FAQs for the 2022 Scholarship & Social Justice Undergraduate Research Conference

Frequently Asked Questions (General)

What are important dates to remember?


    Proposal submission deadline: February 11th, 2022

    Decisions communicated to applicants: February 28th, 2022

    Deadline for confirming attendance: March 3rd, 2022

    Conference dates: Thursday, April 14th and Thursday, 15th, 2022 (online)


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).  The 2022 conference will be held virtually.  
  • Friends of participants that are affiliated with Harvard or are a student, administrator, or faculty at other institutions, are all welcome to register.

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

Udergraduate students who are conducting supervised independent research for capstones or senior theses on research focusing on traditionally under-represented or marginalized groups or research areas. 

Students may choose to present in one of three presentation categories: 

 • Panel Presentations (live) 

 • Research Roundtables (live)

 • Poster Presentations (asynchronous)

If the research you’d like to present will be complete by the time of the conference (meaning data collection and analysis stages are complete), please apply to present for either the Full Panel Presentation or the Poster Session. If your research will not be complete by the time of the conference, and/or you’d like feedback from peers and faculty, please apply for research roundtables.

All research involving human subjects must indicate that their institution's Internal Review Board has given approval.

Graduates students and faculty are ineligble to send in a proposal for this conference.


If you have questions, please contact vghosh@fas.harvard.edu

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?

You may apply to make a presentation of your work as as long as your data collection and analysis is complete by April 1, 2021.  

If your research will not be complete (i.e. ready to submit to your advisor for approval), please apply for a Research Roundtable in order to get feedback on your study design and initial findings. 

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

We are primarily interested in research that focuses on groups, communities, or issues underrepresented in research.  Below are some examples of previous successful proposals.

  • The Politics of Representation: A Study on the Impact of Electoral Systems in the United States- Mills College
  • Incorporating Native Hawaiian Knowledge, Community, and Culture in Health Research: The Challenges of Multicultural Settler Colonialism- Harvard College
  • Speaking for Ourselves: The Evolving Activism of Black Psychiatry from Integration to Black Power- Harvard College
  • Whose Schizophrenia? How Race, Class, and Gender Intersect with Conceptions of Psychiatric Diagnosis- Wesleyan University

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 Academic Resource Center for some assistance. If you are not attending Harvard College, 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:https://history.ncsu.edu/grad/conference_abstracts.php and https://writingcenter.unc.edu/tips-and-tools/abstracts/ 

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


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 the types of presentations?

The only difference are those research projects which are complete and those which are still in progress. This year there are three types of presentations:  Full Proposal, Poster Presentation (asynchronous) or Research Roundtable. If your research project is complete (data collection and analysis is complete) , in that you consider yourself done with the research and would submit it to your department;  please apply for a full presentation or poster presentation.  Please  note that the poster presentation will be asynchronous;  you will pre-record your presentation for conference attendees to view and submit questions via the Whova website.  If your research or study is still in development, consider submitting to present as part of a research roundtable to get feedback from faculty and peers.  

Who is sponsoring this conference?

  • This conference is currently being co-sponsored by the Center for Public Service and Engaged Scholarship and the Office for Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion at Harvard College, Undergraduate Office for Research and Fellowships with support from the Global Health Initiative, Ethnicity, Migration & Rights and Campus Compact for the Southern New England Region. Funding is provided by the Dean of Harvard College.

I have additional questions. How do I contact you?

Frequently Asked Questions: SSJ Research Roundtable

What is a Research Roundtable?

These are intended for studies that are in the very early stages, similar to  “lightning talks” with discussion. Each roundtable will have three undergraduate researchers who will each get a chance to get feedback.

Each student will present their work for 5-7 minutes, then the remainder of the session time will be reserved for feedback, discussion and engagement. There will be a faculty or doctoral candidate, along with conference attendees in the Zoom room.

What will students be asked to discuss?

Students will be asked to discuss the following:

  • What is the topic of your research project? Provide background information and theory framing their question (or say if you don’t have one yet).
  • Why are you interested in it? why should be interested? Why does it matter? (Impact)
  • What’s your thesis/argument/question? If the student does not have an exact thesis question/argument yet, that is completely fine! This is great ground for discussion. In this case, the student is encouraged to discuss the themes they are currently interested in, the larger issue/problem they hope address, and using examples to explain. This invites the audience, other presenters and the moderator to work with this student in refining their “larger burning question” into a smaller, more specific question.
  • What approaches are you taking/have you planned to address this/these questions? Again, another moment for the student to gather feedback on the best approaches/better approaches to get to the heart of their questions.
  • Where are you in the research process?* Are there any project challenges you are currently working through that you’d like to seek feedback on? if the student wishes they can share preliminary data… if they have any, but since this is works-in-progress session, it’s not expected or required.

Slides are NOT required, but sometimes presenters feel like slides may be helpful to help guide the audience along. Presenters can use a maximum of 2 slides to illustrate via images, key quotes, info-graphics or main points of methodologies and approaches.  

Poster Presentation FAQ

What kind of poster materials should I use?

For 2022, the poster presentations will be pre-recorded to be viewed asynchronously via the Whova platform.   Posters can be created using Powerpoint or Google Slides to create a graphic illustration of their project accompanied by a recording that is played during the video.  

The information that is included in your presentation remains the same as a traditional poster presentation, please refer to the guides below for more informatiion: 

To make a poster presentation and voiceover recording with PowerPoint: https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/office/record-a-presentation-2570dff...

To make a poster presentation and voiceover recording with Google Slides: https://myelearningworld.com/add-voice-over-to-google-slides/ (this one is a bit more complicated)

It is strongly suggested you attend the Q&A Session on March 27th, 2022, 7pm. Links to register for the zoom were mailed to all presenters. 

Do I need to prepare a presentation?

For 2022, all poster presentations will be pre-recorded. Attendees will view the prsentation asynchronously and submit questions via the online platform. 

A good resource on preparing academic presentation: https://hub.wiley.com/community/exchanges/discover/blog/2018/03/08/6-tips-for-giving-a-fabulous-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 have easels to hold your presentations. 
  • If you choose to bring handouts, we’d recommend printing about 10-15 copies of handouts.


What is the presentation like?

  • For 2022, the conference will be on an online platform.  When the platform has been confirmed, all presenters will be contacted to be trained to use platform.  
  • 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
  • This is a succinct overview of how to prepare:  https://www.wiley.com/network/researchers/promoting-your-article/6-tips-for-giving-a-fabulous-academic-presentation