Graduate Research Symposium

13th Annual Graduate Research Symposium will be held Tuesday, April 20, 2021. Our Symposium will be virtual for 2021, but prizes have increased.  For each category, winners will receive: 1st place - $500, 2nd place - $200, 3rd place - $100.


Symposium proposals are due no later than 5:00 pm on Monday, March 29.



Virtual Graduate Research Competition (VGRC) 2021

There are three categories of submissions for the VGRC:

  1. Research Posters and Creative Works. Posters are to be sent to Dr. Kirill Bumin electronically by April 12.
  2. Research Papers are to be sent to Dr. Kirill Bumin electronically by April 5.
  3. Three Minute Thesis (3MT). A video of student giving the three minute presentation is to be emailed to Dr. Kirill Bumin by April 12.

All 3MT and research paper projects will be judged. Poster presenters can elect to have their posters judged or enter the symposium without participating in the competition. Completed and signed proposals are required for all symposium entries. 

Three participants will be invited to attend and present their work with other graduate students from across the state to N.C. legislators at an annual Graduate Education Day held each May. Usually, we celebrate the NC Graduate Education Day at the legislative building in Raleigh, N.C.  However, due to the Covid-19 pandemic, this year's Education Day will be virtual.

Participants should check their emails regularly in case the judges have questions.

We plan to announce winners by April 26.




Student work for all categories must be original and developed as a graduate student at UNCP. Presenters may be recent UNCP graduates.


Students develop a semi-professional poster presenting their original research as a "poster" in powerpoint. Posters should be created at the 3 ft x4 ft in size. POSTERS DO NOT need to be printed but should be submitted via email to Dr. Bumin ( by 5:00 pm April 12.


A new category for students whose research can't be properly portrayed on a poster. Students submit their paper via email to to Dr. Bumin ( by 5:00 pm April 5.


A research communication competition developed by The University of Queensland for doctoral students, the 3MT is a now a popular competition in which graduate students present their research in a compelling, three-minute speech, relaying the significance and relevance to a non-specialist audience. The time limitations force the presenter to consolidate their work and ideas. The competition develops academic, presentation, and research communication skills. Videos of three minute presentation must be submitted via email to Dr. Bumin ( by 5:00 pm April 12.

Questions? Contact Dr. Kirill Bumin at or 910.521.6603.




Virtual Graduate Research Competition (VGRC) 2020


Many thanks to all those who participated in our 12th annual Graduate Research Symposium held on April 6. This was also our first Virtual Symposium, due to the changes in campus regulations related to Covid-19 pandemic.

The 2020 Symposium was the second largest symposium to date, with close to 50 entries in poster, 3MT (3 minute thesis), and research paper competitions. The Graduate School is proud to announce the winners, participants and project mentors.


Research Paper Competition Winners:
  • First place:  Keisha Moore, Public Administration: The Long-term Effects of Income Inequality. (Mentor: Dr. Joe West)
  • Second place: Laurel Tabaka, Public Administration: Neighborhood Conditions: How a Neighborhood Can Influence a Childs Health Status. (Mentor: Dr. Emily Sharum)
  • Third Place:  Micah Simpson, Public Administration: The North Carolina Emergency Management Act: Disaster Management. (Mentor: Dr. Sojin Jang)


Poster Competition Winners:
  • First place:  Benjamin Coleman, Public Administration: Thanks Mom! Working Mothers and Their Children’s Educational Attainment. (Mentor: Dr. Joe West)
  • Second place: Ashley Lytle, Science Education: Elementary Teachers’ Attitudes and Beliefs About Science Teaching. (Mentor: Dr. Irina Falls)
  • Third Place:  Sara Parisi, Clinical Mental Health Counseling: Career Counseling Intervention Proposal for Robeson County Offender Population. (Mentor: Dr. Nicole Stargell) and Naila McConnell, Clinical Mental Health Counseling: The Role of Mental Health and Efficacy in Students in Higher Education. (Mentor: Dr. Leslie Locklear)


Many thanks to our excellent panel of dedicated judges:
  • Dr. Roger Ladd, English, Theatre, and Foreign Languages 
  • Dr. Sojin Jang, Political Science and Public Administration
  • Dr. Richard Kang, Economics and Decision Sciences                
  • Dr. Irina Falls, Educational Leadership and Specialties
  • Dr. Nicole Stargell, Clinical Mental Health Counseling        
  • Dr. Velinda Woriax, Biology    


Graduate Research Symposium 2019 pictures