Undergraduate Research Initiative

The College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences Undergraduate Research Program allows students the opportunity to conduct research under the direction of a CAES faculty member, giving them hands-on research experience at an undergraduate level.

Who: Any CAES undergraduate student may conduct research with a faculty mentor.

How: Students are responsible for contacting faculty and arranging a research project with that faculty mentor for the given academic year.

When: Research is conducted throughout the academic year. Undergraduate research activities will culminate in the 2019-20 CAES Undergraduate Research Symposium in Spring 2020.

Funding: CAES students and their research mentors are invited to apply for $500 in student wages plus $500 to cover research-related costs. Students who receive funding are required to present their research findings at the CAES Undergraduate Research Symposium in Spring 2020. CAES faculty mentors will be awarded $500 to be applied toward research expenses.

Please note: Students already receiving wages to conduct the proposed research are not eligible for the $500 funding from this program to be used as hourly wages. However, students already receiving wages to conduct the proposed research ARE eligible for $500 for the CAES faculty mentors to use for research expenses. CAES faculty are limited to two funded projects ($1,000 research support) per academic year.  However, they can mentor more than two students per academic year, and each of these CAES students would be eligible for the $500 assistantship support.


Important Deadlines for the 2019-2020 Academic Year: 

Fall Research Funding Applications Due Wednesday, 28 August 2019

The application process for Fall 2019 is closed. 

Spring Research Funding Applications Due Wednesday, 22 January 2020

Materials Need for Application: your name, UGA email address, 81X UGA ID number, major, and any CAES minors declared; your faculty mentor's name, UGA email address, and home department; amount of funds requested and a brief budget description; and your project title and a brief (250 word max) description of your project including the objectives.

Spring Funding Application

Symposium Abstracts Due by 5:00 pm on Tuesday, 31 March 2020

Note: All students receiving funding from the CAES Undergraduate Research Initiative are required to submit an abstract.  We understand that your research project may not have been completed if you were funded/researching this semester, so if that is the case, submit an abstract based on your current data. Participation in this year’s Virtual Research Symposium is optional for students funded by the CAES Undergraduate Research Initiative, but abstract submission is required.  Please indicate on the abstract submission form whether or not you intend to participate in the symposium.  If you choose to participate, follow the instructions below and submit your presentation in mp4 format by 5:00 pm, Tuesday, 14 April.

Materials Needed for Application: your name, UGA email address, 81X UGA ID number, and major; your faculty mentor's name, UGA email address, and home department; title of abstract (150 character max) and body of abstract (2,500 character limit)

Symposium Abstract Submission

Abstract Preparation Instructions


CAES Undergraduate Research Symposium

This year’s symposium will be an online virtual research symposium (VRS).  It is open to any undergraduate CAES student who conducted research (funded by the CAES Undergraduate Research Initiative or not funded) during the 2019-2020 school year.

Note:  Participation in the virtual symposium is optional for all students.

Students wishing to participate in the VRS can utilize PowerPoint or Zoom to record their presentations. Directions for each option are listed below.


  • Download the Office 365 Pro Suite here as only the desktop version of PowerPoint will allow to you to record narration on your presentation.
  • In PowerPoint, click the "Slide Show" tab and once you are ready to record your presentation, click on "Record Slide Show" and begin to read your presentation script, moving through the presentation slides. 
  • Save your recording as an mp4 file and upload by 5:00 pm, Tuesday, 14 April. Directions for uploading will be sent in the near future. 
  • This article gives helpful tips on recording presentations within PowerPoint. 


  • Coordinate with your faculty mentor to set up a Zoom meeting to record your presentation and to create an mp4 file for submission.
  • If you have computer audio (microphone) capabilities, you can use it to record the oral script.  If not, you can dial in via your phone to the Zoom session for audio recording (you will also have to join the Zoom with your computer to share and scroll through your presentation or run your presentation via your phone).
  • The student will open their presentation on their computer, turn on “share screen” and select the presentation window to share the presentation over Zoom with their mentor’s computer.
  • Once the presentation is cued up on sharing and the audio and video connections are confirmed by your mentor (they can see the presentation and hear you), the faculty mentor should begin to record within Zoom and the student should read their research script as they click through the presentation slides.  Note that mouse movements will also show up on the video recording and can be used as a pointer on your slides. 
  • At the conclusion of the presentation, the mentor can end the session and then view the recorded mp4 file.  After confirming the presentation is acceptable (you can always start another Zoom session and play back the video via Zoom to your student), the file will need to be uploaded by your faculty mentor by 5:00 pm, Tuesday, 14 April.  We will be sending out loading information to faculty mentors in the near future. 


Awards will be given in each of approximately five sections (number of sections will depend on the number of entries) as follows:

  • First Place: $600
  • Second Place: $500

Details on Judging and Presentation

  • Presentations are accepted as mp4 files only.
  • Please practice your presentation and time yourself so that you are within the allocated 10-minute time frame. Points will be subtracted if you are over time.
  • Click here to review the grading rubric.