News Archive

A Virtual Research Presentation Opportunity for Students

March 20, 2020

Student Research Showcase logoAs the world transitions to social distancing and canceled conferences due to COVID-19, Sigma Xi provides a virtual platform for high school, undergraduate, and graduate students to present their research. We recognize that students put tremendous effort into their research presentations in preparation for professional conferences. These opportunities are both personally rewarding and professionally valued. 

To accommodate students from recently canceled meetings, the Society has re-opened the abstract submission period for the 2020 virtual Student Research Showcase until 11:59 p.m. Pacific Time (6:59 p.m. UTC) on March 27. Abstracts are reviewed by a designated committee. The review process will be waived for abstracts previously accepted for presentation at a national or international conference that was canceled due to COVID-19. Students will be asked to send proof of prior acceptance to

After abstract acceptance, participants in the Student Research Showcase will be required to create a website that contains three components; a short video to introduce their project, an abstract, and a technical slideshow. Each component challenges the students to prepare their research presentation for audiences with different levels of technical expertise, helping them to develop their science communication skills. During the judging period, qualified volunteer Sigma Xi members will evaluate and rank the presentations. Top presenters receive up to $1,000 in prizes. 

“As we are seeing in the coronavirus pandemic, a scientist’s ability to effectively communicate information to decision makers and the public is crucial to translating research into making positive change in the world,” said Sigma Xi Executive Director and CEO Jamie Vernon. “The showcase gives students an opportunity to develop this critical skill for their future STEM careers.”

Additional information and competition timeline can be found on the Student Research Showcase webpage. Resources on the webpage include a student guide on how to create a presentation site and a recorded webinar with tips on how to communicate science in a virtual medium.