Student research is at the heart of Cal U's Honors Program. From addendums to independent study courses to the senior honors thesis project, Honors students conduct sophisticated research using primary and secondary sources, generating new knowledge, and establishing a place for themselves as scholars. Sharing that knowledge and that work is an important aspect of scholarships and via a series of conferences, the UHP provides numerous opportunities for students to present their work to larger academic audiences of peers and faculty. These conferences also provide students with opportunities to learn about others' research, network with fellow scholars and faculty, and gain professional experience in their fields.
The UHP participates in three annual conferences regularly and often sponsors student participation in other, often specialized gatherings. As with other UHP travel opportunities, if a student's proposal is accepted at one of these conferences, the UHP will pay for all travel and registration expenses.
Since 2007 the Honors Program at Robert Morris University has organized a conference designed especially for undergraduates presenting their research. It draws students from across western Pennsylvania and, thanks in part to a Portz Grant from the National Collegiate Honors Conference, across the country via synchronous online video conference. Since 2010, CalU has co-organized the conference, hosting it on odd-numbered years. The conference provides opportunities for students in all disciplines to present their research in paper as well as poster sessions. Each year, a group of the best papers are selected for print and on-line publication in the Intersections Undergraduate Research Conference Journal. The conference is typically held in mid-April.
National Collegiate Honors Council
The National Collegiate Honors Council (NCHC) is the professional organization for honors programs and colleges and their faculty, staff, and students. It provides scholarships, grants, advocacy, publications, and an annual conference all focused on honors education. The annual conference, typically in October or November, is generally held in large cities such as Washington D.C., Kansas City, Phoenix, and Boston. It attracts several thousand students, faculty, and staff all of whom present their work in a variety of settings including poster sessions, paper sessions, roundtables, idea exchanges, and workshops. The highlight of the conference is often the "City as Text" program wherein students are organized into groups and with the assistance of a local guide, explore a cultural or historical aspect of the host city. The standards for acceptance at NCHC are quite high, but the UHP has regularly had six to eight students' projects accepted for presentation.
National Conferences on Undergraduate Research
The National Conferences on Undergraduate Research (NCUR) exists to promote undergraduate research in all fields and disciplines from science to art to social science, mathematics, theatre, and more. It organizes faculty and administrative workshops and sponsors several grants and initiatives for the promotion of undergraduate research. The NCUR's annual conference provides paper and poster sessions, as well as exhibits of student art and recitals and performances of student artistic work. The conference, while very competitive, provides a supportive environment for students to present their work and meet other students doing similar work. The conference is typically hosted by a university, 2011 by Ithaca College and 2012 by Weber State University in Ogden, Utah. As the conference is typically held in March, it is an ideal opportunity for senior Honors students to present their thesis research, though students of all levels are encouraged to participate.
The 2014 National Conference on Undergraduate Research will be held 2-6 April 2014 at the University of Kentucky, Lexington KY. The NCUR is the premiere interdisciplinary conference for undergraduate research. Students from across the country participate, presenting current research as well as artistic work. As a result, acceptance to the conference is highly competitive. In the past, the Honors Program has had dozens of students participate in the conference by presenting papers, showing posters, displaying artwork, and participating in panel discussions.