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Academic Excellence Conference - FAQ for Students

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What is the Academic Excellence Conference (AEC)?

The annual AEC showcases the research, scholarship, and creative work completed by KSC graduate and undergraduate students. It gives students an opportunity to present their best academic work to a broad audience of their peers, faculty, and the public.


Why should I participate in the AEC?

The AEC gives you an opportunity to share and discuss your scholarly work, to receive feedback on your work, and entertain questions from students and faculty from across the College, as well as the general public attending the Conference. This is a great way to present your work in a formal setting, to exchange ideas with faculty and other undergraduate scholars, and to enhance your resume.


Who can present at the AEC?

Any registered undergraduate or graduate student is eligible to present at the AEC. Presentations can be done individually or in small groups. There are three types of presenters:

  1. Presenter: A student who is physically present at the conference and an active participant in the presentation.

  2. Performer: A student who is/was not active in the research/scholarship portion of the presentation, but is asked by the presenter to perform (e.g., sing, dance, play instrument, etc.) at the conference.

  3. Collaborative Researcher: A student who is/was active in the research/scholarship of the presentation, but will not be physically present at the conference.

Who attends the AEC?

KSC students, faculty, parents and other family, friends, alumni, the general public, and visitors from local and regional business communities and government offices.


When and where does the conference take place?

Registration for the AEC is located in the L.P. Young Student Center. Sessions are located in various buildings on campus. This year’s conference is on Saturday, April 8, 2016 from 9 a.m. to 5:15 p.m.


How do I apply?

You need to submit a formal proposal to the AEC committee by 11:59 p.m. on Monday, December 5, 2016.

(Note: an account will need to be created the first time you access the proposal submission web page.)


What is the most crucial part of the proposal?

The abstract you submit to the AEC committee is the most crucial part of your proposal. It should describe the objectives, results, and conclusions of your scholarly project and, where applicable, the methods you used. It should not exceed 150 words and should be written in language that avoids unnecessary jargon and that can be understood by both a disciplinary expert and a reasonably informed non-specialist. The faculty member who acts as your project mentor must review and approve your abstract. For group presentations, participants should submit only one proposal.


Who is the project mentor?

If your project was originally done for a course, the mentor is usually the instructor who taught the class; however, other faculty who were not associated with this course can also serve in this role. If your project was not formally linked to any course, any faculty or staff member who agrees to work with you can serve as your mentor.


What is the deadline for applying to the AEC?

All proposals, approved by your mentor, are due via the online form by Monday, December 5th, at 11:59 p.m.

(Note: an account will need to be created the first time you access the proposal submission web page.)


What formats are available for presenting my work?

Students may present their work in one of the following formats: Oral Presentation, Poster, Exhibit, Workshop, Performance, or Panel discussion. Please read the descriptions of each format to choose the appropriate format for your presentation.


What are criteria for selection?

A Selection Committee comprised of faculty from across the College will judge your abstract based on the criteria in the guidelines posted online.


Where can I get help and advice about crafting and submitting an abstract?

Consult the online guidelines, attend one of the Abstract Workshops (Thursday, Nov. 3, 2016 in the Student Center Mabel Brown Room and Monday, November 7, 2016 in the Student Center Mabel Brown Room - both sessions are 6-8 p.m.), consult with your mentor, and talk with the Academic Conference Committee Student Representatives.


Where can I get help and advice about preparing my poster or presentation?

Consult the guidelines, and presenter checklist attend the Presenters’ Workshop on Thursday, March 2, 2017 (6-8 p.m., Student Center Atrium Conference Room, Mountain View Room, and Room 309), consult with your mentor, and talk with the Academic Conference Committee Student Representatives.


How soon can I expect to hear from the AEC Selection Committee?

You and your mentor will hear from the selection committee on Friday, December 16, 2016.


What happens after the AEC Selection Committee reviews student proposals?

After the AEC Selection Committee reviews all proposals, you will receive an e-mail notifying you of one of the three possible outcomes.

  1. Your proposal is accepted in its present form. No additional changes to the abstract are necessary. It will be published in the Conference program as you have submitted it.

  2. Your proposal requires further work or revisions. In this case, the selection committee will indicate specific issues that will need to be addressed in the final draft of your abstract.

  3. Your proposal was not accepted. The committee will offer a brief explanation of its decision.

I have received an e-mail from the Selection Committee that my abstract needs further work. When is the revised abstract due?

Revised abstracts are due Wednesday, February 1, 2017. You will be notified by Friday, February 10, 2017 as to whether the revised proposal has been accepted.


Are there other opportunities to share my work that was presented at the Academic Excellence Conference?

Submit your work for consideration for publication in the undergraduate research journal Metamorphosis. Metamorphosis is an online undergraduate research journal published by the Council of Public Liberal Arts Colleges (COPLAC), an organization established in 1987 which includes 26 colleges and universities from across the country, including Keene State College. Each spring and fall, member institutions choose up to four pieces of outstanding undergraduate work which are then published in the online journal (

Publication in an undergraduate research journal is a great honor, one which will reflect well on students’ academic achievements and on Keene State as an institution that places value on undergraduate scholarship.

At present, the journal is unable to include creative work in video format, but can accommodate posters if they are submitted as a PDF file. Please forward all submissions, or any questions you might have, to Professor Nick Germana. Submissions will be reviewed by faculty in the relevant disciplines. Submissions received by the end of the semester will be reviewed for possible publication in the fall issue.


Does my project require IRB approval?

Please review the documents at the following links and contact the IRB board ( for further information.

Is your project human subjects research?

Levels of review