SEARCH Symposium FAQs – Asbury University
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April 16, 2020

3 p.m. – Faculty Panel Discussion in the Student Center
7 p.m. – Presentation by Dr. John Haldane in Jameson Recital Hall
8 p.m. – Student Poster Presentation in Kinlaw Library


Search LogoResearch Project Questions


▾ What are the options for participating in SEARCH?

▾ What sorts of projects will be considered for the SEARCH competition?

You may submit any paper that you did for a class or as an independent project while a traditional undergrad student at Asbury University.

Note: All projects will be re-reviewed by the relevant program faculty before final acceptance for the poster presentation. 

▾ May I submit a paper or project that I completed in a course?

Yes! You may submit a paper that was completed for an Asbury University class.

Note that many course projects may need to be edited and revised before submission. Please talk to your faculty sponsor about your paper.

▾ How many projects may I submit?

Only two projects and/or scholarly works per primary author are permitted. There is no limit on the number of projects and/or scholarly works submitted per co-author.

▾ Can group projects be submitted for presentation?

Some individual projects may have included research assistants. In such cases, projects are only considered "individual" projects if the "owner" of the project is clear to all involved in terms of idea generation and workload.

Group projects are eligible for presentation at SEARCH. These projects also are eligible for recognition as distinguished; however, group projects are NOT eligible for the overall award.

▾ What is a “faculty sponsor” and how do I get one?

A faculty sponsor is an Asbury University faculty member that has agreed to help you as you revise your submission. If your paper was part of an Asbury class, we would suggest reaching out to the teacher for that specific class. If you are not sure which faculty member to reach out to, see below for a list of faculty members who have offered their services this year. Note that as the deadline approaches, the listed faculty may have already committed to sponsoring another entrant. Please do not wait until the last minute to contact faculty about SEARCH.

  • Ben Brammell, Science & Health
  • Bruce Branan, Science & Health
  • Steve Clements, Political Science
  • Cheryll Crowe Johnson, Mathematics
  • Janet Dean, Psychology
  • Brian Hull, Christian Ministries
  • Erin Penner, English
  • Linda Stratford, Art & Design
  • Malinda Stull, Science & Health
  • David Swartz, History

Participation Questions

▾ How do I participate in SEARCH? What are the steps to enter?

  1. Chose the project or paper you wish to enter into SEARCH.
  2. Ask a faculty member to be your faculty sponsor.
  3. Fill out the registration form including your faculty sponsor’s name, your abstract (short 1-3 sentence summary of your project), and the paper’s file.
  4. Wait for your project to be approved. You will be contacted via email.
  5. Once your project has been approved, create a poster that gives visual support to your project. (Poster details, requirements, and templates can be found below) Make sure to submit your poster by the deadline: March 30 at 5 p.m.

Note, that, even with your sponsor’s support, all projects are re-reviewed by the relevant program faculty before final acceptance for the poster presentation. Projects are evaluated based on the criteria listed in the judging rubric and will be assessed for overall merit within the context of the specific academic discipline.

▾ Will my abstract (project summary) be published?

Selected submissions will be published in The Foundry, Asbury’s digital repository of faculty research, student scholarship, and historical resources, if permission is granted by the student.

▾ What are the guidelines for posters?

The heart of the SEARCH Symposium is the poster presentation. Posters visually display the highlights of the research project and serve as a catalyst for conversation and questions as fellow students, faculty, and competition judges browse through the fair. Students accompany their posters to be available for these discussions and should anticipate a lively interchange about their work.

Templates for posters can be downloaded here: 3x2 template, 4x3 template. Posters should be colorful, engaging, and clearly readable. Students should follow formatting standards of their respective academic discipline. Examples of previous student posters may be found on the university’s Foundry database.

Details in Creating Your Poster:

  1. Keep the font no smaller than ARIAL 24 pt. Note that some fonts are smaller than Arial so they will need to be a bigger point size.
  2. The title should be central and clear.
  3. Include your name and your faculty advisor’s name.
  4. Include the Asbury seal.
  5. You may choose color, images, and design to best communicate your message.
  6. Be sure to include a good amount of white space and contrast for legibility.
  7. Try to use bullet points, short sentences, and a limited amount of text. Too much text will deter readers.
  8. Images need to be at least 300x300 pixels.

▾ How do I get my poster printed?

There are multiple ways to have posters printed.

  1. Your faculty advisor may have an established connection to print these. Talk to your advisor first.
  2. We will be working with a local printer to print posters. Posters and the printing fee would be submitted to Dr. Dean at, Morrison 309, and she will send these to the printer.
  3. You may want to make your own arrangements in conjunction with your faculty advisor's approval.

▾ What are the important deadlines for SEARCH?

▾ What awards are there in the SEARCH competition?

The competition is divided into three categories: Humanities, Fine arts, and Sciences. The judges will select one winner from each category, one of whom will be chosen as the overall winner. The overall winner will receive $1000; the two additional winners will receive $500 each.

Symposium Questions

▾ What is the schedule for SEARCH this year?

This year's SEARCH event is April 16, 2020 and schedule is as follows:

3 p.m. – Faculty Panel Discussion in the Student Center
7 p.m. – Presentation by Dr. John Haldane in Jameson Recital Hall
8 p.m. – Student Poster Presentation in Kinlaw Library

▾ How will my work be judged?

Student submissions to SEARCH undergo multiple levels of evaluation and review, with the top entries being considered for the annual research award. Evaluation and judging of student submissions progress through three stages.

Stage 1 - Faculty Endorsement

When you submit your proposal to participate, your faculty mentor will be be asked to verify that you are working on, or have completed, a project under his or her direction that most likely will be suitable for presentation in SEARCH. Note that your faculty mentor is the faculty member who is overseeing your work on this project. Projects without faculty endorsement will not be accepted for presentation nor competition.

Stage 2 - Submission of Papers and Selection of Finalists

Submissions for presentation and/or competition will be reviewed by the appropriate program faculty (e.g., psychology papers will be reviewed by psychology faculty) using the SEARCH judging rubric. These faculty members will evaluate the papers, ensuring that only those meeting the minimum criteria for presentation are accepted for presentation at the research symposium. They also will determine the highest quality submission(s) from their program, and this student's project will become a finalist in the competition.  

Stage 3 - Selection of Winner

All finalist written papers will be judged again by an inter-disciplinary judging committee using the SEARCH judging rubric. These judges also will evaluate the students' poster presentations during the research symposium. This judging committee will meet at the end of the symposium to confirm the winner of each category as well as the overall winner of the research competition. This overall winner will be announced at the Honors Convocation during chapel of the last week of classes.

▾ How should I dress for the event?

Dress for this event is formal business attire. Men should wear a business suit or dress shirt and tie with slacks and comfortable dress shoes (i.e., no sandals, tennis shoes, jeans, t-shirts, etc.). Women should wear a business dress or suit with slacks/skirt and comfortable dress shoes (i.e., no short skirts, tennis shoes, sandals, stilettos, jeans, t-shirts, etc.).

▾ How should I present my project during the poster presentation?

After greeting the person, simply ask if they would like to hear about your research. Some people will want you to give them a synopsis; others will want to read your poster. If you give a synopsis, be sure to ask if they have any questions when you conclude. If they are reading your poster, note when they finish and then ask if they have further questions.

Keep in mind that your research is what matters most. While effective delivery can enhance a strong research project, good delivery cannot improve weak research!

Here are some tips for preparation:

  • Strive to deliver your presentation extemporaneously. Work at internalizing it by planning, preparing, and practicing. Know your material so well that you can speak with authority about it without having to read from a paper or memorize sections. Instead of note cards, use the poster to help cue your memory as you talk about your project.
  • Practice your poster presentation several times. Practice it out loud.
    • Practice it in front of your faculty mentor/sponsor.
    • Practice it in front of a mirror.
    • Practice in front of friends, family members, your pets, anyone who will listen.
    • Practice your speech using your poster as an aid.
  • Time your speech when you practice to ensure it is less than 5 minutes in length.

What matters most is your research, what you have learned, how you learned it, and why it was important to learn. The emphasis is on your research – not on you. And, lastly, remember to have fun! You will rarely be in a situation where so many people are wanting to hear about your research.

Still have more questions? Contact Dr. Janet Dean.