Research Symposium FAQ


1.   Where are the Abstract Submission Guidelines?

The  Guidelines for Abstract Submission can be found by clicking here.

2.   Why do I have to provide my T-number and address during registration?

Each presenter at the symposium must provide the requested contact information as this will be needed if you are a winner and are eligible for a prize.

3.   How do I know the timing, date, and location for my oral presentation?

First, each participant will be notified by letter from the Symposium committee of your presentation date, time, and location.  Then the Symposium program will be available online as soon as it is finalized. Please review the program and find the date and time, building and room number for your presentation. It is imperative that you arrive ahead of time and have your power point slides loaded before your presentation.

4.   Why does the poster have to be 36” x 48”? Are there any exceptions to this?

Each project is allotted a poster board that will accommodate  36" x 48" (which amounts to three feet by four feet).  A smaller poster may be acceptable, but a smaller poster may be difficult to use to convey the information to be presented.  No exceptions can be made for larger posters, so plan accordingly.  (See Question 13 for ideas of how to create a poster.)

5.   Why are there judges for presentations?

The Tennessee State University-wide Research Symposium is a platform for presentation of research it also includes a student competition.  TSU Symposium judges, ususlly including a mix academic and corporate professionals will evaluate the student presentations using an established rubric to arrive at a score.  The scores are compared to indicate a winner.  

For Orals – a number of judges evaluate oral presentations based on your explanation of the work, the content, and delivery of your presentation.

For Posters – Three (3) judges evaluate each poster presentation based on your explanation of the work, your ability to answer questions about the work, and the content and appearance of your poster.  Students should be prepared to explain their poster to a judge who is not familiar with their field and to one who may be an expert in the field.  Judges familiar with the participant’s discipline and research area are not guaranteed.

Evaluation forms for judging are available on this website so you will know the categories for which your presentation will be evaluated.  This information can be useful for practicing ahead of the Symposium.

6.   What will be my attire for my presentation?

You should wear professional clothing.  The Symposium is a prestigious event, and you will be speaking with faculty and judges (academic and corporate) during the day.

7.   How do I manage my classes on the day of the Symposium?

After your abstract receives final approval, you will receive an e-mail with more information. The date of the TSU Symposium is publicized widely across campus in the hopes that professors will be aware of the Symposium and will not schedule exams or other important presentations on the day of the Symposium.  However, we recommend informing your professors early in the semester about your intent to participate in the Symposium so arrangements might be made for you if your presentation is scheduled during your class time.

8.   What is the best way to present if we have a group of 2 or 3 students?

During the abstract submission process, presenting authors were decided and each of those authors is expected to describe a portion of your presentation to the judges. Every presenting author should be prepared to answer questions about the research.

9.   What are the benefits of participating in the TSU Research Symposium?

  • Public exposure and valuable feedback for your research
  • Network with peers and faculty, and learn about other research, scholarship, and creative activities occurring at the university
  • Increased knowledge and a deeper understanding of your research
  • A University reference to your presentation
  • Good experience for any post-graduation application and extramural research internships/programs
  • Good practice to get you ready for presentations at professional conferences
  • Public-speaking experience
  • The opportunity to be a part of a long-standing TSU academic/research tradition
  • Chance to receive an award
  • An awesome experience!

10.   What does it mean to be a winner at the TSU Research Symposium?

  • Recognition with an award
  • Public recognition for your research presentation
  • Great addition to a CV or résumé

11.  What kind of help is available to students who want to participate in the Symposium?

For advice and suggestions, talk with your research advisor and learn the manner of participation and activity of previous students in the Symposium.

12.   Are all student presentations open for competition?  How will student presentations be judged?

All student presentations, graduate and undergraduate, are part of the competition.

13.   Where can I find help to create my poster?

There are many videos on YouTube about Poster Presentation.  Some that we have reviewed are listed below:

"How to make a scientific poster using Microsoft Powerpoint" by David Larsen

"Making a better research poster" by AJE Journal Experts

"What makes a great research poster" by Andy Stapleton

"How To Create Academic Poster in PowerPoint" by Mind Feeder

"How to create a better research poster in less time - Part 1" by Mark Morrison

"How to create a better research poster in less time - Part 2" by Mark Morrison

(Information found in these videos should be used to help generate ideas. Using information found in these videos will not guarantee a winning score for the poster competition.)