Dear Research Day Participant:
Thank you very much for participating in Graduate Student Research Day, sponsored by the Graduate School, the Graduate Student Association, and Sigma Xi, the Scientific Research Honor Society. Please allow me to provide some insight as to the purpose and value of participation in this university-wide event.
Graduate Research Day provides a forum for aspiring scholars to present their project or research to an audience of their peers. You will be able to see other presentations in both your field of interest and related fields and compare various styles and approaches to professional speaking. In addition, a group of faculty and post-doctoral fellows, representing a diverse group of scholars will evaluate your presentation in comparison to other students within that session.
Judges in your section are trained in a variety of related disciplines, but not necessarily in your own field of inquiry. Therefore, an effective presentation will provide sufficient background information to allow them to comprehend fully your research question and approach.
Successful presenters recognize that technical problems sometimes arise that are beyond their control. These will not adversely affect the evaluation of your presentation. In fact, judges may view your positive response to a potential problem as a positive attribute.
As you complete your graduate degree, you will most likely be entering a professional career. Job interviews for professional positions often require a presentation of your graduate project or research because excellent presentation skills are one of the important metrics used to determine who gets the job. Participation in Graduate Research Day provides a valuable venue for practice. Good luck!
Stephen A. Watts, Ph.D.
Graduate Student Research Day