Proposals due March 30 for annual Graduate Research Forum

Graduate Research Forum poster session

Graduate students can now submit proposals to present their research and win up to $500 at the 2020 Graduate Research Forum on May 8.

The forum, now in its 11th year, is an opportunity for students to share their research in a concise way, practice presentation skills and receive valuable feedback. The Graduate School invites increased participation from students in the creative arts.

“One of the forum’s strengths is interdisciplinarity and participation across all fields of study, which means we need to make space for alternative modes of inquiry,” said Kate Mondloch, interim vice provost and dean of the Graduate School. “We’ve reconceived the panel session format this year to encourage innovative presentation techniques. This could involve audience engagement, lightning talks, photo essays, artist talks, conversation-based discussions and more.”

Students can present their research in one of three different formats: poster sessions; three-minute thesis, known as 3MT; or individual presentations within panel sessions. The Graduate School encourages students to participate by offering a range of cash prizes for the best performance in each area.

As the Graduate School prepares for the forum, it also hosts a series of workshops that let students practice before they present. Xiang Li, an economics doctoral student, said working with Zeina Salamei, a theater arts doctoral student and one of the 2019 100 Ducks Who Made a Difference, was the biggest benefit for her.

“Thanks to the Graduate School, I was able to work with Zeina as a coach to improve my presentations,” Li said. “After competing in this competition, I am more confident and have become more comfortable with public speaking.”

Claire Guidinger, clinical psychology doctoral student and two-time forum winner, is going to try her hand again in the forum’s poster session.

“The forum helped me develop and refine my scientific communication skills and helped me feel more comfortable and confident disseminating research findings,” she said. “I’ve had an incredible experience at the forum and look forward to participating throughout the remainder of my doctoral training.”

The first Graduate Research Forum was held in April 2010 in response to requests from graduate students for more interdisciplinary opportunities to exchange ideas and network with their peers. Since then, the forum has provided students with a platform to share their research with the UO community.

“Few opportunities rival the forum when it comes to replicating a professional conference and networking setting,” Mondloch said. “By providing this event for our students, we are equipping them for success in whatever career path they may choose.” 

Students can submit their proposals on the forum website until March 30 and can contact Jen McNutt-Bloom for more information.

—By Jessica T. Brown, University Communications