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Penn State Worthington Scranton is strongly committed to promoting opportunities for students to work with faculty engaged in research and scholarly activities.  We are interested in engaging students not only in the laboratory sciences but also in scholarship and creative activity in all disciplines.

Research Opportunities for Undergraduates

Working one-on-one with a member of the Penn State faculty will give you a special academic advantage. As a researcher, you have a unique opportunity to work with faculty and join in their pursuit of new knowledge. Penn State, a comprehensive public research university, offers an undergraduate education that is available at only a few select institutions of higher learning. Laboratories, special library collections, museums, studios, and academic computing facilities enhance the instructional environment, and complement traditional classroom teaching and learning experiences. By participating in an undergraduate research project you will be introduced to the basic principles used to make new discoveries and develop theories. This new knowledge will build your confidence in independent inquiry, show you the value of critical thinking, and prepare you for the challenges of tomorrow's world. All Penn State Worthington Scranton students conducting research or scholarly work with faculty are encouraged to present their work as a poster presentation at the annual Undergraduate Research Fair which is held in the spring semester. 

Three Important Steps to Becoming a Student Researcher

Read. Information about research opportunities are available for undergraduates displayed at the below link, where you can search by campus or by faculty member. You'll find a listing of academic department research sites along with faculty projects that have opportunities for undergrads. Take the time to browse these listings and you just might find a research project that interests you. http://www.undergradresearch.psu.edu

Think. Are you interested in the sciences, engineering, arts, or business, etc. Do you want to work in a laboratory, library, or out in the field. Do your interests include computer technology, numerically intensive studies, or qualitative analysis? Do you have the experience, skills, intellect, and most importantly, the motivation and desire to be a contributing student researcher?

Contact. Once you have identified an undergraduate research project that is of special interest to you, your next step is to contact the department or faculty member in charge of the project. When talking with a faculty member about a specific research opportunity, remember to ask questions about wage payroll or work study support, and/or credit for independent study or thesis research. Most arrangements will be strictly voluntary, but some may offer remuneration. Not all students requesting a particular research involvement can be accommodated; judgments will be made on an individual basis by the department or faculty member in charge of the project. Note also that in some instances research projects can be initiated and/or changed to accommodate your special interests

Why Should You Get Involved?

Through research you can:

  • Work with internationally known scholars.
  • Learn more about the newest technologies.
  • Develop a better understanding of current intellectual debates.
  • Build experience that is valuable in business, education, and government-related careers.
  • Get an early introduction to graduate-level study.
  • Share in the excitement of discovering something new.
  • Build a lasting relationship with a faculty member or research team.     

Research Opportunities for Undergraduates at Penn State is sponsored by participating faculty and coordinated by the Office of the Vice Provost for Undergraduate Education and International Programs, The Pennsylvania State University, 417 Old Main, University Park, PA 16802.


2014 Undergraduate Research Fair

Registration for Participation

Students must submit a draft of an abstract when registering.

Conference day:  Thursday, April 10, 2014 from 6pm – 8pm in the View Café.

Abstract submission deadline: March 28, 2014.

Posters must be submitted to the Academic Affairs Office, Dawson Room 6, by Monday, April 7, 2014.

Registration for Participation 

Registration for Judging

Posters will be judged by volunteers from the faculty and staff of the Worthington Scranton campus.

Registration for Judging

Scholarship and Research Integrity (SARI) Training

All undergraduate researchers who plan to present their research at meetings or publish their research in any form are now required to complete on-line SARI training. This is a University requirement. For instructions on how to access the on-line training, and for guidance for what to complete, please see "SARI instructions" below. All students who wish to present at the Penn State Worthington Scranton Research Fair must complete this training and provide proof of successful completion when registering. Please talk to your faculty advisor with questions or contact Dr. Milton Evans via email at mme131@psu.edu

Scholarship and Research Integrity (SARI) Training

Instructions for Poster Presentations

Students should be dressed professionally and be present beside their posters for as much of the time during the event as possible to address questions and speak with judges.

There will not be a formal workshop on poster presentations but students are strongly advised to discuss the format with their advisors. The general format for poster presentations is as follows. Posters are attached to cork bulletin boards 4 feet wide by 3 feet high (provided by the Research Committee). The "poster" should be presented in 9 sections, each a standard 8 1/2 inch high by 11 inch wide (landscape) sheet of paper (supplied by the student) attached to an 11 inch high by 14 inch wide sheet of blue poster board (provided by the Research Committee). Posters should only be assembled horizontally on the bulletin boards (not vertically) to accommodate our hanging system.  Alternatively, posters may be printed in 4' by 3' sheets on the plotter printers in the Dawson computer lab (room 115) as follows: 

To Create a Poster in PowerPoint

  1. Open a new PowerPoint file
  2. Click on the Design tab
  3. Click on Page Setup
  4. Click on the “Slides sized for” box and select Custom
  5. In the Width box, set for 36 Inches (Portrait)
  6. In the Height box, set for 48 Inches (Portrait)
  7. Click OK.
  8. Your PowerPoint slides will now be 36” x 48” Portrait

Setting up the Printer for PowerPoint Poster Slides

  1. Open Devices and Printers in the Windows menu
  2. Double click on the Plotter Printer icon
  3. Open Adjust Print Options
  4. In the Paper/Quality tab, under Paper Options, click on the Custom button
  5. In the Custom Paper Size box, enter the same size as you did for your PowerPoint (Portrait 36” x 48”)
  6. Click OK to close the Custom Paper Size box
  7. While still in the Plotter Preferences, select the Services tab
  8. Click on the Troubleshoot Software Problems button
  9. Select the check boxes for Send Job as Bitmap (Process in Computer) and Enable Spool Smart
  10. Click OK to exit Plotter Preferences
  11. Click OK to exit Printing Preferences

Printing your PowerPoint Poster in Dawson 119 

  1. When you are ready to print your PowerPoint poster, select the File tab
  2. Select Print
  3. Under Printer, select WSD-119 Plotter2
  4. Under Settings, select the slide to print, and select Full Page Slides
  5. Under Settings, Select Color
  6. Click the Print button
  7. Your poster will spool to the plotter printer and begin printing
  8. When printing is complete, the plotter will cut your poster to length
  9. Leave your completed poster with Information Technology Services to be laminated.

While the Research Committee feels that standardization of posters is preferable, they recognize that this format may not lend itself to projects from all academic disciplines. For this reason, the Research Committee has decided to allow for variation on the general format, as needed. For example, students submitting creative works, such as poems, should submit them on an 8 ½” x 11” paper using 14 or 16 sized font. Students who need special equipment (such as computer) will be accommodated to the best of our ability, but it is up to the student to make us aware of this need as soon as possible. It should be noted that a computer will NOT be allowed in the poster presentation unless it is actually necessary (such as projects that involve development of a computer program). Students are required to generate a poster for their presentation but may use additional equipment (such as laptop computer) to actively demonstrate software programs as part of the presentation. Students may not use a computer simply to enhance the presentation of material that can be adequately displayed on the poster. Students who wish to keep their projects are welcome to remove them from the cork boards (students cannot keep the cork boards - we re-use them each year) following the fair.

How to Prepare an Abstract

Components and Sample Abstract

Evaluation Form