About the competition

We want to know what you did this summer ! Come join The Undergraduate Research Showcase and share your research with the UM community !  

2024 Showcase information to come.
What is the Undergraduate Research Showcase ?

The Undergraduate Research Showcase (formerly the Undergraduate Research Poster Competition) is a one day-event where undergraduate students can showcase the exciting and innovative research they’ve done over the past year and be eligible to win cash prizes.

There is a total of $6,500 in cash prizes up for grabs, split across five categories:
  • Applied Sciences

  • Creative Works

  • Health Sciences

  • Natural Sciences

  • Social Sciences and Humanities

Competition Format

This year, the Undergraduate Research Showcase will have two separate competition streams: the Oral Presentation Stream, and the Poster Presentation Stream. Click the icons to learn more about each competition stream !

Dates and Deadlines

Dates and Deadlines to be determined.


The Undergraduate Research Showcase is open to all UM undergraduate students who:

  • Are enrolled at UM as an undergraduate student

  • Are on track to obtain a UM undergraduate degree

  • Have a UM-affiliated research supervisor

  • Have a UM supervisor (excluding co-ops that don't have adjunct/UM affiliation)

    • Students who have a supervisor through the Honours thesis program, Honours program special course, or similar stream, are also allowed to apply.

Note:  Students who graduated in Spring 2024 are eligible to participate, as long as the research being showcased was completed while they were an undergraduate student.

UM URS 2023 Winners

Format and Specifications

New this year: There will be 2 unique judging streams; Poster and Oral presentation.

Stream 1: Oral Presentation

Students will have a maximum of 3 minutes to explain/describe their research project in any means/media format of their choosing. Examples may include: Oral presentations, PowerPoint presentations, 3-D Demonstrations, Videos, etc.

What should an oral presentation look like ?

Presentations in the Oral Stream:

  • should be approximately 3 minutes long (followed by a 2-minute Q & A period, for a total of 5 minutes max per presenter)
  • may include optional visual components that supplement your presentation, such as
    • PowerPoint slides
    • a pre-recorded video
    • a displayable PDF file
    • images/renders, 3D models, dioramas, etc. (displayed virtually or brought into the space)

Will there be anything provided to me to help with my oral presentation ?

All presenters will have access to a microphone and a projector + screen, which will both be located in the Oral Presentation space.

For those who wish to make use of the projector to display any virtual visual components, please be sure to provide us with the necessary files beforehand. There will be a laptop on site from which you can access your files. Please note that we may not be able to accept files that require a unique program/application.

Are there restrictions on what I can bring to/include in my Oral Presentation ?

Yes. Please note that the following are considered restricted and not allowed in the Oral Presentation Stream (although they may, however, be included in the form of a purely virtual visual component, such as a PowerPoint Presentation or pre-recorded video:

  • the use of live specimens, samples, or animals
  • live experiments performed on-site in or near the Oral Presentation Space
  • the use of hazardous materials or chemicals

Will presentations in the Oral Stream be judged ?

Yes, all presentations, whether in the Oral Stream or the Poster Stream, will be judged by 3 judges, selected from members of the UM community (faculty members, professors, researchers, etc.).

You can view the judging criterions below.

Will I have the opportunity to talk about my research after my Oral Presentation ?

Yes ! There will be areas spread across the Multi-Purpose Room for Oral Presentation Stream participants to further discuss their research with those in attendance. Please note that this will not count towards judging. These spaces and opportunities are there for:

  • students who wish to learn more about the research that their colleagues are doing
  • those who want to have collaborative and insightful conversations with UM researchers (both faculty and students)
  • are eager to talk more about their research and research experiences with members of the UM research community

Stream 2: Poster Presentation

For the Poster Presentation stream, students will be required to set up their posters at an established time. Judging will take place throughout the day, with results being shared after the judging period has concluded. The posters should be comprehensive, engaging, and effective at conveying concepts, ideas, or information.

What size can my poster be ?

You will be assigned a 4'H X 8'W Poster Board on which to display your research, scholarly work or creative activity. Please note that you will need a 4"H X 11"W space in the upper right hand corner for the poster board number identifying your project. Other than that, the space is yours. You are free to use large-scale poster paper or build your poster in whatever way best suits your interests, as long as it stays within the total dimensions shown here.

Include the correct UM logo per the brand guidelines.

What should a Poster Presentation look like ?

Posters in in the Poster Presentation Stream:

  • should abide by the applicable space and specifications/dimensions that are listed on this page.
  • Can include supplementary components outside of the poster board, such as:
    • small dioramas/displays
    • scaled models

Please note that the Undergraduate Research Showcase team will not be responsible for the loss or damage of any posters or supplementary components. All supplementary components outside of the poster board must fit within the space space in front of your poster board, and must not obstruct the pathways in the room, nor can they obstruct the poster boards of other participants.

Do I need to be present at my poster for the entire duration of the Undergraduate Research Showcase ?

We encourage students to stay near their posters and share their research with those in attendance, which includes other UM students and members of the UM research community, as judges will be in the hall throughout the day looking at posters. This is meant to be an event that gives students the means to showcase their exciting and innovative research and research experiences, and so we encourage you to take advantage of that and share your work, while also taking the time to check out the work of your fellow UM students !

The Venue:

The Multi-Purpose Room will contain "neighbourhoods" or clusters based on related research topics within each category. There will be some zones reserved for oral presentations, speckled with clusters of poster submissions.

The room will be an engaging and welcoming environment that will spur curiosity and foster connections.

Judging Criteria (Oral Stream)

Participants in the Oral Presentation Stream will be evaluated on the following criteria:

Criteria Points
Scholarly Content/ Scientific/Creative Content 25 Points
Appropriate use of images, graphic representation, and/or tables 10 Points
Clear and engaging description/explanation of project 25 Points
Overall impression and significance of research 25 Points
Effective communication to the audience 15 Points
Total 100 Points

Judging Criteria (Poster Stream)

Participants in the Poster Presentation Stream will be evaluated on the following criteria:

Criteria Points
Scholarly Content/ Scientific/Creative Content 25 Points
Appropriate use of images, graphic representation, and/or tables 10 Points
Clear and engaging description/explanation of project 25 Points
Overall impression and significance of research 25 Points
Effective communication to the audience 15 Points
Total 100 Points

Resources and Information

The Undergraduate Research Poster Competition is a recognized UM Co-Curricular Record activity and all participants will be recognized.

2023 Undergraduate Research Showcase Info Session Material - PDF

86+ million tips for creating a research poster presentation from Google 

Ten Simple Rules for a Good Poster Presentation - from 2007, but still relevant! 

8 ways to create a powerful research poster - tips on using white space, colour, organization and fonts. 
Design tips for creating arts and humanities posters – from Mark McDayter’s blog 

Frequently Asked Questions

I am now in a Master’s program at UM. Can I submit a poster I completed before I graduated?

Yes, as long as you were a UM undergraduate student and the poster was completed on/before you graduated in Spring 2024.

I am a UM student doing research at another university – am I still eligible to participate in the competition?


Could I submit a poster for a project that isn't completed yet?

Yes. We don’t want to discourage you, so if you are comfortable entering the competition with uncompleted work, we will accept the poster.

I did a project this summer with a company where I worked. Could I present the research work I did with them at this competition?

Yes. As long as you are currently enrolled as an undergraduate student and you have a UM advisor, we will accept the poster.

This summer I participated in a project with many people working on it. Should my poster demonstrate the entirety of the project or just my contribution as a research assistant?

Preferably, you should be the first author of the research on the poster. A disclaimer is highly recommended. You need to be able to identify your role in the context of the larger project. Also, you must contact the others involved for their permission should you present the entirety of the project.

How do I know which category my poster will fall under?

You should check with your research advisor.

I have an exam on the day of the event. Do I need to stay for the whole time during the competition?

No. The poster should be self-explanatory and you will not be deducted any points for not being at your poster. You are, however, expected to collect your poster after 4:30pm the day of the event. Please note though that judges and general attendees will be in the room throughout the day, so this may be a great opportunity to gain experience sharing and conveying your research work to an audience !

Am I required to speak briefly about my poster? Should I prepare a speech or will the presentation of the poster be more of a conversation with the judges?

You are not required to prepare a speech. Your poster will be graded on the official judging criteria, which does not include any formal oral components. The judges may ask you questions in conversation should you be present at the same time as them.

Past Winners

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For more information contact

Office of the Vice-President (Research and International)