FAQ

I want to apply for the Fair but don’t have a Passport York account.

Please contact Fair organizers at ugfair@yorku.ca for a current application form that does not require Passport York.

I need help writing an abstract...

Writing a clear, specific abstract (summary) for your research project is key to your application. The abstract should be approximately 250 words, written in plain language, for a multidisciplinary audience.  Be sure to include: background and research question or thesis statement or purpose of the project (why?); objective (what is the aim of the project?); research methods or methodology or approach (how?); results and conclusion (what is the outcome?); discussion or significance (why is it important?) Because you are writing for a multidisciplinary audience who may not be familiar with your topic or discipline, avoid jargon and write so that a general audience will understand.  Click this link to view samples of abstracts in various disciplines.

I have a question about providing proof of the grade I received on my project.

We ask for proof of the grade you received on your project only to ensure that you meet the Fair eligibility requirements (B+ or higher). Scan a copy of the graded paper/project with the mark (and instructor comments, if any) and include that file with your Fair application.

If you don’t have a graded version of your project, that’s not a problem…. simply append the original version of the project to your Fair application, and send us proof of grade later.

You can provide proof of the grade you received on the project in any form (e.g., a copy of an email from your instructor; a photo of the course Moodle site where your grade appears). Attach that information to the last page of your project, scan it, and append it to your Fair application. Or send it by email to ugfair@yorku.ca later (with your name and "proof of grade" in the subject line).

It's okay to send in the proof of grade shortly after the Fair application deadline closes— just get your application in on time.  If you have concerns, email us at: ugfair@yorku.ca

I don’t have a graded version of my project to accompany the Fair application form. Can I append an ungraded version?

Yes. If you don’t have a graded version of your project, append the original, ungraded version to your Fair application, and send us proof of grade later. We ask for proof of the grade you received on your project only to ensure that you meet the Fair eligibility requirements (B+ or higher).

You can provide proof of the grade you received on the project in any form (e.g., a copy of an email from your instructor; a photo of the course Moodle site where your grade appears). Attach that information to the last page of your project, scan it, and append it to your Fair application. Or send it by email to ugfair@yorku.ca later (with your name and "proof of grade" in the subject line).

It's okay to send in the proof of grade after the Fair application deadline closes— just apply on time.  If you have concerns, email us at: ugfair@yorku.ca

What does plain language mean?

The Undergraduate Research Fair is geared to a multidisciplinary audience. Participants in the Research Fair poster sessions are asked to use plain language to describe their project. That is, the wording, structure, and design of posters, abstracts, and presentations should allow people from other disciplines and other communities to understand the project easily. For example, avoiding jargon and explaining key terms will better convey your meaning to a general audience.

Tips for plain language:

  • choose simple, concrete words
  • keep sentences fairly short (up to 20 words)
  • choose active voice verbs over passive voice
  • use meaningful headings
  • use examples and gear them to a general audience

For more information:

http://plainlanguagenetwork.org/plain-language/what-is-plain-language/

http://www.literacy.ca/research-and-resources/clear-writing-tools/

I have questions about the application form. Who do I contact?

Please contact the Undergraduate Research Fair at ugfair@yorku.ca.

I submitted an application, but did not get a message confirming that it was received. How do I know if my application was safely received?

An automatic confirmation message is sent as soon as your application is submitted and received. If you did not receive that message, please contact the Undergraduate Research Fair at ugfair@yorku.ca immediately.

My instructor didn’t provide comments on my research paper. Can I still apply?

Instructor comments on your project are not an obligatory part of the application. Only the grade you received on the project is.

Are instructor comments on my research project important to the application?

While comments from your instructor are not obligatory, they are very useful to the Fair committee in helping us evaluate your research project. Please scan any comments and submit them (with your complete identifying information), along with your application.  If the prof did not provide comments, your paper is still given full consideration.

The instructor’s comments for my research project were provided on Moodle and I no longer have access to the course Moodle site. What do I do?

While comments from your instructor are not obligatory, they can be very useful to the Fair committee in helping us evaluate your research project.  Generally, instructors have access to the course Moodle site after the course has finished.  If you wish, you could try contacting your instructor to see if he/she is willing to provide a few comments.  Please scan comments and submit them (with your complete identifying information), along with your application.

I submitted a proposal to my instructor this term, but have not yet completed the research project or artwork. The final project or artwork is not due until April. Is the proposal eligible for the Fair?

No, your work must be completed and the grade received in order to be eligible for this year’s Fair. However, you can apply to next year’s Fair, even if you have already graduated from York.

My project or artwork was submitted for a December 2016 course, but I still haven’t received my mark. What do I do?

Apply for the Fair by the due date, then contact your prof and get the grade to us at ugfair@yorku.ca as soon as you can.

When will I know the results of my application to participate in the Fair?

We will contact you in mid February.

I graduated in 2016 and am no longer an undergraduate student. Does my 2016 research project or artwork qualify?

If your project/paper/essay or artwork was submitted between January and December 2016 for a York undergraduate credit course, and you received a grade of B+ or higher, then YES, your project qualifies, even if you have already graduated.  However, you no longer have access to Passport York.  Please contact Fair organizers at ugfair@yorku.ca for a current application form that does not require Passport York.

Can I apply with more than one project?

Poster session presentations: You can submit only one application to present a poster based on your research project at the Undergraduate Research Fair. Please choose your best project.

Artwork exhibit: You can submit up to two applications to exhibit artwork in the Scott Library ArtWalk. (Art exhibitors don’t have to be present during the Fair.)

Poster session AND art work exhibit: You can submit one application for a research project as well as up to two applications to exhibit artwork. You must be present for the poster presentations.

If I participated in a previous Undergraduate Research Fair at York, can I apply again this year?

Yes, you are welcome to apply again this year. Please see the eligibility requirements.

What constitutes ‘research’ for this Fair?

Research can be understood differently in different disciplines; we welcome applications based on research in all disciplines.  Acceptable projects include analytical essays using secondary sources, reports of an original research study you conducted, a critical reflection, historical research, a creative work accompanied by analysis, and more. The project/essay/paper must be initiated by you, the student, and not done as part of someone else’s larger project (e.g., a faculty member’s own research). Lab reports, opinion pieces, work done for projects outside of York are not eligible.  If in doubt, please contact us: ugfair@yorku.ca

My research project is a creative piece, not an essay. Is it eligible?

Projects that include a creative piece are most welcome, but must be accompanied by a paper with an analytical component or critical reflection.  If your project is a creative work and it is small or digital with an accompanying paper, please contact us at ugfair@yorku.ca to see if we can include your art piece in the Fair along with your poster. Conversely, consult the Eligibility & Requirements for an Artwork application to determine if you should submit the work under that category.

What kinds of research projects are not eligible?

Lab reports, opinion pieces, creative works without a reflective or analytical component, journal-writing,  research proposals without completed research, work done for a non-credit course, ungraded work, work submitted for a university other than York, work submitted outside of the Fair qualifying dates. Please see Eligibility & Requirements: Research Projects on this web site.

Do group projects qualify?

Yes, group projects are eligible as long as each member of the group gives his/her permission.  Any monetary awards for research projects are shared among group members.

My project was written in a language other than English for a York language course. Do I have to translate it?

Applications based on projects submitted for all credit undergraduate language/literature courses at York are welcome. You do not need to translate the project into English; please scan and attach the project in the original language.  Papers written in languages other than English will be reviewed by faculty with language expertise.  However, we ask that the application form be completed in English or French.  If you are chosen, you must prepare and present the poster in English or French.

How are Fair presenters chosen?

Applications are reviewed by a Steering Committee comprised of York faculty, research librarians and two undergraduate student representatives.  Please see Eligibility & Requirements (for Research Projects and for Artwork) as well as Awards on this web site.

I have questions about the poster format required for the Fair. Who do I contact?

What size should my poster be?

24 inches x 36 inches (portrait or landscape).

I have a ready-made poster, prepared for another event. Can I use it instead of preparing a new poster?

No, you must prepare a new poster that satisfies the requirements of this event. (We offer a workshop on how to design and present a poster in February. Please see the section POSTER WORKSHOP for dates.

My project has a digital/audio component. Can I present this, along with my poster, at the Fair?

Yes, entries with digital or audio components are most welcome, if arrangements on made with Fair organizers in advance (ugfair@yorku.ca).  There are 5 computer stations with large display monitors available to show work during the Fair, allowing us to accept up to 5 digital projects.  Digital projects must still be accompanied by a poster outlining research question, approach and conclusions.

I would like to display other materials to supplement my poster at the Fair. Can I?

Yes, you may be able to bring additional materials, if you make advance arrangements with us.  A small number of tables are available, but floor space is limited. Please contact Fair organizers: ugfair@yorku.ca.

Can I prepare a digital poster in lieu of a paper poster?

No, digital projects must still be accompanied by a poster outlining your research question, approach and conclusions.

How long should my presentation be at the Fair?

The length of your presentation will vary and depends on the person you are presenting to.  As a general rule, keep it short – just a couple of minutes – and think of it as “an elevator speech.” (There are 50+ presenters at the Fair, all presenting simultaneously, and visitors hope to see as many as possible).  Be inclusive and address everyone who comes to see your poster.  A Fair adjudication team will come around to hear your presentation and ask questions – keep that speech to about 4 minutes.

When will I know if I have won an award?

Award winners will be announced at the Fair’s Awards ceremony, immediately following the poster sessions. Award winners and their families are also invited to attend the Research Leaders gala event, led by the Office of Research & Innovation and attended by York President Shoukri, later on Fair Day.

I won an award at the Fair. When will I receive my award?

You will receive a cheque a few weeks after the Fair.

What publishing opportunities are offered to Fair participants?

After the Fair, all student-presenters will receive an invitation to submit their work to a peer-reviewed e-journal entitled Revue YOUR Review: York Online Undergraduate Research Review.  Participation is entirely voluntary.  Presenters must first revise their work appropriately for publication in an academic journal. (A workshop will be offered to help with this process.)  Submissions are refereed, so there is no guarantee that your submission will be published, but you will receive help with the submission and revision process.  The abstracts of all Fair presenters will be included in the e-journal. Students can revise their abstracts before publication, if they wish.

Who will attend the Fair?

Students, friends, family, faculty, instructors, administrators, librarians, staff, community members. We hope York President Shoukri will drop by too.

May I choose not to include my abstract for publication in Revue YOUR Review?

Yes.

 

Still have questions?  Contact: ugfair@yorku.ca