Please read this section prior to submitting your proposal. The FAQs will be updated as new questions arise and are answered.

Frequently Asked Questions (General)

What are important dates to remember?

  • The proposal deadline is February 15, 2019 at 11:59pm EST.
  • Decisions will be notified on February 22, 2019
  • Conference registration deadline is  March 31, 2019 
  • The conference will be held on Thursday, April 4th & Friday, April 5th, 2019

How much does it cost to attend the conference?

  • The conference is free for students, staff, and faculty at Harvard College and peer institutions (research-extensive universities, research-intensive universities, and liberal arts colleges with a research focus). However, individuals are responsible for finding your own transportation and lodging. Please inquire with your department chair, Dean of Undergraduate Studies or equivalent about funds to support participation in research conferences. We can offer a limited number of student hosts for undergraduates (you'd be bunking with a Harvard undergrad). If you need further assistance, please contact us. 
  • Friends of participants that are affiliated with Harvard or are a student, administrator, or faculty at other institutions, are all welcome to register.
  • All attendees must register in order to guarantee we have enough food for everyone at the conference

Who is eligible to submit a proposal to present at conference?

  • Udergraduate students who are conducting supervised independent research projects or senior theses on diversity, (in)equity, and social justice issues. Those who are conducting research as part of a class or group project, are eligible for the poster presetnations.  ll research involving human subjects must indicate that their institution's Internal Review Board has given approval. Graduate students are not eligible to present at this conference.  Graduates students and faculty are ineligble to send in a proposal for this conference. 

Are students outside of Harvard eligible to submit a proposal?

  • Yes, the conference is open to students attending institutions other than Harvard. We are particularly interested in receiving proposals from research-extensive universities, research-intensive universities, and liberal arts colleges with a research focus.

How do I submit my proposal to present at the conference?

My research study is in progress. Can I still submit a proposal?

  • Yes! We understand if you are currently working on your research as part of your senior thesis. We would love to receive a conference proposal from you so as long as you anticipate that your study will be complete or close to completion (you will be able to present your preliminary findings) by the day of the conference. 

Can you give me examples of what research you are looking for?

  • Sure! Below are some examples, but this is certainly not an exhaustive list. We welcome most proposals as long as your research examines issues relating to diversity, (in)equity, and social justice. We are especially interested in research that is participatory, culturally sensitive, and respects the expertise and experiences of the communities affected by these issues. 
    • An action research project on creating culturally responsive curricula at a local elementary school that is predominantly low-income and students of color.
    • Using critical race methodology to understand health disparities.
    • A photo-ethnographic study on nutrition in low-income, middle-income, and upper-income communities.

Can you provide me with an example of a proposal abstract?

I don’t know how to write an abstract. Where can I get help?

If you are a Harvard College student, you could seek assistance from one of the Writing Tutors in your college house. You might also consider making an appointment with the Bureau of Study Counsel for some assistance. If you are a non-college student, you may wish to go to the Writing Center at your college. Your academic advisers might also have suggestions for where to get assistance.  We also recommend these online resources: and 

I've worked on a collaborative research project. Am I eligible?

  • Yes!  If your study has been conducted with others, apply to be presented as a poster.   

Will there be any recognition for research presentations?

Participants will receive a certificate and will be noted on our public website. 

What is the difference between students presenting the research?

  • There is no difference in the format or presentation. This designation is based on the initial blind review of abstract submissions.

Who is sponsoring this conference?

  • This conference is currently being co-sponsored by the Phillips Brooks House Center for Public Service and Engaged Scholarship and the Office for Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion at Harvard College, Campus Compact for the New England Southern Region

I have additional questions. How do I contact you?

Poster Presentation FAQ

What kind of poster materials should I use?

  • Please use a trifold poster. There are no easels, just tables.
  • The dimensions should be 27¼x39¼" some are larger but please no larger than 30’ x 40’.
  • We did not want presenting at the conference to be cost prohibitive, so you could purchase the poster for relatively cheap (probably less than $5). For example, the Dollar Tree sells them for $1 each.
  • If you need a poster, please send us an email and we will make alternate arrangements.
  • If you wish to know more about creating a poster presentation, these websites can offer you some guidance: 

Do I need to prepare a presentation?

  • Prepare a brief, 5 minute presentation about your research.
  • During the poster presentation, you will have an opportunity to present your research to a discussant and a general audience. Be prepared to answer questions.
  • This is a more informal setting where people may be stopping by and just looking at your poster (like at a gallery). 

A good ressource on preparing academic presentation: 

Do I need to bring additional materials with my poster?

  • We’ll have supplies on hand to help with any last-minute adjustments you might need to make on your board. There will be a small supplies station at the conference.
  • We’ll provide tables for your trifold posters to sit on. You just need to bring the poster board.
  • If you choose to bring handouts, we’d recommend printing about 10-15 copies of handouts.


What is the presentation like?

  • You will be grouped with three other presenters in a concurrent session with a chair and a discussant, and any conference attendees.
  • The chair will monitor the session on time and the discussant will give you feedback on your study, as it was presented and moderate the open discussion with the audience.  Each presenter will have no more than 10 minutes to present their research paper. The chair will give you 5-minute, 2-minutes, 1-minute, and “time’s up” reminders to show to presenters. You will have to end your presentation at 10 minutes.
  • At the end of all your research presentations, the discussant will give you feedback and may ask you some questions about your research before opening the floor for discussion. 

What should a research presentation look like?

  • Please practice your presentation to fit within the 10-minute timeframe. Your faculty advisor, tutors, and graduate assistants may be able to give you additional advice about presenting at a research conference.
  • These presentations are generally accompanied by a visual aid, usually PowerPoint slides. You may use other formats, (like Prezi or video), but you will need to tell us in advance so we can be prepared for your presentation to go smoothly
  • The McNair Scholars at University of California Santa Barbara has a site that can serve as a guide:
  • If you are presenting with use of slides or other audio-visual aides, please send us a copy of your slides/clips by April 5th (11.59pm EST) AND bring a copy on your own flash drive on the day of the conference.  We will need your presentation by 9am.
  • If you choose to show video please keep in mind your entire presentation has to stay within a 10-minute timeframe.