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Annual Graduate & Professional Student Research Forum

Showcasing the excellence in research conducted at the graduate student level.

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About the Forum

The Annual Graduate and Professional Student Research Forum, hosted by the Graduate & Professional Student Association (GPSA) and the Graduate College, represents a pinnacle of academic excellence at UNLV. This conference-style event highlights the innovative research and creativity of UNLV's graduate and professional students, offering a dynamic platform that showcases groundbreaking work from across more than 45 disciplines.

Designed for UNLV's graduate and professional student community, the Forum is not just an event; it's a celebration of intellectual curiosity, interdisciplinary collaboration, and the relentless pursuit of knowledge that characterizes UNLV. It provides a unique venue for participants to present their research and creative projects, engage with peers and faculty, and receive valuable feedback from judges. The Forum acts as a catalyst for future research initiatives, fostering a culture of academic excellence and innovation within the university and beyond.

Enabled by the GPSA Sponsorship Program, which funds student research, travel, and professional development, the Forum welcomes participants from all academic backgrounds. It's an invaluable experience for those looking to hone their presentation skills, forge connections, contribute to a rich tapestry of academic discourse, and share their work with the Las Vegas community.

About the GPSA Annual Student Research Forum

Throughout the year, the GPSA awards research and travel grants to students to support projects that directly affect their degree program and contribute to their discipline (GPSA Sponsorship Awards*). In 2021-2022, $175,000 was budgeted to support graduate and professional student research and conference travel via our sponsorship fund. The Annual Research Forum is an opportunity for students to share their GPSA sponsored work with the UNLV community. Of course, this Forum is open to all graduate and professional students wishing to share their research and creative expressions, practice their presentation skills, or obtain constructive comments on their work from faculty.

*Participation in the Annual Research Forum is a requirement for students who received GPSA funding during the 2022-2023 academic year.

Prepare for the Graduate Research Forum

Event Dates

This event has passed, but please check out details from our past event.

Deadlines and Announcements

What Attendees Can Expect

Join us to immerse yourself in groundbreaking research and creative excellence. From the start, you will be treated to a well-organized, conference-style event that includes:

  • Morning inspiration: Kick off with our graduate student showcase, featuring expanded TED-style talks from past Forum session winners, a warm welcome from a notable speaker, and a catered breakfast to fuel your day.
  • Engage and discover: Wander through the Student Union to explore diverse presentations — including podium talks, poster displays in the Ballroom, and creative salons in the Art Gallery and Cohen Theatre. You'll have the chance to engage with presenters, dive into discussions, and witness the innovative spirit of UNLV's graduate community.
  • Networking and opportunities: Throughout the event, take advantage of the unique opportunity to mingle with peers, faculty, and professionals. Don't miss the chance to capture memories at our photo backdrop, perfect for selfies and commemorating your participation.
  • Appreciation and recognition: Presenters will receive a certificate of participation, and judges will be gifted a token of our gratitude. It's our way of thanking those who contribute to the Forum's success.
  • Lunch and celebrations: Enjoy a catered lunch before we move into the awards ceremony, where we'll celebrate outstanding achievements, announce session winners, and offer monetary awards. For those who can't join in person, the ceremony will be livestreamed, ensuring everyone can partake in the festivities.

We look forward to sharing this exciting day with you.

Information for Presenters

This Forum is open to all currently enrolled graduate and professional students.

Participants have three presentation options to choose from:

  1. 10-minute podium presentation, such as a slideshow
  2. 5-minute poster presentation
  3. 5-minute creative expression presentation

First and second place winners from each session will receive the following:

Podium session winners

  • First place: $500 scholarship
  • Second place: $300 scholarship

Poster session winners

  • First place: $400 scholarship
  • Second place: $200 scholarship

Creative expression session winners

  • First place: $500 scholarship
  • Second place: $300 scholarship

As a presenter at the Annual Graduate & Professional Student Research Forum, you'll be sharing your work with the wider UNLV and Las Vegas communities. Here are some tips to ensure your presentation captivates and communicates effectively:

  • Podium talks: Practice your talk multiple times to achieve a natural flow. Time yourself to ensure you stay within your allotted time. Engage your audience with a clear, concise message and use visuals to enhance your points.
  • Poster presentations: Your poster (48”w x 36”h) should be a visually appealing summary of your research. Use bullet points, charts, and images to convey your main findings. Make sure your poster is readable from a distance.
    • GPSA is offering complimentary poster printing for the 2024 Research Forum. Submit your poster PDF through the poster printing request form.
  • Creative expressions: For artistic displays or performances, rehearse to refine your presentation. Consider how your work can be best experienced by attendees, including spatial or audio-visual requirements.

Please contact with equipment inquiries or special requests.

Additional Resources

Oral Presentations

To ensure a smooth presentation, here's a checklist of essentials:

  • Backup of your presentation: Have a digital copy on a USB drive and an online backup accessible through email or cloud storage. Windows OS laptop computers and HDMI cables will be available in each room, but you are welcome to bring your own.
  • Necessary cables and adapters: Bring any cables and adapters you might need to connect your laptop or other devices to the provided equipment.
  • Presentation remote: A remote can help you navigate your presentation smoothly without being tethered to your laptop.
  • Printed materials: If applicable, bring handouts or business cards for networking.
  • Poster materials: For poster presenters, ensure your poster meets the required dimensions (48”w x 36”h) and bring any materials needed for setup.

The GPSA will contact you with details about your specific session once we have finalized the poster and podium schedules.

Information for Presentation Judges

Judges are pivotal to making the Annual Graduate & Professional Student Research Forum a success. Through expertise and thoughtful evaluation, faculty judges help shape the next generation of scholars and professionals. Thank you for your commitment to excellence and innovation.

There are three session types:

  • 10-minute “podium” presentation, such as a slideshow.
  • 5-minute poster presentation
  • 5-minute creative expression presentation

If you’re interested in being a presentation judge, view our Deadlines and Announcements box.

Support the Forum

GPSA and the Graduate College are always looking to enhance the event through partnerships with local sponsors. Support from the community is a testament to the value placed on academic and research excellence and an opportunity to engage directly with emerging leaders and innovators in a wide range of fields.

We welcome interest from organizations and businesses looking to support this event, contribute to the advancement of knowledge, and foster professional development opportunities for UNLV's graduate students. Email for more information.


Nia Smercina

GPSA Manager and Advisor

Meagan Evans

Director of Engagement and Outreach