Undergraduate Research Symposium

Take part in Utrecht University’s Undergraduate Research Symposium 2024!

The Undergraduate Research Symposium (URS) allows students to gain experience in an academic conference environment, to present their papers to a wider audience and to make their ideas public. All undergraduate students from Utrecht University who have written a research paper are invited to apply. This way, the symposium does not only provide a platform for students from different disciplines to discuss their thrilling research topics, but also encourages interdisciplinary discourse. 

This year, the event will take place on 26th of June 2024. The best three papers will receive a prize and a selection of papers will be published in the special URS edition by Public Note

Here are some reasons to take part in URS 2024:

The Undergraduate Research Symposium is a great opportunity to present your academic work to a motivated group of students and teachers. A board consisting of a wide range of professors from different departments assesses your work. In addition to the symposium providing interesting perspectives and research, the event provided the opportunity to publish your research. In my year, a semi-academic platform called PublicNote offered some students to publish their works; I was thrilled to be one of them. All in all, great experience.

The URS is a great opportunity for students to learn from bright peers from across the LEG faculty in a highly supportive and inspirational environment.

The Undergraduate Research Symposium is a great opportunity for students to become better researchers. During its process you pitch your thesis to a group of motivated students and a board of examiners. This gives you the opportunity to take another critical look at your work, to learn from the work of others, and to show your work to more than only your thesis supervisor. All in all, I learned a lot. To be nominated for such an award is incredible and it is with pride that I can look back at my thesis and say that my thesis won the prize for best paper Utrecht University’s Undergraduate Research Symposium 2020.

The URS is a unique opportunity to appreciate your own work and the work of your peers following the thesis process – which can often be quite isolating. It requires a deep focus on your own methodology and research, so to be able to share that and to hear other experiences, approaches, and results is so beneficial to your own growth as a student and researcher. It’s always good to see how your research can be made more applicable to society and the URS offers a great platform for that. It’s an engaging and inspirational environment, one I was honoured to be a part of.

How to participate?

Applicants are required to send in the abstract of their papers via the application form until the 26th of May 2024. After the submission deadline, a judging panel of faculty members of all departments will evaluate the submissions and select the best entries. Selected students will be notified and invited to the Undergraduate Research Symposium, taking place on the 26th of June 2024. Selected students can revise and polish their papers and submit it via email to urs@uu.nl by (latest) 16th of June 2024. Based on the scores each submission receives by the URS’s judging panel, the three best papers will receive awards. All research papers from courses at UU in every block of the current year are eligible for the URS. 

Paper Requirements

Submitted papers should be a minimum of 2500 words in length. The to-be-submitted abstract should be around 200-300 words. Papers written in English as well as Dutch will be accepted. The abstract and presentations, however, have to be in English. Also, the paper has to be written this academic year (2023/2024). Papers will be evaluated according to their novel research contribution, methodological soundness, theoretical framing and reference to related work, quality of analysis, quality of writing, as well as the final presentation.

If you have any further questions, feel free to contact our URS-team: urs@uu.nl.

The URS offers bachelor students first-hand experience of what an academic conference really feels like. Its goal is to spark further interest in careers with research and to connect students and faculty members involved in all bachelor programmes at our faculty

Public note

Public Note is a semi-academic journal by and for young researchers interested in societally relevant questions and the public domain. Our mission is to help excellent young researchers (bachelor-, master-, and PhD-students) take their first steps in the world of academic publishing, which is why we collaborate with the Undergraduate Research Symposium. Every year, the best papers from the URS will also be rewarded with the possibility to publish in the Public Note Undergraduate Edition. In these editions, authors communicate their research findings through essays or creative formats after being peer reviewed. In this way, we hope to challenge students to think about science creatively and how to communicate their knowledge to broader audiences. See the Public Note website, to view the special edition on the URS 2022 and URS 2023.

Funded by the Utrecht Education Incentive

The Executive Board of Utrecht University awards two million euros annually to projects for innovating education through the Utrecht Education Incentive Fund (Utrechts Stimuleringsfonds Onderwijs, USO). The URS was one of the projects that received funding in 2019-2020. The funding is distributed through the faculties or at the university level. The Utrecht Education Incentive Fund was founded to improve the professionalisation of lecturers and to encourage education innovations.

Lecturers at Utrecht University nominate projects in the fields of (digital) didactics & testing, activated learning, matching & selection, honours programmes and the Master's graduate studies. Accepted projects are carried out by the lecturers themselves.