On Oct. 8, the Office of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies (GPS) at Rice University will host the 14th annual Gulf Coast Undergraduate Research Symposium (GCURS) on the Rice campus. Held annually, the long-running and prestigious conference hosts undergraduates from all over the world and provides coaching and mentoring on students’ scientific presentations and their ability to succinctly explain their research projects.(Watch a video about GCURS here.)
“GCURS is not a poster session,” said Jennifer Hunter, assistant dean in GPS. “This symposium was created at Rice for the primary purpose of developing students’ presentation skills, and so students will have the opportunity to give a 10-15 minute talk, supported by a slide deck. During the course of the symposium, they’ll receive mentoring and coaching from faculty and graduate students. It’s a really unique experience.”
“I really enjoyed giving an oral presentation rather than a typical poster presentation,” said Raniyah Nathani, who participated in 2021. “It felt really cool to present a 10-15 minute talk about my work, its background, motivation, and achievements and help others to understand my journey through research.”
GCURS also works to boost a spirit of camaraderie across universities, countries, and research areas. In 2021, the symposium welcomed nearly 300 students from 19 countries and 33 states, in the fields of Applied Physics; BioSciences; Chemistry; Chemical & Biomolecular Engineering; Civil & Environmental Engineering; Computational & Applied Mathematics; Electrical & Computer Engineering; Mathematics; Mechanical Engineering; Materials Science and Nanoengineering; Physics & Astronomy; and Systems, Synthetic & Physical Biology.
“The connections I made were the best part of GCURS,” said 2021 participant Omar Cruz. “I even ran into a girl from my school in Mexico, years after we both graduated and thousands of miles from the city where we studied. What were the odds?”
“Through the symposium, I met awesome people some of whom I am still in contact with,” added Nathani. “The entire symposium felt comforting to know that there are so many people supporting me and that my work is making an impact in the scientific community!”
Students interested in applying to the 2022 symposium can do so at the link here through September 1. Travel awards are available to those coming from outside the Houston area, and students or advisors with questions can contact firstname.lastname@example.org.