Conference Call

Drexel prides itself on encouraging undergraduate students to do research – even starting as early as freshmen in the STAR Scholars program. So it’s not surprising that this year, 14 Drexel students attended the National Conference for Undergraduate Research (NCUR) in Ogden, Utah.

The work students presented ran the gamut from Arvind Kalidindi’s “Investigation of vanadium crossover in redox flow batteries” to Aja Carter’s “Bringing old fossils into new focus.” And the students who presented weren’t just in the sciences, either. Entertainment & Arts Management student Simone Dallaire attended with her project on “The use of media by performing arts organizations,” and Business Administration student Tian Zou presented his research on the relationship between bad laws and crime.

The conference wasn’t the only positive thing about the trip. “The students had a really great time exploring Ogden and Salt Lake City,” says Jaya Mohan, Assistant Director of the Office of Undergraduate Research, which provided funding for students to attend the conference. “It was the first time any of them had been to Utah, so it was a great opportunity to get to see/know another — beautiful! — part of the country.”

As for students who might be interested in attending next year’s NCUR (April 11-13 at the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse), Mohan has some tips on applying: “Our advice to students would be to work with their faculty mentors to write a good, tight abstract of their work – especially if they have little to no experience writing an abstract. It's the only thing the NCUR committee uses to make their selection, so it's important that the student writes a compelling and cohesive abstract that demonstrates the depth and substance of his/her work.” She also notes that about half of applications to NCUR are accepted. 

Mohan also says that NCUR, while one of the biggest undergraduate research conferences, is only one of many opportunities undergraduate students have to present their research.  “We send students to a few other general undergraduate research conferences each year, such as the Colonial Academic Alliance Undergraduate Research Conference and the Harvard College Undergraduate Research Association National Collegiate Research Conference.” Students who are interested in these or other opportunities to present research can get in touch with the Office of Undergraduate Research.