ASU Psi Chi to host undergraduate research conference this spring

Submissions are now being accepted for student-run conference that expands opportunity for undergraduate psychology researchers


two women speaking in front of a research poster

Psychology undergraduate Emily Smith (right) shares her research at the AZPURC conference in 2019. This year's conference will be virtual and is now accepting submissions for posters.

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Almost a year has passed since the last Arizona Psychology Undergraduate Research Conference was altered from an in-person event to a virtual conference, and Psi Chi at ASU Tempe is now accepting submissions for another virtual conference on April 17. 

The Arizona Psychology Undergraduate Research conference (AZPURC) is an annual conference hosted by Psi Chi at ASU Tempe, the Tempe chapter of the international psychology honor society. The tradition of AZPURC has been a combined effort from students, staff and faculty since 2016, featuring keynote presentations from faculty speakers and a poster session from undergraduates. However, the conference is organized entirely by undergraduate students and is a valuable learning experience in both research and organization.

This year’s first keynote presentation will be from Jessica Verpeut, an assistant professor of psychology in the area of behavioral neuroscience, who will be discussing her research on the cerebellum and social behavior. The second keynote will be from Matt Meier, assistant clinical professor and co-director of the ASU Clinical Psychology Center, who will be speaking about transitioning therapeutic services to a teletherapy model during the pandemic. Additional presentations will feature graduate students from the Cooperation and Conflict Lab and the SPLAT lab, who will be discussing their COVID-19-related research.

This conference seeks to advance the field of psychology, to facilitate intercampus networking between colleges, and to celebrate and recognize the accomplishments and findings of undergraduates conducting research. It is also designed to be a place to practice presenting research in front of academic peers and mentors, and to receive crucial feedback that can help student researchers grow and eventually present at professional research conferences. Additionally, the networking and exploration that takes place at research conferences like AZPURC is extremely valuable for graduate school applications and discovering research interests.

“This year we are opening up poster presentations to all undergraduate majors. We believe in the importance of the intersection between psychology and a variety of fields. The conference will be held virtually on Saturday, April 17, and is open for all undergraduate students to attend or present research,” said Zoe Gould-Thompson, director of research and conferences for Psi Chi and an undergraduate research assistant in the Cooperation and Conflict Lab. 

“There are hundreds of careers that involve psychological research, and we wanted to celebrate how interdisciplinary it is by expanding to other majors beyond psychology."

The poster submission deadline is March 17, but posters will be accepted on a rolling basis while spots remain.

“While we never expected the year that we have just endured, we are learning that innovation through necessity can be a great thing, and this virtual format will allow our student presenters to become familiar in yet another conference format,” said Gould. 

For students who are nervous about their first poster session or submitting their research to an academic conference, Psi Chi compiled its best tips and tricks for a successful poster session.

Psi Chi is an international honor society whose purpose is to encourage, stimulate and maintain excellence in scholarship of the individual members in all fields, particularly in psychology, and to advance the science of psychology. Its main goal is to encourage members to maintain a lifelong interest in exploring psychology and to participate in opportunities and experiences that allow them to grow, from mentorship to research.

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