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?

  • Proposal submission deadline: February 10th, 2021

  • Decisions communicated to applicants: February 26th, 2021

  • Deadline for confimring attendance: March 1st, 2021

  • Conference dates: Thursday, April 8th and Thursday, 9th, 2021

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 2021 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. 
  • There are two types of presentation:  full presentations and poster sessions. The full presentatiosn are only for those who are doing independent research as part of their senior thesis or capstone projects. Poster sessions are for those who are conducting research as part of a class or group project. 
  • 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. 

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, as long as your data collection and analysis is complete by April 1, 2020.  

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

For 2021, we are primarily interested in research that focuses on groups, communities, or issues underrepresented in research. This year, we are looking for proposals that address health, education, and political access. 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 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?

  • If your study has been conducted with others, your reseach can 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?

  • The oral presentations are designed for those who have conducted independent research, as part of a captstone or thesis, under the supervision of a faculty member. The poster presentation is for undergarduates who are conducting research as a part of class or faculty-led research project.  Proposals are selected by a 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, 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?

Poster Presentation FAQ

What kind of poster materials should I use?

For 2021, the poster presentation will take place on a virtual platform. Using a zoom link, presenters will be asked to create a poster using Powerpoint, Google Slides or Prezi to create a graphic illustration of their project to present with a 2-3 minute summary of their research.  Workshops will be provided to provide guidance. 

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: 


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 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 2021, 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: