Each UURAF category is assigned a faculty judge who is familiar with the respective field. Categories with multiple sections (i.e., biochemistry may have 4 sections of posters) will each be assigned a separate judge. We try to have one faculty judge per 8-10 students so that each judge has ample time to evaluate each project.

What to Expect at UURAF

There is a great deal of activity happening throughout the event.  An information desk is located outside of the ballroom and is a good resource for answering questions during the event.  Contact the Undergraduate Research Office with questions prior to the forum.


Judges should check in on the 2nd Floor Concourse at the information table outside of the ballroom to receive their judging packet.  Each packet contains a list of students to evaluate, abstracts for each project, directions, and an evaluation sheet.   Proceed to your assigned location to begin viewing posters or presentations. Each judge needs to return the final ranking sheet by the end of the 2 hour judging time, so the staff can prepare the information for the award ceremony at the end of the day.  There can only be one first-place winner within each section.

What Students can Expect from Judges

Judges will be given nametags so you can identify them. If you're presenting a poster, the faculty judge will walk around the room and evaluate your research poster. Each poster has been assigned a poster number, and the judge will look for that number on the easel. For oral presentations, the faculty judge will sit in the audience and will evaluate your program. Judges may ask you questions about your research and scholarship. Some may offer feedback at the end of a session.

Evaluation Criteria

Oral and poster presentations will be evaluated using the criteria listed below.  A five-point scale is used to judge each criterion: 1 = poor/not addressed; 2 = fair; 3 = good; 4 =great; and 5 = exceptional.  

  • Delivery: The presentation was organized and delivered in a clear, engaging, and professional manner.
  • Comprehensibility: The presentation could be understood by an educated but non-expert audience.
  • Significance: The presenter explained the significance of the work, and how the work contributes to broader research on the subject area.
  • Elements: The presenter adequately addressed the project's essential elements (e.g., introduction, literature review, conceptual framework, methods, and analysis).
  • Current status: The presenter effectively illustrated the current status of the project (e.g., results obtained, discussion of findings).
  • Visual aids: The visual aids were appropriate, effectively used, and appealing.

Sample poster evaluation form

Sample oral evaluation form

Graduate Student and Postdoctoral Fellow Evaluators

Graduate students, postdoctoral fellows, research associates, and other volunteers will also be visiting poster presentations and offering feedback to presenters. Evaluators' feedback is intended to supplement that of faculty judges, but is not included when determining category winners. Evaluators should also check-in on the 2nd Floor Concourse at the main information table located outside of the ballroom. Each evaluator will receive a packet of information, including a nametag, list of presenters and abstracts, and directions. Proceed to your assigned location to begin viewing presentations. We have created a survey for your to provide feedback to each student. You will need to enter the students poster number into the on-line survey and will answer a series of questions (see below) about each poster. Please bring a smart phone or tablet to the event. Paper copies are available, but you will need to manually enter the feedback into the survey system. Your feedback will be emailed to students after the event.

This year we are using SignUp.com to organize our evaluator process. Here's how it works in 3 easy steps:

1) Click one of the links below to sign up: 

  1. POSTER Presentations: http://signup.com/go/ONeWWXJ 
  2. ORAL Presentations: http://signup.com/go/GoJiyQT   

2) Review the options listed and choose the section(s) you want to evaluate. We have over 400+ spots available! PLEASE MAKE SURE TO SCROLL BETWEEN PAGES TO SEE ALL SECTIONS. 

3) Sign up! It's Easy - you will NOT need to register an account or keep a password on SignUp.com. Make sure to include your FULL NAME and EMAIL for communication purposes.

Note: SignUp.com does not share your email address with anyone. If you prefer not to use your email address, please contact the Office of Undergraduate Research at ugrsrch@msu.edu and we can sign you up manually.

Evaluators will be compensated with an on-campus meal voucher for the MSU Union Food Court and a free scoop of ice cream at the Dairy Store for their time. If you have questions, please contact the Undergraduate Research Office by email at ugrsrch@msu.edu or by phone at 517-884-4384.