The UCF community and general public are invited to learn more about the kind of research students at UCF conduct every day at UCF’s annual Research Week, which kicks off today.

The Student Union will become a showcase through Thursday to view the creative projects students have undertaken this year. Attendees will get an opportunity to see and listen to research findings, workshops about preparing research, and tips for getting started. A schedule of events can be found here.

One of the week’s highlights includes the 14th annual Showcase of Undergraduate Research Excellence, which will be Thursday, April 6 in the Pegasus Ballroom.

Almost 400 abstracts were submitted to the showcase on topics ranging from the effects of stormwater runoff on UCF’s lakes to society’s views on mental illness. The showcase is an opportunity for students to share their mentored research with UCF faculty members and the university community, and to learn more about the work of their peers while gaining their own presentation experience.

More than 500 students will compete for approximately $25,000 in scholarships at this year’s showcase. The awards are given to the projects from each category deemed to be outstanding by faculty judges. Faculty members evaluate each project in teams, reviewing abstracts and speaking with the authors of each poster.

Last year, Rebecca McLean won first place in the Engineering and Computer Sciences category for her work on biofuel, conducted with Assistant Professor Woo Hyoung Lee.

McLean will present at the showcase again this year on sustainability and alternative energy.

“Being able to discuss my research passions with so many different audiences has really inspired me to keep pursing what I love,” she said.

Since last year, McLean has continued to refine her work on biofuel and recently presented at a national conference on technology in California.

Graduate research will be showcased Tuesday, April 4 along with several sessions focused on picking the right graduate school and reviewing national and international scholarships and fellowships available to students. For more on the graduate research forum click here.