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Undergraduate Research Symposium -- March 26, 2019: Home

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About the Symposium

In support of SFU's commitment to student engagement and undergraduate student research experiences, we are hosting a free one-day Symposium on Tuesday, March 26, 2019. The day’s events will be held from 9:00am to 4:00pm at the Burnaby campus Diamond Alumni Centre (DAC).

This second annual Symposium provides an opportunity for eligible undergraduate students from all disciplines to present their research in a friendly and supportive environment. The Symposium will have a diverse audience in an academic setting, showcasing the high quality of undergraduate research taking place at the University.

Short student presentations will be delivered as lectures, aimed at sharing, showcasing, and disseminating undergraduate academic research. Students will be grouped into sessions to give five-minute presentations of their work, followed by a 15-minute moderated conversation to explore common themes and encourage interdisciplinary discourse.

The event is free and open to all.  Please register in advance to help us plan the day.  If your schedule doesn’t permit you to attend the whole day, we still encourage you to register and join us for whatever time you can.

See photos from last year’s inaugural UGRS!

Preview the kind of undergraduate research you’ll learn about when you attend the Symposium:

    Featured speakers

    We are delighted to have the support of featured speakers and presenters from across SFU.

    Elder Margaret, Elders Program, Indigenous Student Centre
    Gary George, Officer for Community Relations, Office for Aboriginal Peoples

    Elder Margaret will welcome all participants to the Symposium. Gary George will lead us in an opening drumming ceremony. We are grateful to have the opportunity to pursue our work and learning on the traditional and unceded lands of the Squamish, Musqueam, Tsleil-Waututh, Katzie and Kwikwetlem peoples.

    Dr. Jeff Derksen, Dean and Associate Provost, Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies 

    Dr. Jeff Derksen will open the Symposium as our Master of Ceremonies (MC). Dr. Derksen’s research and teaching interests revolve around issues of culture, space, politics and contemporary poetics and art. For his accomplishments as SFU’s Department of English Graduate Program Chair from 2013 – 2015, he received an award for Excellence in Leadership. He has been a Fulbright fellow, currently serves on the editorial boards of Amodern (Montreal) and Canada and Beyond (Huelva, Spain), and in his current role, continues to demonstrate commitment to the research, experiences, and needs of SFU students.

    Dr. Elizabeth Elle, Vice-Provost and Associate Vice-President, Learning and Teaching

    Dr. Elizabeth Elle will provide welcoming remarks to all Symposium participants.  As a renowned expert on wild bees and pollination ecology, Dr. Elle holds teaching as her principal passion, having won the Faculty of Science Excellence in Teaching award in 2010. Following her position as Chair of the Biology Department, in her current role, she is leading SFU’s initiatives to improve and enhance teaching and learning for today’s students.

    Dr. Dugan O’Neil, Associate Vice-President, Research

    Dr. Dugan O’Neil will provide welcoming remarks to all Symposium participants. As a professor in SFU’s Department of Physics, Dr. O’Neil received Compute Canada’s inaugural Trailblazer Award and is cited for integrating sophisticated digital infrastructure into a diverse scientific community that spans engineering, natural sciences, health, social sciences and humanities. Along with the Vice-President, Research, he now works to raise SFU’s research profile to an internationally competitive level.

    Faculty moderators

    We are also thrilled to have the following faculty members join us to moderate the student presentation sessions: Gail Anderson (School of Criminology), Paul Budra (Department of English), Brent Ward (Department of Earth Sciences), Melek Ortabasi (World Literature Program), Aoife MacNamara (Faculty of Communication, Art and Technology), and Jonathan Choy (Department of Molecular Biology and Biochemistry).


    If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact us at

    Symposium sponsors

    This event is a collaboration between the Office of the Vice-President, Research and International and the Office of the Vice-President, Academic and Provost. The Teaching and Learning Centre and the Library are co-leading the project, with the full participation and support of Student Engagement and Retention.