The deadline to submit applications to the UWill Discover Undergraduate Research Conference has been extended until midnight Monday (that’s 11:59:59 pm, Monday, February 9th, 2015). Conference organizer Simon du Toit has sent along a preview of what to expect at the event celebrating undergraduate research work, the first of its kind at UWindsor.


The First Annual University of Windsor
Undergraduate Research Conference 


Students can submit research proposals through the Scholarship at UWindsor Portal: 


The conference will take place on Tuesday, March 24, 2015, in the Ambassador Auditorium and the CAW Centre. It will have the following features:

  • The conference will be preceded by a Collaborative Massively Open Online Course, or CMOOC. This online process will host an international discussion focusing on best practices around undergraduate research conferences. We will invite guest presenters to host a series of evening discussions that will approach that topic from various points of view.
  • There will be no printed posters in this conference. Instead, students will present posters digitally, using projectors. Each poster will be supported by a Mini-TED talk recorded in advance by the presenter. We will ask every presenter (whether a poster, an oral presentation, a keynote, or an installation) to record a short talk about his or her research or creative project. The tone will be informed but informal, delivered in lay language full of enthusiasm. Recording facilities will be provided by student film directors working in CTL’s studios, and made publicly available through a University of Windsor YouTube channel a few days before the conference.
  • As an aspect of the CMOOC, all conference posters and Mini-TED talks will go live on the website on the Friday before the conference. This will permit asynchronous engagement with the conference material, and will also foster deeper questioning and engagement with the presentations.
  • During the conference interactive kiosks placed in the CAW and around the campus will go live. All the three-minute Mini-TEDs, conference posters, and keynotes will be available on demand. Students on our campus, in regional high schools, and across the country will be able to log on, watch the presentations, and pose questions for the presenter during the conference sessions. The live audience for each presenter is potentially global.
  • Leddy Library staff will participate in the conference in a number of ways. Librarians will serve as panel moderators and judges. Leddy will provide important contributions to our online presence:
  • Leddy is providing a flow-through publication process that will track student projects from submission, through review, to publication as conference proceedings, all on the Scholarship@UWindsor portal. The Scholarship website for UWillDiscover! is already in development.
  • All the submitted abstracts, digital posters, and presentations will be warehoused on the Leddy website and accessed through the Scholarship portal. This approach not only offers significant cost savings both to the students and to us, but also allows us to group poster presentations that are thematically linked, and to flex our timetable to permit mini-keynote speeches associated with particular groups of poster presentations. Furthermore, our conference will be green, because paper waste will be minimized.
  • In the fall 2014 semester, UWillDiscover! hosted the Leddy Research Question Competition. This is a “best practice” adopted from the University of Alberta:

Students proposing the best questions won prizes, and thirty questions were printed and posted around the campus.

Conference Event Planning

On the day of the conference – March 24, 2015 – all participants will gather in the CAW at various times. The actual event will have the following features:

  • Posters and Mini-TED talks will be projected in small groups of five in the Ambassador Auditorium. After each group of five has been screened a moderator will facilitate questions and discussion.
  • All Mini-TED talks and digital keynote presentations will be close-captioned, facilitating access for disabled students and ensuring that audiences can follow presentations even in noisy conditions.
  • The Open Space in front of Tim Horton’s will be used to host performances, installations, and demonstrations from a variety of disciplines.
  • The Opening Ceremony will be a Keynote Bomb, and will include three-minute Mini-TED keynotes from various guest speakers.
  • We have a significant number of awards to be distributed during the Closing Ceremony, including awards for audience participation and first year researchers.
  • Student volunteer support staff will be led and coordinated by Outstanding Scholars. OS students will take responsibility for the social media, both prior to and during the conference. OS students will also participate in submission review and conference management. In future, we expect the conference to become increasingly a student-run event.
  • We are developing relationships with community partners who will serve as keynote speakers, moderators, judges, or sponsors. We would appreciate any suggestions you may have in that regard. Our goal is to connect student researchers with partners in local industry, government, and entrepreneurship.

This is a collaborative event shared between many partners on our campus. If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to contact us.

Simon du Toit, Conference Coordinator, Outstanding Scholars

Erika Kustra, Center for Teaching and Learning

Dragana Martinovic, Faculty of Education

Heather Pratt, Office of Research and Innovation Services



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