insight tips from an actual company made me realize many things on what I should do/not do on my resumes & when being interviewed."

"Informative view on resume & spinning research from the standpoint of employer."

Apr 10
3 - 4

Contextualizing Your Research

Presented by Shane MacFarlan in Sill 120

In this session, you will work to identify several perspectives outside of the immediate perspective of the lab or project from which you can view your work, how your work fits in with those viewpoints, and how to explain those larger perspectives of your work to an audience (in a paper, presentation, or to a community member).


"Having an understanding of how your research relates and is connected to other people, the university and rest of the world can be difficult. This session helps to give some more perspective."

"Learning about how to communicate to others and putting your research in context is something I find to be really important as an undergraduate. Dr. Macfarlan did a great job explaining these concepts."

"Helped me understand that one has to balance personal interests with research. Importance of justifying research from small to broad context. Learning to see impact on world - don't be in small scale trap. Why to talk to so many people."

Apr 15
12:15 - 1:15

Reflection as Part of the Research Process

Presented by Robyn Moreno in Sill 120

Reflection, though a necessary part of the research process, is not often explicitly discussed or taught. This session will help you intentionally incorporate reflection into to your daily research and at the end of an experience. This session is useful for any student at any point in their research experience.


"The information was presented so it actively involved all of us + was designed to be applicable to all fields."

"This session incorporated research but also touched on the importance of reflection in our daily lives. I thought it was very thought provoking."

"This session made me... well...reflect. On my research and on my organizational skills. It's really important to stop and ask yourself 'okay, how can I look back on this experience and recognize what worked, and what I can improve upon?' Oftentimes, I find myself subconsciously ignoring things I did wrong, which are things that could help me improve in the future. I think using reflection as a tool in my research process will provide me with new ideas that will drive my future research."