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Each spring, students from across the University of Kentucky’s campus have an opportunity to showcase their faculty-mentored research and creative work in a formal presentation environment. Many students use this presentation experience as a stepping stone to national and international professional conferences.


What is the Showcase of Undergraduate Scholars?

The Showcase of Undergraduate Scholars is an annual event that provides UK undergraduates the opportunity to professionally present, perform, or demonstrate their faculty-mentored research to UK faculty, staff, students, and the general public.

The Showcase is a moment when we step back from our academic routines to celebrate the accomplishments of our students and encourage them along the path of intellectual achievement, as well as celebrate the inspiration and creativity of our young scholars and the dedication of their mentors. 

2020 Showcase

The 2020 Showcase of Undergraduate Scholars was held virtually due to COVID-19 restrictions. Visit the Virtual Showcase website to view student projects and the 2020 Excellent Research Mentor of the Year nominees

2020 Virtual Showcase

What is the Showcase’s mission?

To honor the achievements of our undergraduate researchers and the dedication of their UK mentors.


Why attend Showcase?

To discover the diversity, depth, and breadth of undergraduate research projects guided by the superb mentorship of our devoted faculty and staff across campus.



Tuesday, April 27 - Thursday, April 29






Andre Scruggs Showcase 2018
Sierra Hatfield Showcase 2019
James Beard Showcase 2019 computer science guitar research

Showcase Program Details


Every UK undergraduate student engaged in faculty-mentored research, scholarly or creative inquiry are eligible to present their work at the Showcase of Undergraduate Scholars. 

Everyone who successfully registers by the deadline will be eligible to present.


Submission Details

  • Step 1 - Complete registration and submit an abstract 
  • Step 2 - Optional: Nominate your faculty mentor for the Excellent Undergraduate Research Mentor of the Year [link to Research Mentor of the Year Awards]


  • Registration Opens: March 1, 2021

  • Registration Deadline: April 1, 2021 by 11:45PM

  • Register for Showcase here

    • As part of your application, you MUST supply a professional abstract (300 words maximum)

    • NOTE: Current STEMCats do NOT register online. See your research faculty mentor.

  • Faculty Mentor Nomination Award Deadline: April 6, 2020, Nominate here!

  • Letters of Excuse: Request here

  • Poster Printing Deadline: N/A


  • Showcase of Undergraduate Scholars requires abstracts to be no more than 300 words. 
  • An abstract is a concise statement of the major elements of a research project and/or scholarly work. It should contain an introduction; a purpose, objective or hypothesis; results of the project if it is complete; and conclusions drawn from what was learned. Abstracts should be written in past tense (with the understanding that at the time of submission your work may still be in progress). Avoid technical jargon and define all abbreviations. Use of the term "we" is appropriate, rather than "I".
  • References are NOT included in an abstract. Be sure the abstract is:
    • Complete: Covers all major parts of the project
    • Concise: No excess or unnecessary information
    • Clear: Is readable and well-organized
    • Cohesive: Flows smoothly and is grammatically sound

Seek faculty advisor review and approval of the abstract before submitting.

Faculty Mentor of the Year Awards

Each year, outstanding faculty mentors are recognized at the Showcase of Undergraduate Scholars for their outstanding leadership and support of students. Students may nominate their faculty mentor for the award starting March 1, 2021.

During the Showcase's Opening Ceremony, we also recognize the UK Excellent Undergraduate Research Mentor of the Year award winners. This student-nominated award recognizes UK faculty members who demonstrate an outstanding commitment to mentoring undergraduate researchers, providing exceptional undergraduate research experiences, as well as supporting and promoting the undergraduate research initiatives on campus.

Go to UK Excellent Undergraduate Research Mentor of the Year  to see all faculty award winners

Showcase FAQ

Can a group present one project?

Yes! We encourage both individual and collaborative efforts. Each project only needs one faculty mentor.

Only one of the undergraduate authors should register. There is space provided in the registration form to indicate all additional undergraduate project authors (up to 17 additional students). Please include the names of ALL undergraduate members of your project’s team when you fill out the online registration form to ensure they are listed in the abstract book. 

If I register for the Showcase, am I automatically accepted?

Every undergraduate student who successfully registers by the deadline will be able to present their research in their chosen format (poster, oral, performance/visual arts).

Student registration must include research project title, mentor information, and an abstract (300 words or less).

Can I still present if my research is incomplete?

Yes. You do not need your final results in order to present. Students can present research that is still in progress, but be sure to state it in your presentation.

When should I register?

Registration will open March 1, 2021. You will have until April 6, 2021 to register for the spring Showcase. You are encouraged to register as soon as possible so that your abstract is guaranteed to be printed in the abstract book.

Please read all instructions carefully both on this webpage and on the registration form. Registrations that do not meet all requirements will not be accepted. 

Can I register for more than one project?

Yes! We encourage both individual and collaborative efforts. Students are allowed to register and present on several projects. Be sure to note which presentation time you prefer for each project. 

Where do I upload my abstract?

You will upload your abstract in the space provided in the registration form. As part of your application, you MUST supply a professional abstract (300 words maximum).

Abstracts should be a basic overview of your project and be written in the third person. Abstracts should NOT contain graphs, special characters, images, charts, or references.

Your abstract will have your name and your faculty mentor's name on it. Be sure your faculty mentor has reviewed your abstract prior to submitting it. All abstracts will appear in the Showcase Abstract book exactly as they are entered, so it is imperative that you proofread before submitting.

Your abstract must be limited to 300 words. Abstracts that exceed the allotted word count will NOT be accepted.

In what format can I present my research?

Posters: You should expect to stand by your poster for the duration of the presentation session (except during the opening ceremonies from 3:00-3:30) and be prepared to give a 3-5 minute overview of your project and answer questions.

Oral presentations: Oral presentations should last about 15 minutes, including questions. Presenters should remain in the room until all presentations in their session are complete. The other presentations may offer new insights, and all presenters deserve the same audience and respect. 

Table Presentations: You will be provided with a table for your presentation. And will be expected to be there to give a 3-5 minute overview of your project and answer questions during your scheduled presentation session. 

Performances of all kinds are welcomed (e.g. dances, theater, etc.). Please email to make arrangements.

There will be TWO 70-minute student presentation sessions:

  • Session 1: 3:30pm - 4:40pm (set-up before 3:00pm)

  • Session 2: 4:50pm - 6:00pm (set-up from 4:40pm-4:45pm)


Where should I have my poster printed?

Posters may be uploaded Here for printing with our office. Posters must be uploaded by midnight on April 15, 2021 to guarantee printing by the date of the event. You will be notified via e-mail when it is ready to be picked up at our office (211 Funkhouser). Please be sure to carefully review your poster before uploading, as each poster will only be printed once. You are responsible for ensuring there are no typographical or other errors on your poster!

All posters must be in PowerPoint format, have a height of 36" and include the University of Kentucky logo. Posters that do not follow this format are not guaranteed to be printed by the Showcase. You can download the UK logo here using your linkblue account.

You can find a template for your poster here. This is the correct size for the printers.

What is a virtual conference?

The virtual conference is hosted entirely over the Internet. It allows attendees to access presentations from their computers. Attendees participate through a conference website designed specifically for the Virtual Showcase. The site is where you will view poster presentations, pre-recorded oral presentations, and engage with student researchers live for interactive Q&A sessions immediately following their presentations.

In 2020, the Showcase went 100% virtual due to the impact of COVID-19. View the Students' Virtual Project Gallery and Presentations

Celebrate Undergraduate Research.

2020 Virtual Showcase of Undergraduate Scholars Welcome

2019 Showcase of Undergraduate Scholars

2018 Showcase of Undergraduate Scholars

Poster Printing

Are you presenting at Showcase and need your research poster printed?

OUR will print one student poster free-of-charge per semester.

Learn more

Register for Showcase

Registration opens March 1, 2021



Have a Question?

Answers to some of the most common questions about undergraduate research at UK.