Neuroscience Student Research Symposium Guidelines

Each year in the Spring, the undergraduate Neuroscience Program sponsors a symposium at which Neuroscience majors present their research. Students engaged in more than one credit of NRSC 3999/BIBB 399 and students pursuing an honors thesis present their work.

The Neuroscience Program Symposium was held on Friday, April 26, 2019.  A complete listing of all presentations and posters for the 2018 and 2019 Symposiums can be found here:

2021 Symposium Handbook

2020 Symposium Handbook

2019 Symposium Handbook

2018 Symposium Handbook


Typical Schedule:

8:30 - 9:00 a.m.   Continental Breakfast  - Levin Lobby

9:00 - 12:00 p.m.  Honor Thesis Presentations - Levin conference rooms 

11:00 -12:00 noon  Poster Set-up

12:15- 1:30 p.m.  Poster Session and Lunch  -  Levin Lobby

1:30- 4:00 p.m. Honor Thesis Presentations - Levin conference rooms 

Poster & Oral Presentation Abstract Submission Guidelines:
Prior to submitting your abstract, be certain to have read and understood all of the following guidelines, as well as the steps for abstract submission.

1. All student poster & oral presentation abstracts must be submitted by the submissions deadline.

2. Abstract word limit is 150 words.

1. Abstracts should include the following: hypothesis, purpose or objective (as appropriate for your discipline), methods, results/expected results, discussion, and conclusion (as appropriate by discipline).

2. Be sure to state findings in detail sufficient to support conclusion(s).

1. The abstract should be completed by the individual who will present the poster or oral presentation at the symposium (i.e. the student).

2. As part of abstract submission, the abstract author will be asked to enter the names and institutions of all research collaborators, including the Principal Investigator/research mentor.

Audio Visual and Equipment
1. A computer will be provided for all oral presentations that will include a Powerpoint/computer-aided presentation. You must bring your presentation on a USB drive and arrive at the Registration Table 10 minutes prior to the start of your session. If you plan to present in any other format besides Powerpoint, you must get approval two weeks prior to the symposium from the Neuroscience Research Program Coordinator.

Steps for Abstract Submission
1. Have your Principal Investigator/advisor/research mentor review and approve your abstract before submission. Otherwise you may be asked to edit and resubmit your abstract upon review.

2. Review your submitted abstract and make any needed revisions by the abstract submission deadline. Please ensure there are no grammatical errors.

Preparing a Scientific Poster:
1. Poster dimensions up to 36"x48" max. You can print your poster in the Weigle Center at a discounted rate. For more information about the poster printer in the Weigle Center, please go to this site.

2. Your poster should include: title, your name and name of other investigators, an introduction, a methods section, a result section, any figures, tables, diagrams, a discussion and/or conclusion section. Usually 3-6 figures are included in a poster. Figures should be simple and readily comprehensible. Color is useful for distinguishing among conditions and for aesthetic reasons. When presenting a poster of a completed project, results are often shown as charts, graphs and tables. Photos related to the research topic work well. Students may view a sample poster BBBSymposiumPoster.pdf.

On the Day of the Symposium:
Students presenting a 10-minute oral defense of their research will be assigned to a specific session. Students are required to attend the entire session to which they have been assigned.

Required Information from all Symposium Presenters:
Please provide the following information to the Neuroscience Program Office by the submission deadline:

  • Student's name, address, home phone, e-mail address
  • Project title, research sponsor, sponsor's department, sponsor's e-mail address
  • Research abstract
  • Presentation Type: poster or oral presentation (honors thesis)
  • If giving an oral presentation, please note any audio-visual equipment needs, such as overhead, slide,  or other equipment not listed.
  • RSVP with the number of people attending, including mentor and lab members (note that friends and parents are also welcome).

Neuroscience majors are encouraged to submit their work for publication in CUREJ, the College's Undergraduate Research Electronic Journal. Penn's College of Arts and Sciences is proud to be among the first to formally support and encourage undergraduate students to participate in meaningful research with faculty mentors. The College Undergraduate Research Electronic Journal presents a sampling of that research and celebrates the academic achievements of our undergraduates. An example of Neuroscience/BBB sponsored research published on CUREJ can be found at Interested students should contact the Neuroscience Program Director for approval.