Guidelines for Submitting a Proposal

Please read the following guidelines before submitting a proposal:


Proposals must be a single paragraph of no more than 150 words. They should provide a clear, concise explanation of the project, presentation, or performance.

In some cases, your proposal should include a brief methodology, steps leading to a conclusion, and a note about the form in which your results will be presented. The Undergraduate Conference Organizing Committee realizes that many projects will not generate results before the time of the conference.

Your proposal should also indicate the significance of the project. Proposals and their titles should be written to pique the interest of the general Whitman community.

Proposals should be designed to fit the structure of the Undergraduate Conference. Conference presentations must not exceed 12 minutes. A three-minute question-and-answer period follows each presentation. Presentations are grouped into panels of four or five students.

If your project received internal (Whitman) funding (Rall, Perry, Abshire, etc.) or external support, you should acknowledge this assistance in the final line of your proposal. For example: "This project was funded by a Perry Summer Research Award from Whitman College."

All proposals involving human subjects must be approved by the Whitman's Institutional Review Board (IRB) before the final deadline (Jan. 30, 2012) for revisions and resubmissions. By that date, all proposals involving human subjects must include an IRB approval number in the online submission form. If you have questions about IRB approval, please contact the IRB directly at

In general, the Organizing Committee accepts only one submission per student. Students interested in organizing or participating in a student-organized panel should refer to Guidelines for Student-Organized Panels.

The deadline for submission of proposals is Friday, Dec. 16, 2011.

Selection criteria

Each proposal will be reviewed by members of the Undergraduate Conference Organizing Committee. The committee will either accept the proposal, accept it with minor revisions, or request a more substantial revision before resubmission. The Organizing Committee may reject proposals it deems inappropriate or lacking in quality or rigor.

Comments and decisions made by the Organizing Committee are based on a review of the proposal, not on the substance of the proposed research project, poster, or performance. Typically, requests for revisions are for reasons of: an unclear description of the project; imprecise definitions of terms; insufficient methodology, or failure to note the significance of the project and the means by research results will be reported.

Examples of proposals are found in the 2011 Undergraduate Conference program in these pages.

Submission of proposals

Submit your application online through the WUC Online Application System.  After you submit, an email will be sent to your faculty sponsor.  Your sponsor will make comments and either approve your proposal or request revisions.

More information

If you have any questions about conference protocol or submission of proposals, please contact Keith Raether, director of fellowships and grants, at