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Rowan University STEM Student Research Symposium

STEM Symposium FAQ

Who May Participate in the STEM Symposium?
How Does the Submission Process Work?
Questions about Abstract Content
What Is the "Page Proof Review" Process?
How Do I Set Up My STEM Symposium Presentation?

Last updated: 21 October 2014 (in preparation for the 2015 STEM Symposium)

CLICK HERE to return to the STEM Symposium home page

Who May Participate in the STEM Symposium?

Who may participate in the STEM Symposium?
The criteria for participation in the STEM Symposium are the following:

• the work presented represents research within science, technology, engineering, or mathematics and at least one Rowan student has had participation;
• a Rowan student is the presenting author (multiple presenting student authors are welcome);
• some significant portion of the presented work has been carried out during 12 months preceding the Symposium;
• the presented work could have been carried out on-campus or off-campus;
• an abstract is submitted as described in the call for abstracts;
• the presentation will be in the format of a poster similar to what is presented at various scientific meetings.

May non-Rowan students present at the STEM Symposium?
We recognize that in some cases, students from outside Rowan University may work with Rowan faculty on research projects. In these instances, non-Rowan students may present at the Symposium. Also, Rowan students who have worked on research projects during the allowable timeframe but who have since graduated are eligible to present at STEM.
Students from SOM, GSBS, and CMSRU are considered Rowan students and we encvourage their participation in the STEM Symposium. 
We are also interested in hosting presentations by Rowan alumni. If you have graduated from Rowan University and are still active in primary research in the STEM disciplines and are interested in presenting at this year's STEM Symposium, please contact Dr. Gregory Hecht (hecht@rowan.edu).

Do I have to be an undergraduate to present at the STEM Symposium?
The STEM Symposium has never been limited to just undergraduate students.  Rowan University students at all levels and from all campuses may present their research at the Symposium. 

May faculty be listed as STEM authors?
Rowan faculty may be listed among the authors on STEM posters, but it is expected that students will be the submittors and be the primary presenters. Faculty are not required to be listed as STEM authors, although a faculty member must be designated as a "faculty sponsor" by the student submitting the abstract.

May non-Rowan personnel be listed as STEM authors?
Non-Rowan personnel may be listed among the authors on STEM posters, but it is expected that students will be the submittors and be the primary presenters.

May students present more than one poster at the Symposium?
Yes, although our ability to place the separate posters in different sessions or to place two posters next to each other is sometimes limited. To maximize your chances of having your posters scheduled and placed in a manner that is best for you, be sure to list your special requirements and circumstances in the appropriate dialog box when you are preparing your abstract.

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How Does the Submission Process Work?

Can I submit an abstract by mail or by email?
No. All abstracts must be submitted via our Online Abstract Submission System. Other forms of submission will not be accepted.  Our new submission program will accept abstracts from all of Rowan's students, so there should be no need to submit via email.  

What is the deadline for abstract submission?
The submission deadline for the 2015 STEM Symposium will be announced during the Spring 2015 semester. 

I am a student who wishes to submit an abstract to the STEM Symposium. What do I do?
In order for an abstract to be submitted and accepted, students must log into the Online Abstract Submission System. Upon logging in, students create and submit abstracts. When a student presses the "Submit" button, the faculty sponsor named by the student will receive an automated email indicating that they must approve of the submitted abstract. Students may also log into the Online Abstract Submission System to check on the status of their abstract(s). Neither students nor faculty may edit an abstract after it has been approved by the faculty sponsor.

IMPORTANT:  We will be using the new submission website again this year!  You should probably take a look at our "Getting Started" Guide (PDF) or our Submission System's detailed user manual (PDF).
Click here to go to the Online STEM Abstract Submission System.

I am a faculty member who wishes to sponsor an abstract for the STEM Symposium. What do I do?
In order for an abstract to be submitted and accepted, students must name a faculty "sponsor" at the time of the abstract submission. When a student presses the "Submit" button, the faculty sponsor named by the student will receive an automated email indicating that they must approve of the submitted abstract. Faculty sponsors who log into the Online Abstract Submission System may edit and approve abstracts submitted by their students. Once a faculty sponsor gives their final approval, the abstract submission process is completed. Abstracts can not be edited once the faculty sponsor gives their approval.

IMPORTANT:  We will be using the new submission website again this year!  You should probably take a look at our "Getting Started" Guide (PDF) or our Submission System's detailed user manual (PDF).
Click here to go to the Online STEM Abstract Submission System.

May faculty initiate the abstract submission process?
No. Since the STEM Symposium is a student research symposium, only student users may create new abstracts. However, no abstract may complete the submission process without the approval of a faculty sponsor. The faculty sponsor may be a co-author on the abstract but is not required to be on the abstract.

I am a student who worked on a project with multiple faculty. How many faculty sponsors may I have?
Each abstract may have only one faculty sponsor. If you worked with multiple faculty in regards to a single abstract, you will need to pick one of them to be your faculty sponsor. You may, however, list as many faculty as you wish in the author list.

I am submitting an abstract for work that I did without the assistance of Rowan faculty. Do I still need a faculty sponsor?
Yes. Abstracts require the approval of a faculty sponsor in order to complete the submission process. However, that faculty need not be an author on the abstract. If you did your project without the assistance of a Rowan faculty member, talk to the faculty of your Department to see who is willing to sponsor you. In these instances, the faculty sponsor will only be used to complete the abstract approval process and to serve as an additional point of contact in case we need to get in touch with you.

I am submitting more than one abstract. Do I need to have the same faculty sponsor for each of the submissions?
No, you are free to list different faculty sponsors for each of your submissions.

I am working on an abstract submission. Even though I am doing the submission, I am not first author on the abstract. However, the Submission System keeps listing me as first author. What's up with that?
Right now, the current version of our Submission System assumes that the student submittor is the first author. Issues relating to the order of authors on the abstract can be fixed during the Page Proof Review stage.

What do I do if I'm having problems with the submission process?
If anybody encounters problems during the submission process, please consult the Student Instructions or the Faculty Instructions. Really stuck beyond all hope? Please email Dr. Hecht or the STEM Symposium help desk. If an abstract has completed the submission process and you discover that something needs to be altered, please contact Dr. Hecht right away!

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Questions about Abstract Content

I need to include italics, underlining, superscripts, Greek letters, and some other special characters in my abstract. How do I do this?
The Submission System will accept some HTML coding, and this coding should produce the desired format and characters when the System is used to generate the Page Proofs of the abstract booklet. Many word-processing applications (including MS Word) will allow you to save your file in HTML format; this should allow you to get the necessary coding information without having to learn HTML.

May I include figures or graphics with my abstract?
The Submission System does not accept graphics uploads at this time.

How long should my abstract be?
The space available to you for your abstract is fairly large. The Online Submission System has a 2000 character limit for the abstract.  This is a liberal amount of space! Most scientific abstracts have word count limits in the range of 250 to 300 words. You should be able to describe succinctly your project's background, objectives, methodology, results, and conclusions in 2000 characters or less. Keep in mind that in most cases, good abstracts are fairly short.  Note that HTML tags that you use do not count towards the 2000 character limit. 

Click here to view previous STEM abstracts.

I have submitted my abstract and my faculty sponsor has officially approved the submission. But now I have found some errors that I want to correct. How can I do that?
Abstracts can not be edited once the faculty sponsor gives their approval. If an abstract has completed the submission process and you discover that something needs to be altered, please contact Dr. Hecht right away!

After faculty sponsor approval, is there any sort of review of abstract content?
The submitted abstracts are not subject to rigorous review. They are checked primarily for their topical content, i.e., whether the work described represents research within one or more fields of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. Thus, STEM abstracts should not be listed on resumes and CV's as a peer-reviewed publication.

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What Is the "Page Proof Review" Process?

What is the Page Proof Review process?
After the abstract submission deadline has passed, a copy of the page proofs of the abstract booklet will be made available for download. Students and faculty may look over the Page Proofs and submit changes and corrections. All students and faculty who have abstracts in the Submission System will receive an email letting them know how to download the Page Proofs.

After submitting my abstract, I obtained additional data. May I add this data to my abstract during the Page Proof Review?
Corrections of errors (especially those introduced by the Submission System program) and minor chages may be made during the Page Proof Review. However, it is important to remember that the Page Proof Review stage is not intended to be an opportunity for extensive additions or deletions. Thus, it is important that you put serious consideration into the content of your abstract during the submission process rather than after the abstract is approved by the faculty sponsor.

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How Do I Set Up My STEM Symposium Presentation?

What is the format for my STEM Presentation?
All STEM Presentations are posters. Each abstract will receive one poster space (4 ft. wide x 8 ft. high).
Dr. Kay (Computer Science Dept.) has set up a nifty page to help students learn how to design an effective poster presentation.

How do I hang my poster?
The poster presentation spaces are boards covered in felt. Student presenters should purchase adhesive velcro for hanging their poster materials. Thumb tacks will not work on the presentation boards as the surface underneath the felt is not a tackable material.

How do I know which session I am presenting? How do I know which poster space is mine?
After the abstract submission deadline passes, you will receive an email that tells you your abstract number and your session time. When you arrive at the Symposium to set up your poster, look at the top of the poster spaces for your abstract number. Set up your poster at the space that has your abstract number on it.

Is there any judging? Are there any prizes?
The purpose of the STEM Symposium is to provide the maximum number of students the opportunity to present their work and to learn how to communicate within the sciences professions.
However, the College of Science & Mathematics and the College of Engineering have used the STEM Symposium as a venue for selecting research award recipients.  Please note that the STEM Symposium Organizing Committee is not involved in the awards process. Questions regarding award criteria, how to have your poster considered for an award, and the judging process should be directed to the College of Engineering and to the College of Sciences & Mathematics.

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