Undergraduate Research

Sharing Research

Christopher Newport University provides a variety of modes through which you can share your research, including presentation and publication. The dissemination of research and creative work will truly engage you in the community of scholars and artists, both at CNU and beyond. Through such sharing, your work will not only grow, but you will have the opportunity to network. This invaluable resource can literally change the course of your life.

Cupola

The title of our online undergraduate research journal references the architectural feature that tops Trible Library, thus honoring Cupola authors as the preeminent student researchers at Christopher Newport.

In support of its mission, Christopher Newport University’s Office of Undergraduate Research and Creative Activity honors and promotes outstanding student research papers with a $100 cash award and publication in CNU’s student journal, The Cupola. The top two entries are granted the Douglas Gordon award of $500 each. The journal will be available in both print and online editions.

Papers submitted for Paideia are especially encouraged. Entries will be assessed by the Office of Undergraduate Research and Creative Activity in consultation with the Undergraduate and Graduate Research Committee in accordance with the following criteria:

  • Integration of Research
    Does the paper discuss previous relevant studies and locate its argument within the body of that material? Are the citations and bibliography thorough, accurate, up-to-date, and discipline-appropriate?
  • Originality/Creativity
    What does the paper contribute to the topic under consideration? Does the paper present a unique approach to or interpretation of its material?
  • Rhetorical Qualities/Style
    Does the paper have a clear and coherent structure that relates all of its ideas together in support of the thesis, and is the writing clear, effective, correct (according to the norms of standard American English), and appropriate to an academic setting?
  • Advancement of Liberal Learning
    How well does the paper articulate one (or more) of the following qualities: evaluation/interpretation of information; effective communication; creativity/imagination; an understanding of the historical and/or philosophical traditions that have shaped the world; the interrelations within and among global and cross-cultural communities; the means of modeling the natural, social, and technical worlds; depth of knowledge; and/or intellectual honesty.

To be eligible for an award and publication, students must submit the electronic application on the OURCA website, which will include the following and is sent to ourca@cnu.edu. Submission deadline is May 15, 2020.


Submissions must include:

  • Final draft of paper
  • Abstract on page 2
  • One paragraph personal biography placed at the end of the paper

Other requirements:

  • Font: Times New Roman, 12pt, double-spaced
  • Margins: 1 inch (top, bottom, left, and right)
  • Citations as appropriate to the discipline (e.g. footnotes or endnotes, references, etc.)

Submissions must be made in Word format only; do not send PDF documents. Any submissions received not in Word format will not be considered. The electronic application must be signed by all student authors as well as the faculty sponsor who provides an endorsement of the project, attesting to its high academic caliber, academic integrity and proper disciplinary format. The endorsement is provided through faculty signature of the submission form; alternately, the faculty sponsor can email his or her endorsement directly to ourca@cnu.edu.

General Information

  • The Cupola is a peer-reviewed journal and is registered with the Library of Congress. ISSN 2688-5913. For 2020, The Cupola will publish its traditional volume of student essays. An ancillary special edition will publish posters. If a poster had been previously accepted for presentation at a conference canceled because of the COVID-19 pandemic, that should be indicated in the application; those posters will be given priority for publication.
  • A primary author is allowed to submit one abstract and poster only to this special edition.
  • Each submission has three parts:
    • Abstract/Summative Statement
    • Poster
    • Faculty Endorsement
  • Poster and Abstract/Summative Statement submission are combined functions; these processes must be completed in tandem online during the submission process. As such, please have your Abstract/Summative Statement ready when you submit your poster as both processes must be completed during the same online session.
  • The poster should explain the purpose and conclusions of the contribution. This should include the purpose of the research, the methods and principal results, the major points of discussion and conclusions.
  • The poster must include credits and references where appropriate; failure to do so is a violation of CNU’s Honor Code.
  • Abstracts/Summative Statements with author bios will be printed on the verso page with the corresponding poster printed on the facing page in color.

Abstract/Summative Statement

  • This required statement is to be no more than 350 words and must be submitted as a Word .doc attachment; no other format is permitted.
  • Do not include your title and author information as part of the abstract body. If you copy and paste text, it should be from a standard Microsoft Word document.
  • Tables and graphics are not allowed in the Abstract/Summative Statement.
  • Separate the Abstract/Substantive Statement from a one paragraph personal biography for each author (not counted in the 350 word maximum).

The Poster

  • PDF is the preferred submission format. Posters may be submitted in one of the following formats: Microsoft Word, Microsoft PowerPoint, PDF; no other format will be accepted.
  • Format the poster slide as you would for printing a 36”x48” poster.
  • No font should be smaller than 36 point. If there is too much extra space, increase the font size.
  • Ensure that all images are clear and readable. Any image not owned by the author requires credit and reference.
  • If you need it, there is a poster template for this special edition of The Cupola available.

Faculty Endorsement

The faculty sponsor is required to provide an endorsement of the project, attesting to its high academic caliber, academic integrity and proper disciplinary format. The endorsement is provided through faculty signature of the submission form; alternately, the faculty sponsor can email his or her endorsement directly to ourca@cnu.edu.

Review Process

Each Abstract/Summative Statement and Poster are reviewed for adherence to these content rules, significance, and presentation. The main factors considered to qualify abstracts and posters for acceptance are as follows:

  • Clarity
    The objectives of the research presented are clearly described.
  • Significance
    The abstract and poster describe the significance of the work.
  • Methods
    The methods used (including the design, implementation, and analysis) are appropriate to achieving the objectives of the research.
  • Presentation
    The abstract and poster are logical, interesting, clearly written, and free of grammatical or typographical errors.

Selection and Publication

  • Each project selected for publication is awarded a $100 honorarium.
  • Publication is expected in early-July. The Cupola and the Special Edition will both appear in print and online.

$500 awards are generously supported by the Office for Undergraduate Research and Creative Activity and the Douglas K. Gordon Fund.

Past volumes of the Cupola can be found by clicking the button below.

Research LENS Travel Fund

Funds up to $500 will be given to eligible undergraduates traveling either regionally, nationally or internationally to present research or creative work or to collect research data. Under special circumstances, students may be funded to attend a conference or symposium without presenting. Funding decisions are made by the director of the Office of Undergraduate Research and Creative Activity (OURCA) in coordination with the Undergraduate Research Council (URC). This is a reimbursement stipend; students can be reimbursed for travel, registration, accommodation and food costs after travel is complete.

Allocations will be made based for travel during four periods each year: January 1-March 31, April 1-June 30, July 1-September 30, October 1-December 31. Application deadlines will be the first of the month prior to the period in which travel is sought (December 1, March 1, June 1, September 1). The OURCA director will review requests on the first of each month. The total amount of funding will be divided across the four funding periods. In the event that fewer applications are received than funding allotments are available, the OURCA (in consultation with the URC) may issue additional money to selected recipients.

  • Students must be full-time and currently enrolled at CNU at time of travel. Exceptions may be made on individual cases.
  • Students must provide evidence of submission of their research or creative project to an academic or professional event, such as a conference, symposium, show, competition or performance.
    • Students traveling to collect research data should provide a letter of introduction or other indication of admittance from the destination organization.
    • Students traveling to participate in an instructional symposium related to research or creative activity must provide rationale for attendance.
  • Students must indicate how they will participate meaningfully in the conference, symposium, event, exhibition or performance.
  • Only those projects that have been accepted for presentation, performance or data collection will be funded. Stipends for projects that have not been accepted will be reallocated.
  • If multiple students are presenting or working on the same project, the travel amount may be split between the students, not to exceed a total of $500.
  • Travel for students who graduate in May must be completed no later than June 30. Such students will be required to sign a statement indicating release of liability by the university for any travel between date of graduation and June 30.
  • Students must be in good standing as defined in the university catalog from the time of application through the time of final reimbursement.
  • There is a lifetime cap of $1,500 from the Research LENS Travel Fund for undergraduates.

  • Students must complete the online application form.
  • Students must have the approval of their department or program chair before the submission date. Department or program chairs will be asked to rate the application.
  • If the student does not have approval from a department or program chair, the student will be informed via email that they are not eligible for the stipend.
  • If the student’s project is a collaboration with a faculty mentor, the mentor’s (or primary investigator’s) approval is required in the online form.
  • If the department or program chair approves the student’s travel, and the OURCA approves, the OURCA will notify the student’s college dean.
  • The OURCA will notify the student and faculty adviser of decisions as soon as possible.
  • The OURCA encourages the seeking of matching funds.
  • Once a student has been issued travel funds, the student will be asked to schedule a meeting with the OURCA director to fill out the appropriate university pre-travel forms. No student will travel without completion of required documentation.
  • Within 10 business days of return from the trip, the student must submit the final paperwork for reimbursement to the OURCA.
  • Within four weeks of return from the trip, the student must provide a short email report (200-500 words) to the OURCA director. The report should address the ways in which the travel benefited the student’s research or creative activity.

 

These are according to Virginia guidelines and per diems.

  • Registration or entry fees
  • Travel costs
  • Hotel accommodations
  • Meals and incidentals

[Note: the online application link functions only for students]

Other Publication Opportunities

There are many opportunities to publish undergraduate research and creative activity. A sampling is listed below.

Key: P=peer reviewed; O=online edition; Pr=print edition

  • Auctus, the Journal of Undergraduate Research and Creative Scholarship at VCU (P, O)
  • Agora Papers (O)
  • Berkeley Undergraduate Journal (O)
  • Catalyst (P, O)
  • Discussions: The Undergraduate Research Journal of CWRU (P, O, Pr)
  • Eastern Oregon Science Journal
  • Elon Journal of Undergraduate Research in Communications (O)
  • EvoS Journal: The Journal of the Evolutionary Studies Consortium (P, O)
  • Furman University Electronic Journal of Undergraduate Mathematics (O)
  • Harvard Political Review
  • Harvard Undergraduate Research Journal (P, O)
  • Illinois Wesleyan University Undergraduate Economic Review (P, O)
  • Impulse: An Undergraduate Journal for Neuroscience (O)
  • Inquiro (O)
  • Inquiry (O)
  • Involve - A Journal of Mathematics (O, P)
  • Issues in Political Economy (O)
  • Journal for Undergraduate Research Opportunities
  • Journal of International Affairs (P, O)
  • Journal of Politics and Society - Columbia University (O, P)
  • Journal of Student Research (P, O)
  • Journal of Undergraduate Chemistry Research (P, O)
  • Journal of Undergraduate Research - MSU (P, O)
  • Journal of Undergraduate Research - UF (P, O)
  • Journal of Undergraduate Research and Scholarly Excellence (P, O)
  • Journal of Undergraduate Research in Physics (P)
  • Journal of Young Investigators (P, O)
  • Missouri Journal of Mathematical Sciences (P, O)
  • MIT Undergraduate Research Journal (P, O)
  • National Undergraduate Research Clearinghouse (O)
  • Pacific Northwest Journal of Undergraduate Research and Creative Activities (P, O)
  • Psi Chi Journal of Undergraduate Research (P, O)
  • Perspectives on Undergraduate Research and Mentoring (P, O)
  • Philologia: Undergraduate Research Journal for Liberal Arts and Human Sciences (P, O)
  • Pittsburgh Undergraduate Review (O)
  • Rose-Hulman Undergraduate Mathematics Journal (O)
  • Stanford Undergraduate Research Journal (P, Pr, O)
  • Student Pulse (P, O)
  • The Kennessaw Tower (O)
  • The Pentagon (O)
  • The Politic (P, O, Pr)
  • The Tower
  • The UCI Undergraduate Research Journal (O)
  • The Yale Review of Undergraduate Research in Psychology (O)
  • Undergraduate Research Journal - DISCOVERY (O)
  • Undergraduate Research Journal - IUSB (O, Pr)
  • Undergraduate Research Journal for the Human Sciences (O, Pr)
  • University of Michigan Undergraduate Research Journal (O)
  • UT Austin Undergraduate Research Journal (Pr, O)
  • VA Engage Journal (O)
  • Valley Humanities Review (O)
  • Xchanges (O)
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