Undergraduate Research Symposium


Showcases New Jersey’s Best and Brightest Minds

Since it was established in 2012, the annual ICUNJ Undergraduate Research Symposium has given students at our 14 member institutions the opportunity to conduct in-depth research on a wide variety of scientific topics of special interest to the students.

The Symposium challenges students at New Jersey’s independent colleges and universities to explore science and technology through hands-on, inquiry-based learning. Working closely with leading faculty on their campuses, students test innovative concepts, prepare poster presentations and defend their results to judges. The program was initiated as a way to deepen the engagement of students on campuses in STEM careers.

The students’ work has been showcased at a half-day forum held at the Liberty Science Center, where students have the unique opportunity to network with judges from New Jersey industry. “I felt as though I was interacting with the Albert Einsteins of the 21st century,” said one judge.

In addition, high school students attend the event to learn about research and serve as evaluators while gaining insight into the opportunities offeerd at our member institutions to learn, explore and grow. Early involvement at the high school level helps to feed the talent pipeline and encourages promising students to consider in-state college options.

Throughout the Fall and into the early weeks of the Spring semester, students eager to bring innovation to current issues engaged in research.  To encourage independent research and continued engagement in STEM majors, ICUNJ offered select students up to $1000 for resources, stipend and other associated expenses and an opportunity to participate in its annual Undergraduate Research Symposium. The Symposium kicks off each year with a program designed to offer added insights into career and life success to participants. In the past, industry leaders has shared the value of  mentors helping them distinguish career opportunities; the importance of learning about a company and industry not just a job; and how to plan from job one for economic viability over a lifetime. At the end of the day, top performers are recognized for their outstanding work and presentation outcomes.

ICUNJ is grateful for the outstanding support it has received from PSEG and BD. Thanks to their generosity, ICUNJ has been able to fund independent student research each year. Funding and the help of the Liberty Science Center has also offset expenses of the Symposium. Students have presented their findings in Governors Hall of Liberty Science center surrounded by the inspiration and life-changing discoveries of those preceding them.

Each year, ICUNJ recruits judges from across industries employing STEM majors. The time commitment is minor but the impressions left from the day are lasting. Join us.