Applications now open for 2019 Undergraduate Exhibition

Sean Yoder
January 25, 2019

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — April 18, 2018: The HUB-Robeson Center is buzzing as usual for an April afternoon. Yet among the chatter of students studying and eating, or just hanging out with friends, some 340 students make their way into the HUB with their research posters, materials for oral presentations and even musical instruments, for the 2018 Undergraduate Exhibition.

As exhibition time approaches the halls grow louder as the hundreds of participants find their spots and judges begin to filter in among them. Each student knows they will be evaluated by up to three different judges with varying degrees of familiarity with the subject. The participants have to be prepared to answer probing, complex questions, yet also be able to explain their research as if the judge has no prior knowledge. For those giving an oral presentation or performance, this will be the culmination of years of hard work and weeks or months of practice. For many students, this will be their first chance to showcase their hard work to those outside of their research cluster, professors, classroom, friends and family.

Flash-forward a year: Applications are now open for the 2019 Undergraduate Exhibition at the Penn State University Park campus, which brings in some of the best of the approximately 82,000 undergraduate students enrolled across the state.

Students have until March 24 to apply. Applications can be found here.

Students have the option to create a traditional research poster, an oral presentation or performance.

This year’s exhibition, scheduled for April 17, will also feature an engagement experience poster exhibition. For this new portion, organizers are encouraging students to present a poster that reflects on and shares their experiences with others, and focus on their learning as a result of these experiences. That separate application can be found here.

Alan Rieck, associate vice president and associate dean of Undergraduate Education, said presenting at events such as the exhibition is an important step in the academic journey.

“Students come to Penn State to get an extraordinary education that sets them up for long-term success," Rieck said. "Research, inquiry, creative activity and engagement experiences are the opportunities that help students stand apart. The ability to share these experiences with a wide range of audiences allows the presenters to synthesize their experiences in insightful and potentially transformative ways.”

Students who can’t make it to campus are able to join in and present remotely.

The 2018 Exhibition was a record year for the annual event, attracting nearly 100 more participants than the 2017 exhibition. The oral and performances category was new in 2018 and will continue this year.

Participants are eligible for a number of awards. Awards are announced at a ceremony the weekend following the exhibition and recognize the top-scoring students in different categories. There are also special awards that come with cash prizes, such as the Gerard A. Hauser Award for the participant who is judged best overall, and the University Fellowships and Phi Kappa Phi Peter T. Luckie Award for Outstanding Juniors.

For more information on the 2019 Undergraduate Exhibition, visit the Undergraduate Research website

The Research Opportunities for Undergraduates program is part of Penn State Undergraduate Education, the academic administrative unit that provides leadership and coordination for University-wide programs and initiatives in support of undergraduate teaching and learning at Penn State. Learn more about Undergraduate Education at undergrad.psu.edu. Sign up for the Undergraduate Education Headlines for the latest news.

Last Updated February 06, 2019