Reasons to Participate

  • Gain experience presenting your ideas, findings, or experiences in a formal yet supportive setting
  • Exchange ideas with other undergraduate scholars
  • Receive feedback from faculty members and peers in your field
  • Enhance your résumé

Students are encouraged to present on any topic of interest in their academic studies. For some, this may be traditional, scientific research. For others, this could include learning and discoveries in areas such as comparative literature, religion, mathematics, public health, education, and more.

In addition, the presentation topic could be derived from:

  • Thesis research
  • Creative work in the visual and performing arts
  • Course assignment
  • Independent study
  • Community service
  • Study abroad experience

Research in-progress may be presented so that feedback may guide or improve a project.


Who is eligible to present?

All undergraduate students enrolled at any of the 28 public colleges or universities of Massachusetts – UMass campuses, state universities, or community colleges - are eligible to submit abstracts and present.

Each Presenter is required to have a Faculty Sponsor who is willing to assist them in writing their abstract, review and approve the abstract submission, and provide support in preparation for their presentation.


Ways to present?

Individual or Group Presentation

Once the presentation topic is determined, students need to decide whether it makes sense to present as an individual or as part of a group.

  • Individual Presentation: you will submit and present individually, and only you and your Faculty Sponsor’s names will be identified in conference materials.
  • Group Presentation: you will submit and present with at least one other student, and the names of all students in your group along with your Faculty Sponsor’s will be identified in conference materials


Oral, Poster or ePosterboard

Students also need to select a preferred format – oral, poster, ePoster

  • Oral Presentations are conducted in panel and discussion formats with three presentations per 45-minute session. Grouped by discipline/topic, each Presenter (or presentation groups) on the panel gives a 10-minute presentation.  Following the presentations, 15 minutes is allotted for a question/answer session with members of the audience.
    • Note:  Oral presentations include a review process, and acceptance to present is not guaranteed. If an oral presentation is not accepted by the Review Panel, the Presenter will have the option to display a poster or ePosterBoard.


  • Poster Presentations are arranged by discipline/topic. Each poster presenter has 45 minutes to present (10 min before to set up/5 min after to take down).  Poster Presenters are provided with a 4- foot by 4-foot poster board and pins for displaying their poster.


  • ePosterBoard Presentations are arranged by discipline/topic. Each ePosterBoard Presenter has 45 minutes to present. ePoster Presenters must provide their prepared slide/slide deck on a USB stick at the conference venue 45 minutes prior to their presentation time in order to have their display properly cued up for their presentation.


Submitting an Abstract to Present  

What is an abstract?

An abstract is a brief, written synopsis of the topic being presented. It highlights the major points covered while concisely describing the content and scope of the work. The abstract should be a maximum of 250 words.

When a student “Submits an abstract,” they have registered in the Mass URC online system and submitted an abstract with presentation details for review. The Faculty Sponsor then needs to approve for acceptance to present.


When and how to submit an abstract?

Steps to submit your abstract:

  1. Create a user account in the MassURC registration system which opens Monday, December 16
  2. Confirm your account by checking your email
  3. Log back into the system to complete all steps for abstract submission (Note: you can save your abstract information and return to it before submitting)
  4. Click Submit abstract when you are ready for your Faculty Sponsor to review.

Abstract Submission Deadline: Friday, February 14, 2020 (all deadlines are until 11:59 p.m.)

Only when you click the “Submit” button will your Faculty Sponsor be notified that your abstract is ready and have access to review. If you do not submit by the February 14 deadline, you will be ineligible to present at MassURC.


Once you submit your abstract: 

  • Your Faculty Sponsor will receive an email notification through the MassURC system and will be able to follow the provided link to review your abstract and either mark it “Approved” or “Needs Revisions.”
  • Your Faculty Sponsor has until Friday, February 21, 2020, to review and mark the abstract
  • If your abstract status is “Needs Revisions,” you have until Wednesday, February 26, 2020, to make any necessary revisions and re-submit your abstract to your Faculty Sponsor to do a final review.
  • Your final abstract must be marked "Approved" by your faculty sponsor no later than Friday, February 28, 2020, for you to be eligible to present.

At any point your Faculty Sponsor marks your abstract “Approved,” there is nothing further for you to do until you receive notification from the MassURC Coordinator confirming your scheduled presentation time and location. This notification will go out on Friday, March 27, 2020, and will include the presentation format, time, and location.


Important information for those with Group presentations

  • If you plan to present as a group, one student must serve as the Group Leader. The Group Leader is the student who submits the abstract on behalf of the group.
  • ALL Group Members must register in the system independently, and the Group Leader is responsible for sending each registered group member an invitation to join the group through the Mass URC system.
  • Each invited Group Member must accept the invitation to be identified as a Group Member
  • Any Group Member who is NOT registered in the system and accepted into the group will not be emailed presenter updates for the conference, listed in conference materials, nor registered as a Presenter for the day of the conference. Therefore, it is essential for the Group Leader to make sure that ALL Group Members are identified with the abstract submission in the Mass URC system. This must be completed by Wednesday, February 26, 2020, which is the final deadline for abstract revisions.

Names and contact information for Campus Contacts from each of the 28 schools included in the Massachusetts Undergraduate Research Conference (MassURC).

Faculty Sponsor

In order for students to present during MassURC, they must have a Faculty Sponsor who works directly with them to prepare their research, abstract, and presentation for the conference.