Students presenting at a Research Weeks undergraduate poster symposium.
Students gather at a previous Research Weeks undergraduate poster symposium. Research Weeks events this year will be virtual. (File photo)

Research Weeks takes place virtually this year

Web events hosted by departments across VCU begin April 14.

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Editor's note: Updated April 8 to reflect changes to the event schedule

Student research, at both the undergraduate and graduate levels, has always been an important part of the experience at Virginia Commonwealth University. Over the past decade, the university has acknowledged this in April through Research Weeks, when multiple departments hold events that showcase student research across VCU and VCU Health.

“VCU is committed to undergraduate research in large part because, to quote President Rao, ‘VCU is a social lab,’” said Herbert H. Hill, director of undergraduate research and creative inquiry at VCU’s Office of the Provost. “Our research is undertaken with a social conscience. That is an institutional value that is shared by our faculty and our students. We value the creating of new knowledge in order to advance both the public good and human health.”

In a normal year, Research Weeks would highlight students’ research in person, at symposiums and awards events held throughout the month, but that is not happening during the pandemic. This spring, VCU is instead holding a series of virtual events and forums to continue the tradition of student recognition.

“Moving forward with a virtual VCU Research Weeks is important because research has continued at our campus despite the challenges of the pandemic,” Hill said. “In fact, our research as a university community serving the public good is perhaps now more important than ever before. A global crisis like COVID-19 compels us to look deeper and question further in search of solutions to real-world problems.”

Here is a list of the events:

VCU School of Dentistry Research Day

April 14 and 15 via Zoom; for event information, contact Oonagh Loughren at 

School of Dentistry Research Day consists of keynote talks and a poster session. All students conducting research in the dental hygiene, D.D.S., residency and graduate research programs will present their research.

VCU Virtual Poster Symposium for Undergraduate Research and Creativity 

Week of April 19 at

The Office of Undergraduate Research and Creative Inquiry is partnering with the Student Opportunity Center to host this annual symposium. Asynchronous video presentations will make up the sessions for all presentation types and disciplines. Sessions will be organized by type of presentation and discipline. For more information, contact Herb Hill at

Virtual Graduate Research Symposium and Exhibit

April 20; for event information, contact Jamie Taylor at

Sponsored by the Graduate Student Association, the annual research symposium is a forum for VCU graduate students from all disciplines and departments to present their work to faculty, staff, students and community members. For more information, visit

Government, International and Public Affairs Student Research Conference

April 23; for event information, contact Chris Saladino at 

Undergraduate and junior graduate students are invited to submit proposals to present papers or projects, research-in-progress, or roundtable discussions on any topic related to the general fields of government, international, and public affairs. Students from colleges and universities in and around Virginia as well as national and overseas colleagues are invited to submit proposals.  

Engineering Capstone Design Expo 

April 30, 1-3 p.m. at

Project posters, abstracts and presentations will be open for viewing starting April 26, on the Engineering Capstone website and will culminate with an awards ceremony and presentation of the finalist projects on April 30 via Zoom. For more information, contact Daniel Wagner at

The Richmond Area Mathematical Sciences (RAMS) Conference 

May 1 (presentations available online from April 30 to May 8 at

The conference promotes education and research in the fields of mathematics, applied mathematics, statistics and operation research. Undergraduate and graduate students present results of their research. The conference will be free to all participants. Except for the scheduled plenary talk by Igor Erovenko, Ph.D., associate professor in the Department of Mathematics and Statistics at UNC Greensboro, all talks will be given by undergraduate and graduate students. To attend the conference, register online by April 29. For more information, contact Dewey Taylor at

Women's Health Research Day

Dates and times to be announced; for event information contact Lisa Phibbs at and Benoit Meyrieux at

Women’s Health Research Day is a celebration and promotion of research activities in Women's Health at VCU. The program will include a series of talks and a poster session highlighting women’s health research by VCU faculty and students.