Information for Students


Considering whether to apply to be a part of this special day? The info and tips below may convince you to become involved, and will lead to an enriching and exciting experience.

What are the Benefits to Students?

  • the development of skills to function more independently
  • the opportunity to put classroom knowledge into practice
  • the identification of career interests
  • the building of mentor relationships between faculty and students
  • the stimulation that comes with critical thinking
  • the opportunity to participate in new discoveries
  • the ability to better understand research methodologies
  • the stimulation of creativity
  • the increased likelihood of acceptance into graduate or professional school
  • the ability to communicate to a wide audience
  • recognition by one’s peers
  • the sheer excitement created by intellectual activity
  • the enhanced ability grasp the philosophy of life-long learning

Tips for Abstract Submission

  • Communicate with your faculty mentor early. Your mentor is a professional; you will soon become a professional. Learn from him or her the proper procedures for designing and presenting your project. Let your mentor know early your hopes for the conference, so that he or she may guide you with wisdom.
  • Your mentor must approve your abstract and submit it. Work with your mentor so that your presentation will be of professional quality.
  • The Call for Abstracts webpage offers guidance and examples for writing and submitting the abstract.

Tips for Presentation Preparation

The Research Society at UIS, a student club, co-sponsors an annual workshop in the Spring to help students prepare for their first professional conference presentation. The “View It and Do It” workshop is also sponsored by the UIS Career Development Center and provides professional guidance. Below is the recording from the 2019 workshop.

  • Please check out this additional YouTube video featuring a panel of UIS students giving advice on proper presentation techniques.
  • STARS 2020 will be an asynchronous (pre-recorded) online conference. See guidelines for online presentations below.
  • You select which type of presentation you’d like to make when you Register for STARS.
  • Whether you are giving an oral presentation, a poster presentation, or art exhibition, practice what you will say to audience participants.
  • UIS has prepared a detailed “How To” page with tips for all aspects of student research, including how to make an oral presentation and a poster presentation.
  • STARSGuidelines for Online Presentations

    • Detailed Handout (PDF)
    • Practice and time your talk. Oral presenters will make a 10 minute-long recording, while poster and art presenters will make 2 minute-long recordings.
    • Use PowerPoint judiciously. A professional uses PowerPoint as an aid to outline and guide a presentation, not to substitute for a presentation.
    • Record your presentation. You may use a variety of technologies. If you video yourself, dress professionally for your presentation. Your appearance communicates your competency, both at this conference and in all other professional situations.
    • As a UIS student, you have free access to Kaltura Personal Capture. ITS has guides on how to use Kaltura to record, edit, make captions, and upload videos.
  • If you are giving a poster presentation:
    • Be able to give a general overview of your study, including the most important results in one or two minutes.
    • The dimensions of your poster should be 46 inches (width) x 36 inches (height). To set your poster dimensions in PowerPoint, go to the “Design” menu item and select “Page Setup”.
    • Poster template (pptx)
  • If you are exhibiting art work:
    • Write an overview of the concept or idea behind your piece and the techniques you used to create it in the Artist Statement.
    • Optionally, record a one or two minute video of you describing the ideas behind your piece and highlighting aspects of the work.
  • Please upload all your presentation materials to the link sent to your UIS email by April 14, 2020.
    • PDF of Powerpoint slide(s) or photos of art works
    • Artist Statement (for art presentations)
    • Link to Kaltura video
    • Any other handouts or links

On the Day of the Presentation

  • The 2020 Symposium will be hosted on the University’s site. ITS has a help page for Box and their staff is available to help students and faculty with the technology needed to prepare their STARS presentations.
  • Presenters should plan to check their assigned Box folder frequently throughout the day in order to respond to audience comments.
  • You may invite all friends and family to the Box folder link. You will impress them with your achievements, and they will in turn celebrate your success.

If this page didn’t answer all of your questions, check out the Frequently Asked Questions page.