Dear Students,

It is my pleasure to invite you to participate in the 2020 Dr. Rae Linda Brown Undergraduate Research Symposium. This annual event highlights the research and creative activities of PLU students from across the university. Featured projects may be the outcome of a range of learning opportunities, including student-faculty research collaborations, classroom, laboratory, or community-based projects, or study away or academic internship experiences.

When is the event?
The Dr. Rae Linda Brown Undergraduate Research Symposium will be held May 9, 2020.

Why should students participate in the symposium?
Presenting at the symposium provides an opportunity for you to showcase your research or creative work to an audience of peers, professors, and community members while gaining invaluable professional experience in a supportive setting. Bringing together projects from across campus allows students to engage with and learn from each other about a broad range of research topics,

Formal research presentations are great experiences to include on resumes and graduate school applications. Selected abstracts will be published online. (View published abstracts from previous symposiums here).

Who is eligible to present at the symposium?
All undergraduate students who have engaged in faculty-mentored research and creative projects in Spring 2019 through Spring 2020 may apply to participate.

Is this event designed for just juniors and seniors?
Students of all class standings are encouraged to participate. In fact, research shows that involvement in faculty-mentored research early in an undergraduate career has many benefits, such as helping students explore an area of study or future career path that interests them and gaining invaluable hands-on experience and organizational skills. The connections made with faculty mentors will not only enhance your undergraduate experience, they will likely extend well beyond your time at PLU.

What does the application process involve?
Students interested in presenting at the symposium will submit an abstract or artistic statement of their work (a short summary) to be evaluated by a committee of faculty.  The online abstract/artistic statement submission form is now open. Submissions are due Friday, April 3, 2020 (11:59 pm).

What are the guidelines in terms of content or length?
Undergraduate research and creative activity is broadly defined and covers a variety of modes of inquiry – both disciplinary and interdisciplinary. Symposium presentations may take the form of an oral or poster presentation. Creative activity in music, dance, film, and theatre is encouraged and will be included as an oral presentation. We also encourage the submission of artwork which will be displayed, along with posters, during the symposium.

Faculty guidance and mentoring is a hallmark of the Dr. Rae Linda Brown Undergraduate Research Symposium. Student participants are expected to work with a faculty member to craft both their abstracts/artistic statements and presentations.

If you are interested in participating in the symposium but not yet engaged in research, plan on attending the symposium in May to discover the range of opportunities available at PLU and to take steps to begin your own research journey.

Thank you in advance for considering taking part in this exciting opportunity to celebrate the excellent research and creative work underway at PLU. I look forward to seeing your submissions!


Joanna Gregson, PhD
Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs