OUR Students

Learning About Research

Engaging in undergraduate research is transformational and highly beneficial to students, faculty and the greater university community. Many studies show that students involved in undergraduate research achieve higher grades, have a deeper understanding of their chosen discipline and are more competitive for jobs, national awards and admission to graduate and professional school.


In a recent poll of employers, 93% said that a candidate's undergraduate major was less significant than a candidate's ability to communicate effectively and apply knowledge to real-world problem solving.

Undergraduate Research Seminar Series

In this interactive session, students will learn about how to get involved in research at USF. Led by current undergraduate researchers (OUR Peer Facilitators), seminar attendees will have a unique opportunity to engage with students who have achieved success in their research endeavors. First and second year students are strongly encouraged to attend.

Undergraduate Research Seminar Schedule

Date Time Location RSVP
Sat. Jan. 13 3:00-4:00 p.m. LIB 210 FULL
Tues. Jan. 16 5:00-6:00 p.m. LIB 210 FULL
Thurs. Jan. 18 3:00-4:00 p.m. LIB 210 FULL
Mon. Jan. 22 5:00-6:00 p.m. LIB 210 FULL
Sat. Jan. 27 3:00-4:00 p.m. LIB 210 CANCELLED
Thurs. Feb. 1 6:00-7:00 p.m. LIB 210 FULL
Sat. Feb. 3 3:00-4:00 p.m. LIB 210 FULL
Wed. Feb. 7 6:30-7:30 p.m. LIB 210 FULL
Sat. Feb. 10 3:00-4:00 p.m. LIB 210 FULL
Tues. Feb. 13 6:00-7:00 p.m. LIB 210 FULL
Thurs. Feb. 22 6:30-7:30 p.m. LIB 210 FULL
Wed. Feb. 28 5:00-6:00 p.m. LIB 210 FULL
Sat. March 3 3:00-4:00 p.m. LIB 210 FULL
Wed. March 7 5:30-6:30 p.m. LIB 210 CANCELLED
Tues. March 20 6:00-7:00 p.m. LIB 210 FULL
Sat. March 24 3:00-4:00 p.m. LIB 210 FULL
Mon. March 26 3:00-4:00 p.m. LIB 210 FULL
Thurs. March 29 6:00-7:00 p.m. LIB 210 FULL
Mon. April 9 5:00-6:00 p.m. LIB 210 FULL
Thurs. April 12 5:00-6:00 p.m. LIB 210 RSVP Here
Tues. April 17 5:00-6:00 p.m. LIB 210 RSVP Here

Researching a Mentor and Preparing for the Research Conversation

In this interactive session students will learn how to locate information about potential research mentors on the USF website. Seminar attendees will also learn strategies for engaging in productive and professional conversations with potential mentors.

Topics include:

Researching a Mentor Seminar Schedule

Summer 2018 Mentor seminar schedule will be announced soon.

Marketing Your Skills for Success in Research

Learn how to develop a personal branding plan to communicate your unique skill set, and articulate what you can contribute to a research position.

Summer 2018 Skills seminar schedule will be announced soon.

Discovery Seminar Series

The topics of this professional development seminar series change often. Many of the interactive seminars are hosted by OUR campus partners. These seminars are a great addition to the "Professional Development" section of a CV.

Launch Your LinkedIn Profile: Career Services will show you how to maximize your online networking and tell your undergraduate research narrative through this popular social media platform. Come dressed to impress. There will be an opportunity to take a professional head shot after the seminar.
Note: It will be helpful if participants create an active LinkedIn account prior to the seminar.

Date Time Location RSVP
 Thurs. January 25  5:00-6:00 p.m.  LIB 210  FULL

Graduate School Speed Dating: 
Thinking about graduate school? Learn about Graduate School Admissions from the Office of Graduate Studies. Then, mingle with current USF graduate students to hear their perspective about what grad school is like during this "speed dating" mixer.

Date Time Location RSVP
Tues. February 13 4:00-5:00 p.m. LIB 210 CANCELLED


How to Impress Your Mentor: Gain insight into what faculty mentors expect of current and prospective undergraduate researchers from a panel of USF faculty mentors. The faculty will be from a wide range of disciplines including: psychology, biomedical sciences, and X. You'll have a chance to ask questions of the panel during this discussion. Confirmed Panelists include Dr. Judith Bryant and Dr. Hua Pan.

Date Time Location RSVP
Wed. March 7 4:00-5:00 p.m. LIB 210 FULL

The University as an Ecosystem & How You Fit In It: 
Dr. Basu from the Office for National Scholarships will present an introduction to systems thinking. He will also discuss how you can connect systems thinking to your life as a university student. Dr. Basu will highlight the campus culture at USF, new developments, and how to access them.

Date Time Location RSVP
Mon. April 2 4:00-5:00 p.m. LIB 210 FULL

Undergraduate Research Conference Preparatory Series

The OUR has partnered with USF Library Digital Media Commons (DMC) to expand the UR Conference preparatory series. In addition to the OUR Abstract, Poster, and Oral seminars, the DMC will offer three additional topics, each designed to help you develop alternative approaches to poster or oral presentation design. See the full schedule below.

Preparation seminars are scheduled each spring prior to the Undergraduate Research Conference. Topics are listed below:

OUR Preparatory Seminars


Students will be given advice on the "best practices" for developing an abstract for presentation at a research conference. Topics include: What reviewers are looking for, how to develop a concise hypothesis/goal, composing the different sections on the abstract, the most effective way to state the conclusions, how to work with results that are not yet complete, and a discussion of authorship. This seminar is designed for students in all years of study who desire to improve the effectiveness of their writing, and is strongly recommended for students who intend to participate in the UR Conference.


Topics include: What to expect the day of the conference day, poster "Basics", formatting tips, and best practices for interacting with facilitators. Attendees are encouraged to bring "draft" posters to the session to receive feedback and get help crafting their presentations.


Practice your research "speech" and receive feedback from OUR staff and faculty.

DMC Preparatory Seminars


The Undergraduate Research Conference is a signature event in which students present their current research to the USF community. The Office of Undergraduate Research and the Digital Media Commons have come together to assist students with their poster, by showing them how to utilize Adobe InDesign to creatively and efficiently design their research poster.

Learning outcomes:


In this session, we will identify and review a variety of online multimedia tools that can supplement or replace PowerPoint and help you create and deliver high-quality and engaging oral presentations.

Seminar Schedule - Spring 2018 

Note: Seminars listed below are offered by OUR & DMC. Review seminar title and location carefully when making your selection.

Date Session Title Time Location RSVP
Wed. January 31 OUR Writing a Persuasive Research Abstract 6:00-7:00 p.m. LIB 210 FULL
Tues. February 20 OUR Writing a Persuasive Research Abstract 4:00-5:00 p.m. LIB 210 CANCELLED
Thurs. March 8 OUR Writing a Persuasive Research Abstract 4:00-5:00 p.m. LIB 210 FULL
Mon. March 26 Poster Walk In Session 4:30-6:30 p.m. LIB 210 CANCELLED
Tues. March 27 UR Conference Preparatory Seminar 5:00-6:00 p.m. LIB 210 FULL
Wed. March 28 DMC Beyond PowerPoint Seminar 3:00-5:30 p.m. LIB 209 CANCELLED
Thurs. March 29 DMC Creating a Research Poster with Adobe InDesign Seminar 5:30-6:30 p.m. LIB 209 FULL
Fri. March 30 DMC Adobe Premier Pro 2:30-3:30 p.m. LIB 209 FULL
Wed. April 11 UR Conference Preparatory Seminar 5:00-6:00 p.m. LIB 210 FULL
Thurs. April 12 DMC Beyond PowerPoint Seminar 3:00-5:30 p.m. LIB 209 FULL
Thurs. April 12 OUR Mock Poster Presentation 6:00-7:00 p.m. LIB 210 CANCELLED


Meet the OUR Peer Facilitators

Dakota Becker-Greene


I began undergraduate research my sophomore year in Dr. Baker's lab, where I focus on the isolation of novel compounds from Antarctic marine organisms for application to drug discovery against infectious diseases. I have worked with the isolation of novel compounds from Florida fungi and currently work with Antarctic coral species. Through my work, I have been able to present at two local conferences, one state-level conference, one national conference, and I will be presenting at the 52nd National Collegiate Honors Council (NCHC) annual conference in November, 2017.

Justin Coley

I first became involved in undergraduate research as a freshman in Dr. Kevin Nash's lab at the USF Health Byrd Alzheimer's Institute. There, I participate in research projects aiming at using gene therapy to investigate possible treatments for neurodegenerative and neurodevelopmental disorders. My current project involves modifying the Ube3A gene to contain secretion and reuptake signals to optimize its distribution in a gene-replacement therapy for Angelman syndrome. This project was the subject of my 2017 OUR Undergraduate Research and Arts Colloquium presentation, and will be the subject of my Honors thesis next year.

Nicole Libell


I got started in Undergraduate Research through the OUR acting as my liaison. Both of my research projects are out of the College of Nursing, conducted in the ICU's of Tampa General Hospital. The first study focuses on the oral health of intubated patients while in the ICU. The second study focuses on delirium experienced by patients who are waking up from comas in the ICU.

Sanim Rahman

I began research the first semester of my freshmen year under Dr. Bhethanabotla and Dr. Frisina in the Chemical and Biomedical Engineering Department. My research is focused on developing next-generation neural prosthetics by developing a nanomaterial-enabled optical neural stimulation device. I am currently working on two projects, computational and experimental, to understand the molecular biophysics of our neural stimulation. I have published a paper and presented at four local conferences where I won a few outstanding poster presentation awards. I was named a 2017 Goldwater Honorable Mention and participated in the NSF Functional Materials and Manufacturing Institute REU program this past summer.