This year’s 12th annual Showcase of Undergraduate Research Excellence is the largest to date, with 434 students presenting 290 projects from the physical sciences, to arts and  humanities, to health sciences.

The showcase, which serves as the culmination of UCF’s Research Week, will be held 1-4 p.m. Thursday, April 2, in the Student Union Pegasus Ballroom. The event provides the opportunity for undergraduate researchers to come together with other students, faculty, and staff to discuss research projects and creative works that are conducted under the guidance of faculty mentors.

“Last year’s showcase was a great learning experience. It was refreshing to see a wide variety of research being conducted by my peers,” said Nicholas Coles, an undergraduate researcher who will be presenting for the second year in a row. He said he is looking forward to getting quality feedback from peers and the faculty judges because this year’s research topic is something he has less experience in.

The showcase is a judged event. Topics such as understanding student knowledge-acquisition through technology, and restoring coral reefs by replenishing certain sea urchin populations will be in competition. Clear focus, sound methodology, effective presentation, strong progress, and a valuable contribution are all essential principles of the competition.

Faculty judges will determine winners in 10 categories. Projects go through an intense judging process, including a review of summaries and posters, as well as on-the-spot interviews. Other awards include the Peer Choice Award, the Mentor of the Year Award, and for the first time, the Audience Choice Award. Among all of the awards presented, $17,000 in scholarships will be granted.

The ceremony announcing showcase awardees will be 4:30 p.m. in the Cape Florida Ballroom. For more information on the showcase, go to The showcase is part of Student Research Week