Celebration of Undergraduate Research

Increase font size
Decrease font size

The Celebration of Undergraduate Research (CUR) is an annual research symposium for UNC undergrads held in the Frank Porter Graham Student Union. Students present posters and deliver talks in concurrent poster and panel sessions. The Celebration is sponsored by the Office for Undergraduate Research and co-sponsored by The Roosevelt Institute. The goal of the Celebration is to showcase and encourage meaningful research in all disciplines by undergraduates at the UNC-Chapel Hill.

The Seventeenth Annual Celebration of Undergraduate Research at UNC-Chapel Hill will be held April 18, 2016 at the Frank Porter Graham Student Union.

Read about the 2015 Celebration here.

Abstracts for the 2016 Celebration will be accepted until March 1, 2016. Undergraduate students at UNC-Chapel Hill may submit an application to participate at any time before that date. You are not required to have completed your research in order to submit your abstract.

Are you curious about opportunities to engage in original inquiry and research at Carolina? Not sure where to begin? The Celebration is open to the public. Come to the Great Hall in the FPG Student Union and look for students wearing “HOST” nametags. They will help you to identify projects that match your interests.

During the symposium, you will have the opportunity to meet and talk with potential faculty advisors and learn what students like you have accomplished.cur_couple

To see poster and presentation participants and topics, please use our searchable database.

There are mobile versions available of the 2015 searchable program, panel sessions, and poster sessions.

You can also download a pdf of the 2015 program.

Apply to Participate

The deadline to complete the Abstract Submission form for the 2016 Celebration is March 1, 2016 (sooner if possible). You will be asked to list your UNC faculty advisor. Many students will not have finished their research at the time abstracts are due. This is common and in this case the abstract should include a description of the process and preliminary expectations.


There will be concurrent talks (“panel sessions”), poster sessions, and performance sessions.

Many of the poster and panel sessions will be organized around special topics. These topics include:

  • Health & Well-Being: This session encompasses subjects relating to the biomedical and socio-cultural determinants and consequences of health and illness. This includes all stages of research on the human body; cell, molecular, and developmental biology; environmental determinants of disease; and diagnostics, therapies and treatments.
  • Diversity & Equity: This platform session will include research that relates to issues of access, fairness, and inclusion for all groups of people.
  • Environment: Does your research consider the physical world and/or how we relate to it? This panel will consider research relating to both the environment itself, including geology, zoology, botany, and similar research, as well as to human impact.
  • Fine Arts: Have you done research on dance, music, theater or art? This platform session will consider performance from a variety of places, times and cultures, as well as research that examines the creative arts.
  • Education: This platform discussion will focus on topics relating to education, including issues of access, organization and administration of school systems, achievement gaps, best practices in teaching, evaluation and assessment, and all aspects of learning.
  • The US & Foreign Relations: Are you studying how the United States interacts with other countries at a governmental or individual level? This platform session will include research on countries as well as international policy making. It also includes research that looks at US citizens in other countries or foreign citizens in the US, historically or now.

Poster Sessions

There are two poster sessions: 1-2 pm and 2:15-3:15 pm. Odd-numbered posters will present at the first; even-numbered ones will go second. During these sessions, students will set up their posters and stand next to them to answer questions from other symposium attendees.

Panel Sessions

The panel sessions run from 1-3:15 pm with a 15-minute break at 2 pm. At these sessions, students will give approximately 10-minute talks on their research. Laptops and projectors are provided for students who want to show presentations during their talks.

Carolina Research Scholars Recognition and Poster Awards

At 3:30 pm, everyone is invited to the Student Union Auditorium to honor the Carolina Research Scholars and the winners of the awards for best poster.


For symposium details including advice on preparing abstracts, poster design and size, and presenter responsibilities, please visit the Frequently Asked Questions page.

Past Symposia

Abstracts of work presented at past symposia can be viewed here. This extensive database (over 700 abstracts) includes information about graduate student mentors and faculty advisors.