The Undergraduate Scholars Forum, an initiative developed by former IUP President Tony Atwater in 2006, provides all undergraduate students with an opportunity for scholarly development by presenting their original research, scholarly activities, or creative endeavors. Conference participation is designed to foster scholarship and collegiality among undergraduate students and faculty members and to provide a forum for undergraduate students to discuss their academic work with a community of scholars.
Students currently enrolled in any undergraduate program at Indiana University of Pennsylvania are invited to submit an application to present their research or creative works at the Undergraduate Scholars Forum. Students graduating from undergraduate programs in December are eligible to submit a proposal to the forum as long as they are able to attend the event and present their work. Presentations must represent high-quality work that goes beyond the typical classroom assignment and must have a faculty sponsor who will attest to the quality of the work. Research done in collaboration with faculty, practicing professionals, or other students is eligible for submission as long as the student has played a substantial role in the research or creative activity.
Students are required to have a faculty sponsor willing to provide guidance and support. The professor helps determine an appropriate topic, method, data source, etc. The faculty adviser does not have to be from the student’s department, though faculty members in the student’s major are the best resource to help guide a research project and to give advice on how a project will enhance the student’s future career goals. Students should speak with professors in their current classes and/or make an appointment to speak with the department chairperson. The chairperson knows all of the department faculty’s research interests and can provide a recommendation on who to ask.