Undergraduate Research

Research and Creative Works Symposium

This annual conference celebrates students’ commitment to technological and aesthetic innovation, original research in diverse fields, and community-engaged learning.


Elizabeth Beasley

Elizabeth Beasley

Assistant Director of Integrative Learning


PRC 241
Elizabeth Beasley

Elizabeth Beasley

Assistant Director of Integrative Learning


This year’s Research and Creative Works Symposium

is scheduled for Tuesday, April 16, 2024.  

Southwestern University will be celebrating the 25th year of Research & Creative Works Symposium.  One of Southwestern’s most exhilarating events is the annual Research and Creative Works Symposium (RCWS). Inaugurated in 1999, the symposium showcases undergraduate research, innovation, and imagination, with students presenting posters, talks, art exhibits, performances, and panel discussions. Each presenter develops critical-thinking, communication, leadership, and project management skills while preparing for the RCWS. Hosted across campus during a daylong celebration, the symposium’s grand display of various intellectual interests, expertise, and in- and out-of-classroom experiences encapsulates the spirit of a liberal-arts education.

Individuals can submit presentation proposals for the following:

  • Poster Presentations provide an opportunity to display your research. They often combine visual and textual content, such as tables, graphs, images, and citations.
  • Oral Presentations allow students to share their research in a classroom presentation. 
  • Creative Works Exhibitions showcase all forms of visual art, including original painting, sculpture, photography, prints, textile arts, drawings, pottery, metal, etc.
  • Creative and Scientific Process Exhibitions provides students from any discipline the opportunity to showcase a project’s creative and scientific process beginning with the creative idea and/or scientific question. This exhibition does not require that a project be completed before the exhibition. Students create a physical representation or poster presentation highlighting their individual or group process as well their reflections on the process itself.
  • Chalk It Up!: Student Projects provides students with the unique opportunity to translate their research and/or creative project into a chalk art design in a public space on campus. In this highly interactive platform, students will have 4 hours to create and complete their work while discussing their project with passersby.
  • Chalk It Up!: Academic Campus Organizations compete for prizes! Groups will be provided a theme one week prior to the symposium. Then on April 16th, the group must then create a chalk art design that ties in both the given theme and their organizational mission. The design will be in a public place on campus. Students will have 4 hours to create a prize worthy piece while discussing their project with passersby.
  • Career Catalyst: SU’s First Reverse Career Fair provides students the opportunity to showcase academic work and professional experience at your own designated table as employers come to you for conversations and networking. Flex your marketing skills, meet professionals from a variety of industries, learn about new internship opportunities, or even land your first job. Space is limited, so sign up early!
  • Performances showcase live performances of all types, including literary readings, theatre, music, or dance. 
  • Panels include a group of three to five individuals (including a moderator) who will discuss a given topic and will be allocated 50 minutes.

Learn More

  • Undergraduate Research

    Every student at Southwestern University engages in research and creative projects, whether it’s writing a literature review for a final sociology essay or designing a theatrical performance for a capstone course. But undergraduate research goes well beyond the classroom…


  • Student Stories

  • 23rd Annual Research and Creative Works Symposium

    Southwestern Showcases Undergraduate Research and Creativity

  • Southwestern Showcases Undergraduate Research and Creativity

    SU hosts the 20th annual Research and Creative Works Symposium.

  • 19th Annual Research & Creative Works Symposium

    Southwestern University celebrated the work of students and faculty at the 19th annual Research & Creative Works Symposium on Tuesday, April 10.