Student Resources

OURS offers a number of programs and services to support students throughout their research and scholarly development whether a student is exploring a research/ creative project or has completed a project. Resources linked on this page provide opportunities to begin exploring research opportunities, search for off-campus research programs, and prepare to present at disciplinary conferences and meetings.

Along with resources to present and publish your research, OURS has collaborated with students and librarians to create videos to support students in creating posters in their disciplines and how to effectively use library resources. 

OURS Logos

OURS Logos for presentations. 

Presentation Opportunities

Find opportunities to present your work.

Publication Opportunities

Find opportunities to publish your work. 

Non-GVSU Funding Opportunities

Find funding available outside of GVSU. 

Research and Scholar Support

What is an abstract?
An abstract is a short preview of your report intended to inform potential readers about your topic, research, and findings. It usually comes at the beginning of a paper and allows people to get a brief glimpse into the content of your research before reading your report in its entirety.

Abstracts are also commonly used as presentation proposals for academic conferences. The abstract gives conference organizers an idea of what you’d like to present. At times, the abstract is publicized in the conference program, so that attendees can decide whether to attend your session or someone else’s. For all these reasons, it’s important than an abstract be clearly written and give a focused overview of your report or presentation.

An abstract should include the following:

• A title that clearly indicates the focus of you report, presentation, or essay
• The research or data that you have incorporated into the report
• The methodology you used to collect data (if you are writing a scientific report) or the logical structure or theoretical framework from which you are writing your argument (if you are writing an essay in the humanities)
• Your findings, if you are writing a scientific report; your argument, if you are writing an essay in the humanities
• If you have space, a hint as to the implications of your findings or the general importance of your argument

A good exercise for writing an abstract is to continually answer the question “What is my report/paper/presentation about?” or, more accurately, “What does my report/paper/presentation do?”

The Writing Center
The Writing Center has Writing Consultants who may be able to help craft an effective abstract.  Contact the center for more details.

Statistical Consulting Center
The Statistical Consulting Center (SCC) is operated by the Department of Statistics at GVSU. The SCC provides statistical advice and assistance with projects that are for research or instructional purposes.

University Libraries
The GVSU libraries offer a variety of services including one-on-one research consultations with a librarian or with a student peer in the Knowledge Market, access to scholarly databases, specific subject guides for your major, and drop-in workshops.

Fred Meijer Center for Writing and Michigan Authors
Visit the writing center for help at any stage of your writing process. The center's well-trained peer consultants can help you to brainstorm ideas, organize content, integrate research, polish a draft, and correctly document sources. Any graduate or undergraduate GVSU student can take advantage of the drop-in hours simply by coming into the center with a draft of a paper. Sessions typically last 20-30 minutes.

Speech Lab
Undergraduate consultants are available to assist with the following: choosing a speech topic, developing a speech purpose statement, selecting source material for speech content, crafting an organized presentation, producing visual aids, effectively introducing and concluding speeches, and speech delivery.

Oral Presentations
An oral presentation is more than just reading a paper or set of slides to an audience. How you deliver your presentation is at least as important in effectively communicating your message as what you say. Use these guidelines to learn simple tools that help you prepare and present an effective presentation, and design PowerPoint slides that support and enhance your talk.

Human Research Review Committee
The Human Research Review Committee (HRRC) is comprised of GVSU faculty, staff and community members who review proposed research studies involving living persons.

The HRRC ensures that the basic rights and welfare of research participants are fostered and protected. The HRRC supports researchers through its coordinated activities in education, regulatory compliance oversight, and post approval monitoring. All research involving human subjects performed at GVSU and/or by GVSU students, staff, and/or faculty must be reviewed and approved by the Human Research Review Committee prior to beginning the research.

Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee
The Institutional Animal Care & Use Committee (IACUC) provides oversight in animal research activities at GVSU.

The Committee's role is to ensure that investigators, research technicians, animal care personnel, and students are properly trained to conduct animal research in a humane manner. The Committee ensures that all animal research at GVSU is conducted in accordance with IACUC standards and complies with the Public Health Service policies and USDA animal welfare regulations.

Lab Safety Program
The Lab Safety Program is committed to providing a safe laboratory environment to Grand Valley's employees, students and visitors. In order to accomplish this, GVSU has established guidelines to ensure safe lab practices and training programs. In addition, Lab Safety staff provides additional resources to evaluate hazards and minimize the risk of injury or illness to students, faculty and research staff.

Responsible Conduct of Research
Active scholarship is an essential component of Grand Valley State University's mission as an institution of higher learning. All staff, faculty and students who participate in research are expected to perform their work to the highest degree of professional and ethical standards.

The responsible conduct of research (RCR) is critical for excellence; we encourage the entire Grand Valley State University community to engage in RCR training and education.

If you are conducting any type of research abroad, you should be in contact with the Office of Research Compliance and Integrity (RCI). Although the research is being conducted abroad rather than on campus, you are still held to GVSU standards and must follow guidelines for ethical research.

  • If your research involves humans or animals, you need to have proper authorization and approval.
    • The Human Research Review Committee (HRRC) oversees all research involving human subjects. All research involving human subjects performed by GVSU students and faculty must be reviewed and authorized by the HRRC before beginning the research. For more information on rules and regulations as well as on the application submission process, visit the HRRC website.
    • The Institutional Animal Care & Use Committee (IACUC) oversees animal research activities conducted by GVSU students and faculty. For project submission guidelines and information on rules and regulations, visit the IACUC website.

When handling research data in another country, faculty and students must comply with federal laws and guidelines. Information about Export Controls can be found here, including export control policies and developing a technology control plan.

ALL students who are earning credit for research conducted abroad for are required to apply for approval through the Padnos International Center. This applies to any student earning credit through GVSU or an outside institution. If you are not earning credit either through GVSU or another institution, you must register your trip with the Padnos International Center, but there is no approval process necessary.

Earning credit: Padnos International Center Application and Approval Required

Not earning credit: Padnos International Center Application (no approval needed)

Applications can be submitted through the Padnos International Center at:

Before traveling, here are some resources to help you prepare for your experience abroad. For more information regarding travel considerations, contact the Padnos International Center.

  • Passport, Visa & Flight
    • All students will need a passport to conduct research abroad.
    • Some students may be required to obtain a visa (entry clearance) prior to traveling. Visa requirements vary by country.
    • Visit here for more information on how to obtain a passport, information on visa requirements, and how to book a flight.
  • Health & Safety
    • For information on student health, safety, and security during international travel, visit here.
    • When considering studying abroad in a country on the U.S. Travel Warning list, please refer to GVSU’s travel warning policy.
  • Knowing your destination
    • Use these resources to learn more about the country where you are planning on traveling. In addition, you should conduct your own research about the country you are visiting.
  • Travel tips
    • For tips on topics such as packing, bringing money, relationships with host families, and being a good representative, visit this link.
  • Policies
    • Before traveling, become familiar with important policies such as academic and financial policies by contacting Elena Selezneva at [email protected].

Here are some of our most common questions regarding undergraduate research and scholarship at GVSU.

GVSU Office of Fellowships
The purpose of the office is to provide nationally competitive scholarship and fellowship advising services to GVSU students and alumni who show extraordinary potential in disciplines all across campus. The website has an extensive list of non-GVSU scholarship and fellowship opportunities.

Padnos International Center
If you wish to conduct research abroad, consider contacting the Padnos International Center (PIC). PIC promotes, advises, and administers study abroad and internship opportunities for students in over 4,000 locations globally.

CUR Student Resource Center
The Council on Undergraduate Research (CUR) Student Resource Center's main goal is to provide valuable content and guidance on varying subject matters within the undergraduate resource student needs.

Scholar Works
The repository is a service of the Grand Valley State University libraries. Research and scholarly output included here has been selected and deposited by the individual university departments and centers on campus.

The Web Guide to Research for Undergraduates (WebGURU) is an interactive web-based tool intended to assist undergraduates navigate the hurdles of an undergraduate research experience.

CUR Logo

Grand Valley State University (GVSU) has an enhanced institutional membership with the Council on Undergraduate Research (CUR). This membership allows any faculty member, student or staff member from GVSU to join CUR at no cost to the individual.

Activate your CUR Membership

How to Construct a Research Poster (in your discipline)  

The OURS Student Ambassadors have each made a video about how they construct a research poster in their discipline. You can select the most relevant discipline to you and watch the video to help you with creating your research poster for Student Scholars Day! 

Biochemistry - Mary Fergus

Mary majored in biochemistry with the goal to earn her PhD in biochemistry. She was a recipient of the Student Summer Scholars Program and recognized as an Ott-Stiner Scholar. During the 2022 summer, Mary was immersed in a research project investigating novel boronic acids as cross-class inhibitors for β-lactamases to overcome antibiotic resistance. 

How to construct a research poster: Biochemistry

Finance & Economics - Owen Laverty

Owen studied Finance and Economics with a certificate in Applied Data Analytics. After graduating in December 2023, he plans on working in real estate or corporate finance for a few years before returning to school to earn a Master's degree (either an MBA or MS in Economics). Owen received the S3 award during the summer of 2022 and looked into the effects that Right-to-Work laws have on creativity. 

How to construct a research poster: Finance

French & Statistics - Ian Curtis

Ian majored in Statistics and French with minors in Mathematics and Psychology with the ultimate goal of becoming a Data Scientist. A Library Summer Scholars in 2020, he learned about the many services libraries offer while also creating his own research product: a website holding information on various scholarly sources about the Encyclopédie. In Summer 2021, Ian participated in the S3 program, this time conducting his own original research on the Encyclopédie, focusing on the alleged plagiarism of the supplemental images to the Encyclopédie. 

How to construct a research poster: Humanities & Foreign Languages

Computer Science & Math - Seth Ockerman

Seth majored in Computer Science with minors in Writing, Cybersecurity, and Math. He is hoping to attend graduate school to pursue a Ph.D. in computer systems and machine learning. Seth was a 2020 S3 recipient and worked on a project analyzing mask usage trends on social media using machine learning, and also worked as an SROP Research intern at The Ohio State's ICICLE Lab.

How to construct a research poster: Computer Science

How to Construct a Research Poster

How to Construct a Research Poster

Poster Printing Tips

These tips are for using the plotter. The plotter is located in the Copy Center in the basement of the Marketplace. The cost to use the plotter is $25.00 which covers the cost of one print. This cost must be paid by each presenter or faculty mentor (or the department).

Please visit the Copy Center website for more information on printing requirements. 

  • The Copy Center has limited hours: Monday-Friday, 9am-5pm
  • You should print a test page using the “Scale to fit” option to make sure your poster prints without any issues. If you are satisfied with this printing then proceed with your print
  • Contact the Copy Center Service Desk at (616) 331-3407 or [email protected] with questions

You may also be interested in the Digital Print Shop at GVSU.


Fill out this form to pick up your poster from the OURS office. We require a five-day turnaround time.

Unlock the Library: Introduction to Research Resources

Strong library research skills are crucial to producing excellent research projects. These sessions will help students better understand the library’s resources. We will discuss identifying, accessing, and evaluating journal articles. Students may even find that these activities help in their classwork as well.

Building a Search Strategy

Building a Search Strategy

Introduction to Research Resources

Evaluating Information

Evaluating Information

Introduction to Research Resources

Finding Journal Articles

Finding Journal Articles

Introduction to Research Resources

Scholarly and Peer Reviewed Sources

Scholarly and Peer Reviewed Sources

Introduction to Research Resources

Page last modified May 16, 2024