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Undergraduate Research Day at the Capitol

The Center for Undergraduate Research invites undergraduate students to apply to participate in the Kansas Undergraduate Research Day at the Capitol, which will take place in Topeka on Wednesday, February 12, 2014.

Ten KU students will be selected to join their peers from the other Kansas Board of Regents (KBOR) public four-year universities in Topeka at the Capitol. The participating students will present their research in poster board format to legislators and other members of state government. The purpose of this event is to demonstrate the unique opportunities undergraduate students have to participate with faculty members in research at KBOR universities.  This year, our visit also coincides with the KBOR session with state legislators. Please complete the online application prior to the deadline of 5:00 pm, Friday, January 3, 2014.


All full-time, currently enrolled undergraduate students in good academic standing are eligible to apply.  We encourage applications from students whose research or creative project has special significance to the state of Kansas.  Students in all majors and of all nationalities are encouraged to apply.



To apply, please complete the online Day at the Capitol application prior to 5:00 pm, Friday, January 3, 2014. The application form includes a brief abstract written for a general audience as well as a brief explanation of how the research impacts and benefits the state of Kansas.

Clint Jensen, senior majoring in psychology; Lawrence, Kansas; “Do You See Me?: Using the iPad as a Tool for Assessment and Learning for Children with Cortical Visual Impairment,” an investigation of the learning impact of iPads among children from infancy to age three; research mentor: Evangelia Chrysikou, Department of Psychology.

Wesley Landis, senior majoring in photomedia; Damar, Kansas; “Interstate I-70,” a project to document the beauty along I-70 through photography; research mentor: Pok Chi Lau, Department of Design.

Magdalene Lee, junior majoring in journalism; Singapore; Pioneer Junior College; “Learning through Laughter: ‘The Daily Show’ and How it Shapes the Political Mood among Midwestern College Students,” an investigation of the role of viewing ‘The Daily Show’ on Midwestern college students’ attentiveness to politics and distrust in politicians; research mentor: Hyunjin Seo, School of Journalism and Mass Communications.

Megan Nelson, junior majoring in economics; Manhattan, Kansas; Manhattan High School; “Tipping: An Economic Anomaly,” an exploration of the variables that lead to higher or lower tips in the service industry; research mentor: Neal Becker, Department of Economics.

Daniel Nicholson, senior majoring in sociology; Lawrence, Kansas; Lawrence High School; “God and Mammon: Class and Religion and the Impact on Political Support for Conservatism,” an exploration of the impact of class and religion on voting behaviors; research mentors: David Smith and Tracey LaPierre, Department of Sociology.

Casey Pederson, junior majoring in psychology; Clay Center, Kansas; Clay Center Community High School; “The Impact Of Parenting In The Associations Between Child Aggression And Conduct Problems,” an examination of the way that different subtypes of aggression uniquely relate to conduct problems in children and the parenting factors that may buffer and/or contribute to their development; research mentor: Paula Fite, Clinical Child Psychology Department.

Rubie Peters, senior majoring in psychology; Garden City, Kansas; Garden City High School; “Locus of Control as a Significant Personality Trait When Examining Evolutionary Attitudes and Literacy,” an exploration of the relationship between locus of control, religion and belief in evolution; research mentor: Patricia Hawley, Department of Psychology.

Spyros Siscos, senior majoring in health, sport, and exercise science; Olathe, Kansas; Saint Thomas Aquinas High School; “Computerized Neurocognitive Assessment Tests and Detection of the Malingering Athlete,” a study to develop better tests for assessing when an athlete with a concussion can safely return to the playing field; research mentor: Phillip Vardiman, Department of Health, Sport and Exercise Science.

Paul Thomas, sophomore majoring in anthropology and classical antiquities; Ottawa, Kansas; Ottawa High School; “Archaeological Survey of Center Chapel, Franklin County Kansas,” an archeological investigation of the ruins of a small Kansas chapel built around the year 1900; research mentor: Philip Stinson, Department of Classics.

Zhoudunming Tu, senior majoring in physics and mathematics; Guangzhou, China; “ZDC and FSCs on Proton Lead Collision at LHC, CERN,” a study of relativistic heavy ion collisions; research mentor: Michael Murray, Department of Physics and Astronomy.


I need help with my abstract. Where can I find advice and information?
If you need help writing the abstract, consider visiting the KU Writing Center, seeking advice from your research mentor(s), or stopping by our office during Drop-in Office Hours on Fridays from 11am-1pm.

My research isn't completed yet.  Am I still eligible to apply?
Yes.  Many students will be in the middle of a research project in February.  We encourage these students to present at the event and share with others their research questions, what work has already been accomplished, and what work is yet to be done.

Why should I apply?
The Kansas Undergraduate Research Day is an opportunity for a select group of undergraduate students to share their research with decision makers in the Kansas Capitol. You will also have the opportunity to visit with your peers from other Kansas universities.

How do I apply?
Please complete the online application prior to the deadline of 5:00 pm, Friday, January 3, 2014.

I've never done a poster presentation before.  Can I still apply?
Yes. The Center for Undergraduate Research will host a workshop before the Day at the Capitol to assist students in designing a poster of their research and to prepare them to speak with legislators.

If I'm selected, could someone give me a ride to Topeka?
Yes.  Lunch and transportation will be provided on the day of the event.


Journal of Undergraduate Research Graduate Research Consultants
Research Experience Program Journal of Undergraduate Research
Countdown to the 2014

Faculty Involvement Opportunities

Current openings for the 2014-2016 academic years:

  • Faculty Advisory Board
  • Faculty Fellow

Deadline: May 9, 2014

Learn more and apply...

Center for Undergraduate Research
Apr 17
Folklore and Free Electrons
07:00 pm
Apr 18
Undergraduate Research Office Hours
10:00 am
Apr 21
Oral Presentation Workshop
02:00 pm
View events: Upcoming
Capitol Quick Links
Stop by Folklore & Free Electrons tonight to learn about research at KU and to receive a free t-shirt from our office!

Come learn what research is all about! Stop by the Undergraduate Research Symposium on April 26th at the Kansas Union! #KURS2014

Research teaches critical thinking and problem solving — top skills sought by employers
The Research Experience Program has certified more than 2,000 students since 2005
KU is a member of the Council on Undergraduate Research
More than 1,200 students have received Undergraduate Research Awards since 1986
More than 160 mentors sponsored undergraduate projects through the Center for Undergraduate Research in 2012-13
KU's first valedictorian, Flora Richardson, conducted research as an undergraduate before graduating in 1873
Research is for everyone: Undergraduates from more than 50 departments participated in 2012-13
Highlight your research on your transcript: Get certified through the Research Experience Program
Use research to apply what you learned in the classroom to a real problem
Students who perform research develop strong relationships with KU faculty
Research is a hands-on way to explore career options
Conducting research is a great way to network with experts in your field