Supporting students, mentors, and instructors engaged in research.

Accessible, Creative, & Engaging  Talks

As you become a more skilled researcher, you learn to use the language and jargon of your field to effectively communicate with colleagues within your discipline. Another important skill to develop as a researcher is learning how to explain your work to a general audience in clear language. Therefore, we invite all students presenting their work to apply to give an ACE  Talk. These talks should be accessible, creative, and engaging. We'll evaluate applications based on the quality of the  project, evidence of expertise in the discipline, speaking skills, clarity of thought, ability to engage a broad audience, and creativity.

Each student selected to give an ACE  Talk will receive a $500 award and will speak for 15 minutes during the opening session at the Symposium.


Your application to give an ACE  Talk is composed of two equally important pieces: your abstract and a 3-minute video of yourself explaining your project. Both your abstract and your video should be crafted with a broad audience in mind: avoid jargon and make sure to touch on what makes your research exciting.  Registration for the Symposium, including your application to present an ACE Research Talk, is due on April 2, 2018.


1. Abstract

Your abstract should provide a brief summary of your project.  In 250 words or less, we want to know what you did, why you did it, how you did it, and maybe a hint at what you found/made/discovered (if the project is complete already). The Writing Center has tips on their website about writing abstracts.


2. Three-Minute Video

Your video should give us a preview of how you will make your project accessible, creative, and engaging to a general audience. Be our guide in understanding your research.


You may use any camera you have available, including a webcam. We are most concerned about the quality of your research project and the approach you take to explain your work, not your video camera quality.  

The Media Production Studio provides free access to computers with video editing software, webcameras, a sound recording booth, and staff that will help you with any of these tools. It is located in the Budig Computer Lab, Room 10, Budig Hall in the center of the computer lab.  Staff are available from 8-5 each weekday, but most of the workstations are available any time the Budig Computer Lab is open.


Here are a couple of application videos from previous ACE Talk presenters.  You should notice that each student used different technology and software to make the video. What they have in common is that they did a good job of making their research understandable to a general audience.

ACE Talk- Ecopoetics from Rachel Cross on Vimeo.

ACE Talk - Lipid Monolayer Compression Isotherms for Characterization of Adjuvant Mechanisms of Action from Andrea Livingston on YouTube

video platform video management video solutionsvideo player

ACE Talk - An Examination of the Structure of Obsessive Compulsive Personality Traits in Autism Spectrum Disorders Using Network Analysis from Katherine Deckert.


Other Examples & Tips:


Symposium Quick Links

Register to present at the Symposium

Deadline: 11:59 pm, April 2, 2018

Volunteer Research Opportunities

See below for a listing of volunteer research opportunities available at KU.  Students will need to create an account through to view opportunities.  Keep in mind that this is not an exhaustive list of all research opportunities on campus, so visit our Getting Started page for other ideas for finding a research opportunity!

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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 150 mentors sponsored undergraduate projects through the Center for Undergraduate Research each year
KU's first valedictorian, Flora Richardson, conducted research as an undergraduate before graduating in 1873
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
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