Undergraduate Research Symposium

Showcases New Jersey’s Best and Brightest Minds

Since it was established in 2012, the annual ICFNJ Undergraduate Research Symposium has given students at the Independent College Fund’s 14 member institutions the opportunity to conduct in-depth research on a wide variety of scientific topics.

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 is showcased at a 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. Early involvement at the high school level helps to feed the talent pipeline and encourages promising students to consider in-state college options.


Select students have already been selected to receive an Undergraduate Research Symposium grant to support their independent research project.  Students are encouraged to move forward with their research plans.  The date of the Symposium has been moved to the week of April 4th to accommodate the schedules of both students and judges.  The extension into April is designed to allow time during the Winter Break and Spring semester to complete the research.  Please refer to the calendar for deadlines.

Feel free to reach out to Yvette Panella or MaryAlice Breuninger with any questions regarding the grant, research, and/or participation in the Symposium.  In this unprecedented time we want to be flexible and support the best possible experience.