Research Opportunities for Graduate Students
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Research Opportunities for Graduate Students

Making presentations on your research at academic conferences is a great way for graduate students to develop as professionals. Employers and academics view conference presentations as a sign of accomplishment and demonstrate that you are doing more than merely completing courses in a program. Because of this, we encourage graduate students to present their research and projects at professional communication conferences and at two research colloquia here on campus that take place annually in the spring: the School of Communication Graduate Student Awards and Research Symposium and the University-wide Graduate Research/Creativity Symposium. These events provide special forums specifically for graduate student research.

Graduate student presentations at these events are drawn from research papers and special projects they have been working on in classes, theses or independent studies, providing them with a broader audience for their work and an opportunity to get useful feedback from others that attend these events.

Opportunities for Grants for Travel to Conferences

The University provides some financial assistance to attend professional conferences for graduate students who have submissions accepted for presentation. The Dean of Graduate Studies has established a program for supporting graduate student travel to conferences through which students can apply for a grant of up to $500 for expenses. Expenses associated with the purchase of presentation materials, travel to the meeting, registration fees, and room charges may be reimbursed up to $500. There are no deadlines for this award. These grants are available throughout the year, but the application must be made at least one month before the conference.

Professional Organizations in Communication

Graduate students are encouraged to submit their work for presentation to several major professional organizations in the field of communication, including:

Most of these professional organizations have annual conferences where participants present their work on topics in various fields within the discipline of communication, such as media, organizational communication, and public relations. These conferences welcome participation by graduate students who conduct research in these areas. Visit these websites for information about the process for submitting papers, panel proposals, poster presentations, or other forms of presentations. Each organization has regular deadlines for submissions to its annual conference.