Written By Priyanka Surio

Remember those science fairs in middle school where we used to play with grass
or water and then put together a science fair board for our teachers who would
choose the most interesting of the projects to go on to the science fair? The Research Creativity and Innovation Forum is the college version of our childhood science fairs. It is a form of displaying your research for all to see regardless of whether you’re a freshman starting research or a senior completing an honors thesis.

With the Research and Creativity Innovation Forum quickly approaching, I decided
to share my past experience and provide some insider tips on presentation.
Presenting your research can be intimidating at first because you will be interacting
with current medical and research doctors who will be evaluating your work
thoroughly. It is important to make a good impression and this can be done through
effective communication and articulation along with a dash of confidence.

A year ago I was in the same position. First I had to submit a 250 word abstract

detailing my investigation and wait for selection from the RCIF committee. Upon
acceptance, I had to secure funding for a poster; luckily Miami – AHEC and the
Department of Internal Medicine at the Miller School of Medicine helped me secure
a sizable poster and printed my research presentation on it. I was a research
investigator on the topic of obesity, but I needed a catchy name to grab the judges’
attention so I came up with Promoting a Healthier Me. Although I was researching
the obesity statistics and behaviors of the greater Miami area, my hope was to
implement infrastructure within the clinics and hospitals at Jackson to address this
health disparity.

Next came judgment time! It was my first year presenting a research still so new
and ongoing, so I had my doubts. A few practice sessions with my research mentor,
who developed a series of questions to ask me, prepared me for the day. It was like
an interview, where I had to talk about what my research was, focus on its strengths
and weaknesses, and discuss its implications in the real world. I had three judges
and numerous peers look at my research. The three judges included a doctor at
the medical school, a PhD student in the department of biology, and a professor of
biological studies. Each one asked a range of questions. I was asked why I chose
my specific research topic, what I hoped to achieve, what my graphs and statistics
translated to, whether my research was applicable to other high-risk areas, and
what the limitations of my research were.

I received a certificate for showcasing my research and the feedback on my
presentation was helpful for future experiences. The key points that judges
determined your score upon included effectiveness of one’s presentation,
significance of results, need for such research, translational science applicability,and overall professionalism.

This year the RCIF will take place on Tuesday, March 29th, 2011 in the Field
House, Coral Gables campus from 9:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. The Awards Ceremony will
be from 5:30 p.m. – 6:30 p.m. in the Hurricane 100 Room at the Bank United Center,
Coral Gables Campus.

Preparation + Confidence = A Great RCIF Experience

RCIF Website

Contact: Daritza Blanco
d.berio@miami.edu
Office of Undergraduate Research
305) 284-3530

Promoting a Healthier Me Abstract