With the submission deadline for the National Conference on Undergraduate Research 2012 near at hand, “the abstract submission is going very well,” said Ryan Thomas, associate provost and dean of undergraduate studies.

The abstract submission for NCUR, which Weber State University hosts on March 29-31, 2012, is going to close next Tuesday, Nov. 15.

“We have a significant number of abstracts at this point,” Thomas said. “On the percentage basis, our submissions are above those of Ithaca College.” Ithaca College held the previous conference, the largest in NCUR history since 1987.

Advancement specialist at WSU’s Office of Undergraduate Research Tyler Barnum said they are expecting about 3,500 submissions overall, and staff are trying to get a lot of WSU students to submit abstracts because it’s going to be on their campus.

Thomas said an exciting part of hosting the conference is that more students can have opportunities to be involved in the conference because travel costs are nonexistent.

“And also, this has to be a very comfortable environment to our students to present their research,” he said.

NCUR welcomes undergraduate research, scholarship and creative activities in a wide range of fields and disciplines, which includes 63 different subject areas at this time. Undergraduate students present their achievement through oral presentation, poster, visual arts or performing arts presentation.

Colin Inglefield, a physics professor at the WSU College of Science, said presenting research at a conference is an important part of peer-process that makes other people aware of the research students are doing so they can be informed about it and criticize it. “So it’s very useful,” he said.

Visual and performing arts are some of the growing areas for presentations at NCUR. Barnum said these areas have been less presented in the past because they have not been seen as research, but every year, there are more and more presentations in these areas.

Jim Jacobs, a painting and digital media professor in the department of visual arts, said it’s a good chance for art students to exhibit their work and talk about it. He said it’s a local exhibition, but at national level, so it’s an advantage for students because they don’t need to travel.

“NCUR is a great opportunity for undergraduate students while most conferences focus on more graduate and PhD studies,” Barnum said. “It allows you to share the research you’ve done with people from all over the nation, so a lot of students get offers from graduate school as well as job offers, based on their presentations in NCUR. It’s something you can add on your resume as well.”

NCUR at WSU next year will be expecting around 4,000 people from across the country and some from overseas. More information on the abstract submission and the conference can be found at www.weber.edu/ncur2012 or by calling the WSU Office of Undergraduate Research at 801-626-8076.

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