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Graduate Research Symposium

Application Dates

Application Opens: December 02, 2019

Application Deadline: Midnight, January 31, 2020

Application Details

Students are encouraged to participate in multiple formats, but a separate application is required for each format.

Before beginning your application, please have the following finalized and ready to enter in the application:

1. A complete project title
2. Name(s) of all students authors and faculty sponsors
3. 250-300 word abstract in Microsoft Word format ready to upload - Research Poster and Oral Presentation formats
4. Completed academic paper in Microsoft Word format ready to upload - Academic Paper Competition format


Research Poster Presentations

Oral Presentations

Academic Paper Competition

Campus Theme Graduate Research Award

Sustainability and the Environment logo


Graduate Research Symposium participants are encouraged to compete for the first Campus Theme Graduate Research Award. One $500 cash award will be presented in each format category (Oral Presentation, Research Poster, Academic Paper) to students whose research promotes and supports the campus theme of Sustainability and Environment.

 Since sustainability and environmental issues require interdisciplinary solutions, students from all areas of study are invited to compete for this award. Scholarly and creative projects and endeavors that strive to improve the environmental health and well-being of our community both now and in the future are eligible. For consideration, students just need to answer “yes” to the question on the application about the Campus Theme Graduate Research Award.

*only one Campus Theme Graduate Research Award per student. 

Presentation Formats

Research poster Presentations

Poster Sessions will be held Wednesday, March 25, 2020  on the Ramsey Center Concourse from 6:00 - 7:30pm.  The set-up time is scheduled from 9am-2pm. ALL posters must be set up by 2pm. Mounting supplies will be provided.

The recommended poster dimensions are 3 feet (36 inches) tall by 4 feet (48 inches) wide. 

Below are two templates that you can use for designing your poster.
Poster Template 1
Poster Template 2

Graduate posters will be judged by a faculty panel after 2pm. Award winners will be presented with cash awards during the Graduate Research Symposium Reception at 5:00pm on Thursday, March 26 in the University Center Grand Room.


oral presentations

Oral Presentations will be held throughout the day on Thursday, March 26, 2020 in the AK Hinds University Center.  The Oral Presentation Schedule will be published and distributed at least two weeks prior to the event.

Your oral presentation should be 10-12 minutes in length and will be led by a faculty moderator. A laptop and projector will be available in each meeting room.  Please plan to arrive a few minutes early to your session, allowing time to load your presentation slides to the computer. As a professional courtesy, you are expected to stay for the entire one-hour session.

Top graduate oral presenters will compete to participate in Graduate Education Day in Raleigh where they will meet with state legislators to share their research findings and encourage support of graduate education.

Academic paper competition

Academic papers will be judged by a faculty committee representing varied disciplines. One award winner will be chosen from each category and presented with cash awards during the Reception at 5:00pm on Thursday, March 26 in the UC Grand Room.

More information to help you prepare for Graduate Research Symposium is available online.

Academic Paper Categories:

  • Plans or Proposals (e.g. business plans, grant proposals, research proposals, etc.)
  • Literature Reviews (any discipline)
  • Research Papers (any discipline)

If you are in a Distance (Online) Program and cannot travel to Cullowhee, we encourage your participation in the Academic Paper competition. 

Research and Scholarship Conference

28th Annual Graduate Research Symposium

Wednesday, March 25th, 2020

Ramsey Center Concourse

Poster Presentations

  • 9:00am-2:00pm: Poster Set-Up
    Please Note: All posters must be set up by 2pm. 
  • 3:00pm-4:00pm: Poster Preview
  • 4:00pm-4:05pm: Welcome
  • 4:05pm-4:55pm: Faculty Panel
  • 5:00pm-6:00pm: Keynote Address
  • 6:00pm-7:30pm: Reception
  • 6:00pm-7:30pm: Graduate School Info Tables
  • 6:00pm-7:30pm: Poster Presentation

Thursday, March 26th, 2020

University Center

Oral Presentations

  • Graduate Students and Exemplary Undergraduate Students
    Various locations throughout the University Center: Participants will be notified of the time and location of their presentations
  • 12:00pm:  Keynote Address
    Dr. L. Alvin Malesky - Department Head and Professor, WCU Psychology Department
    University Center Theater
  • 5:00pm - Reception and Awards
    University Center Grand Room

Graduate Research Symposium Formats

If you have any questions about the 2020 Graduate Research Symposium, please contact the Graduate School (

Prior Programs and Awards

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