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Arts & Sciences Undergraduate Research Symposium (ASUReS)

Welcome to the inaugural Arts & Science Undergraduate Research Symposium (ASUReS), held concurrently with EUReCA 2024. This event marks the first of its kind—an annual celebration of research and creative endeavors by currently enrolled undergraduate students in the College of Arts & Sciences (CAS), University of Tennessee, Knoxville. 

About ASUReS

ASUReS provides a platform for undergraduate students across all disciplines in CAS to showcase their research and creative achievements. Whether engaged in individual or group projects or contributing to class capstone projects, students have the opportunity to share their work with the university community. 

Notably, ASUReS aligns with standard oral presentations as well as other formats, e.g., multimedia, exhibitions, etc., seen at professional conferences/symposiums. This distinctive feature aims to offer students an invaluable chance to practice and prepare for the dynamics of professional meetings. 

How to Participate

Interested students should submit their applications through our online system, which will be open in February 2024. The application includes an abstract of 150 – 300 words, succinctly outlining the project’s purpose, methods, results (or anticipated results), and conclusions.  

Upon completing the registration form, submissions will be judged by the symposium scientific panels from the three subdivisions in the College – Arts & Humanities, Social Sciences, and Natural Sciences & Mathematics – for selection to present at the symposium. 

Key Dates

Registration Period: Monday, February 12 to Friday, March 22, 2024. 

ASUReS Event: April 23, 2024 (sessions are in the morning and early afternoon, e.g., no later than 2 pm) 

Awards Ceremony: Date and location to be announced, typically the week following ASUReS, alongside with the EUReCA 2024’s award ceremony. 


ASUReS will acknowledge outstanding student contributions through a prestigious awards ceremony jointly organized by the Colleges of Arts and Sciences and the Undergraduate Research & Fellowships (URF) within the Division of Student Success. Participants will receive valuable awards, with special recognition reserved for the symposium winners. Monetary award recipients will undergo payment processing through the College of Arts & Sciences. 

Participant Guidelines

Presentation Format

ASUReS features 12-minute talks with a panel’s short discussion and comments at the end. This format allows presenters to delve into their research or creative endeavors within a focused time frame. The session includes a panel discussion, providing an opportunity for interaction and feedback from the panelists.

Submitting Your Abstract

Registration Form: The symposium registration form does not require presenters to sign in (or sign up) with their UTK email. On the other hand, If you are in a group presentation, as the lead student, you are responsible for ensuring your group’s submission is entered by the deadline.

Research Compliance

All projects must be consistent with applicable compliance rules. Students who conduct research involving people or people data must submit their projects for IRB approval and have received IRB approval before exhibiting at the ASUReS event.

Classroom Projects

Classroom projects may be displayed at ASUReS and will be subject to acceptance by your college representative. If the project was conducted for class only and not to contribute to the generalizable knowledge of their discipline, students may present the results of their classroom projects as part of their final assignment and must denote in the abstract that this is a classroom project or capstone project. In this capacity, ASUReS is acting as an extension of the classroom activity. These projects will be categorized separately at the event (Research vs. Classroom/Capstone Projects).

Classroom Projects & Human Subjects Research

If you would like to enter your classroom project in the research category and the classroom project involved the collection of information from or about people, the faculty member or the student(s) will need to apply to convert their classroom activity to research through application to the IRB for ‘materials and data collected for non-research purposes’ before displaying at ASUReS. This process averages 2-3 weeks (but can vary depending on your active engagement/collaboration and responses back to the IRB) and requires the Principal Investigator (PI) and collaborators to complete CITI training. (An undergraduate student may serve as a PI.) If there is a question as to whether your classroom project would need the additional approval, please contact the IRB at IRB website.

Judging Rubric and Guidance

Scoring: Students will be assessed based on four criteria and corresponding indicators, utilizing a 1–5-point scale for each indicator.

Criteria: Judging criteria can be viewed at the tab below.

Awards Ceremony

An awards ceremony is held following the competition, where Colleges award the top scoring presentations in their division.

Judging Guidelines

The following table outlines the judging criteria for ASUReS presentations, which are evaluated on a 1-5 scale for each of indicator listed in the four criteria:

Relevant Work Acknowledged

Clearly Situates Current Work: Effectively places the current work in an appropriate scholarly context.

Acknowledges Foundation: Recognizes the conceptual and methodological foundation provided by previous work.

Identifies Novel Contribution: Clearly identifies the novel contribution of the present work to the field or society.

Significant Question or Creative Objective

Explicitly States Objective: Clearly states the research question or creative objective.

Importance and Timeliness: Explains why the research question is important and timely.

Logical Continuation: Ensures the research question or creative objective follows logically from the previous work cited.

Appropriate Methodologies

Clear Presentation of Results: Presents results clearly and explicitly interprets them with respect to the research question or creative objective.

Acknowledges Limitations: Acknowledges limitations of the methods used.

Effective Interpretation: Effectively interprets results with respect to the research question or creative objective.

Effective 12-Minute Talk

Structured Presentation: Delivers a well-organized and professional 12-minute talk, ensuring a clear structure and focus within the time limit.

Concise and Precise: Presents the work concisely and precisely within the 12-minute timeframe, maintaining clarity and relevance.

Thorough Responses: Responds to questions thoroughly and thoughtfully during the panel’s short discussion and comments at the end of the 12-minute talk.

ASUReS Organization Committee

Steering Committee

  • Beauvais Lyons, Divisional Dean for Arts and Humanities
  • Kate Jones, Divisional Dean for Natural Sciences and Mathematics 
  • Liem Tran, Associate Dean for Academic Programs
  • Michael Blum, Associate Dean for Research and Creative Activity
  • Patrick Grzanka, Divisional Dean for Social Sciences 

Planning Committee

Natural Sciences and Mathematics Division

  • Kathryn Dabbs, Lecturer, Mathematics
  • Erika Dalliance, Graduate Teaching Assistant, Ecology & Evolutionary Biology

Social Sciences Division

  • Brandon Prins, Professor, Political Science

Arts & Humanities Division

  • Mary Laube, Associate Professor, School of Art
  • Griffin Crew, Student Publications Assistant, College of Communication and Information Student Media Beacon

Organizing Team

  • Lori Mitchell, College of Arts and Sciences Administrative Associate
  • Michael Powers, College of Arts and Sciences Event Coordinator
  • Claire Mayo, College of Arts and Sciences Associate Administrator of Academic Programs & College Curriculum Coordinator

Communication Team

  • Andrew B. Tessier, College of Arts and Sciences Creative Communications Manager
  • Ainsley Elizabeth Kelso, College of Arts and Sciences Social Media Manager