2022 CSUF/CSU Student Research Competition (SRC)

The CSUF Student Research Competition (SRC) promotes excellence in undergraduate and graduate scholarly research and creative activity by recognizing outstanding student accomplishments throughout the 23 campuses of the California State University system. It is open to CSUF undergraduate and graduate students from all disciplines - this means you!


The competition consists of two phases:
1) CSUF competition: CSUF undergraduate and graduate students from all majors submit an application and written summary of their project and upload an eight-minute video presentation by noon on Feb. 25, 2022.
2) CSU system-wide competition: up to ten presentations from the CSUF competition will be selected to represent the university at the event, hosted this year by San Francisco State University, April 29 - 30, 2022.



The CSUF Office of Research and Sponsored Projects (ORSP) will award $100 for each of the 10 finalists who advance to the CSU system-wide competition. Additionally, the system-wide competition usually awards a cash prize to first and second-place winners in each of the sessions.

Eligibility: Undergraduates & Graduates - ALL majors

Presentations from all majors are invited. Undergraduate or graduate students enrolled at CSUF currently, as well as alumni who received their degrees in spring, summer, or fall 2021 are eligible. Research presented should be appropriate to the student's discipline and career goals (proprietary research is excluded). Applicants in the arts are strongly encouraged to apply and may present an audio and/or visual recording of a performance or a work they created; the oral presentation should focus on the historical context and artistic antecedents of the project. Multiple CSUF arts students have advanced to the systemwide competition. If you have any questions, reach out to us at scar@fullerton.edu.
Student teams are welcome to apply but cannot exceed two students. Both students must participate in the 8-minute recorded oral presentation.

SRC Zoom Workshop Information - Fun and Helpful! 

There will be three workshops to help you prepare the written summary and a winning PowerPoint presentation. You are strongly encouraged to attend one of them. Register for any of the workshops by clicking on a date below:
  • Monday, December 6, 2021, 2:30-3:30 pm
  • Wednesday, February 2, 2022, Noon-1:00 pm
  • Tuesday, February 8, 2022, 4:00-5:00 pm

Application, Written Summary, and Presentation Directions: Deadline Noon, February 25, 2022

Submit the SRC Application & Written Summary and the Zoom Recorded 8-Minute Presentation by noon, February 25, 2022 to the CSUF Student Research Competition 2022 DropboxOpens in new window (see below for more information about preparing the written summary and video).
Save the SRC Application and Written Summary as “Your last name SRC 2022 APPSUM.docx” and the SRC 8-minute recording as “Your last name SRC 2022 RECORD.” Student teams: include each team member’s last name in the "saved as" document title.

1. SRC Application

The SRC Application asks for basic information about you, your project (e.g., title, brief synposis), department, major, advisor (if applicable), etc., and the category to which you are submitting.

2. SRC Written Summary 

A. The SRC Written Summary is a description of your research/creative activity, not to exceed five pages. It is the last component in the SRC application. The written summary details: 
1) The purpose of your project. Clearly describe the problem or aim of this project. Why this project? What were the objectives?
2) How your project fits in your major or discipline (cite previous studies or locate your creative work in relation to its artistic antecedents)
3) The methods you used to test, assess or analyze your project; or artistic mediums you used to create your work
4) Your research findings or artistic results
5) A discussion of why the findings/results are meaningful (e.g., Why does this project matter?)
6) Practical applications or artistic breakthroughs (important component!)
B. The format of the written summaries will vary based upon your discipline, but must follow these guidelines:
1) Include title and name(s) of the student(s) who are applying to the SRC
2) Do not exceed five doubled-spaced pages
3) Use 12-point font and one-inch margins all around
4) Appendices (e.g., bibliography, graphs, photographs, or other supplementary materials) do not exceed three pages
5) Research using human or animal subjects must have appropriate institutional review approval (include IRB/IACUC number)

 3. 8-Minute Zoom Recorded Presentation

Record yourself on Zoom presenting your research/creative activity using PowerPoint (or a similar software program) and aim to memorize your presentation (to the best of your ability at this stage - don't stress if it's not fully memorized). You may use note cards to aid in your presentation at the CSUF competition level, but not if you advance to the statewide competition. Use the structure of the written summary to shape your oral presentation. Semi-finalists will be asked to schedule a brief Zoom meeting to take questions (this simulates the question-and-answer session at the systemwide SRC when students answer questions from judges for five minutes). Q&A times are listed in the SRC APPSUM. Please select all the times for which you are available.
Preparing your recorded presentation:
A. General presentation guidelines
1. In the Zoom recording, make sure your face is visible along with your PPT screen share. You may want to practice by having someone else record your presentation. But don't worry if you don't get it perfect at this point!
2. Speak to a general audience and define key terms that someone outside of your discipline may not know. Clearly articulate your ideas.
3. Make your slides easy to follow: do not include too much text or too small text (aim to keep the font larger than 22 point)
4. Represent ideas with pictures, graphs and/or charts when possible (so you do not only have text on all your slides)
5. Avoid reading from your slides. Keep information on the slides minimal and speak to the audience (talk around the information on the slide)
6. Rehearse your presentation multiple times to stay within the 8-minute limit. You may need to record more than once, so leave time for a few practice recordings. If you go a bit over 8 minutes, don't worry at this stage.
B. Particular presentation guidelines for research projects and creative projects
1. Presentation Structure for Research Projects
a. State your name, class standing (undergraduate/graduate), and field of study (include this information on your first slide, along with your project title). Include your name, major, grade level, and project title on your first slide
b. State your topic or project focus
c. Provide a general background on your topic and describe how your project fits into your field/discipline
d. Explain your objectives or research questions
e. Describe your methods or artistic medium(s)
f. Describe key findings or project results. If you have multiple small findings, provide a general summary of findings
g. Explain why the findings or creation are important and how they can be applied to your field (e.g., Can your project results help in the prevention of disease? Do your findings help better educate children?)
2. Presentation Structure for Creative Activities
a. State your name, class standing (undergraduate/graduate), and field of study (include this information on your first slide, along with your project title). Include your name, major, grade level, and project title on your first slide
b. State your topic or project focus – include a visual representation of the work (via images or videos), and provide a rationale for your topic (why this performance, piece, or art project?)
c. Provide a general background on your topic and describe how your project fits into your field/discipline (the historical context)
d. Explain your objectives or artistic/creative aims
e. Describe your methods or artistic medium(s)
f. Explain why the findings or creation are important and how this piece matters to your particular art discipline. (e.g., Does your choreography push past disciplinary obstacles? Does your drawing challenge conventional notions?)

SRC Judge and Presentation Evaluation Criteria

You will be judged on the following criteria (at the CSUF and CSU system-wide competition):
-   Clarity of purpose of research or creative activity
-   Appropriateness of methodology
Interpretation of results
-   Value of the research or creative activity 
- Ability of the presenter to articulate the research or creative activity
-   Organization of the material presented 
- Presenter’s ability to handle questions from the jury and general audience
Judges at the CSU system-wide competition will be from students’ general academic or professional disciplines, but they may not be familiar with your specific area of study. For example, civil engineering students may be judged by mechanical and electrical engineers. 
Undergraduate and graduate students compete together at the CSUF competition, but separately at the CSU system-wide competition (unless there are too few students competing in one of the 10 categories, below). At the CSU system-wide competition, students will compete in one of the following categories:
-   Behavioral and Social Sciences
-   Biological and Agricultural Sciences
-   Business, Economics, and Public Administration
-   Creative Arts and Design
-   Education
-   Engineering and Computer Science
-   Health, Nutrition, and Clinical Sciences
-   Humanities and Letters
-   Physical and Mathematical Sciences
-   Interdisciplinary
Contact Information
Please contact Dr. Terri Patchen, Faculty Fellow for Student Creative Activities and Research (SCAR) with any questions, at SCAR@fullerton.edu.


2021 Student Research Competition Winners

Check out CSUF News: Student Researchers Earn Top Honors at Statewide CompetitionOpens in new window

Creative Arts and Design, Graduate
1st Place: Sierra Farquhar-Wulff, Music
Title: Gender Discrimination in the Choral Conducting Profession
Faculty Mentor: Dr. Rob Istad

Behavioral, Social Sciences, and Public Administration, Undergraduate
1st Place: Alexa Vega Rivas, Psychology
Title: How Do the Effects of Trump’s Immigration Policies Influence White and Latino Support for the American Dream?
Faculty Mentor: Dr. Ella Ben Hagai

Biological and Agricultural Sciences, Undergraduate
2nd Place: Kathryn Eckholdt, Biological Science - Ecology and Evolutionary Biology
Title: Talking Trash: Will a Trash Interceptor in Newport Bay, CA Intercept Wrack Subsidies, Too?
Faculty Mentor: Dr. Danielle Zacherl

Biological and Agricultural Sciences, Undergraduate
2nd Place: Makar Makarian, Chemistry
Title: Microwave-Assisted Synthesis and Kinetic Studies of Donepezil-Based Acetylcholinesterase Inhibitors for the Treatment of Alzheimer's Disease
Faculty Mentor: Dr. Stevan Pecic

2020 Student Research Competition Winners

 Biological and Agricultural Sciences, Undergraduate
2nd Place:   Elizabeth Hitch, Biological Science
Title:   Determining the Role of Linker Regions in Polypyrimidine Tract Binding Protein 2 Neuronal Splicing Regulation
Faculty Mentor: Dr. Niroshika Keppetipola

Biological and Agricultural Sciences, Graduate
2nd Place:   Amber Myers, Biological Science
Title:   Characterizing the Source and Function of Lipid Droplet Accumulation in Fly Macrophages
Faculty Mentor: Dr. Catherine Brennan

Biological and Agricultural Sciences, Graduate
2nd Place:   Larissa Smulders, Biological Science
Title:   Boosting Cancer Therapy by Blocking a Protein's Travel to the Cell Surface
Faculty Mentor: Dr. Nikolas Nikolaidis

Behavioral and Social Sciences, Graduate
2nd Place:   Dylan Serpas, Psychology
Title:   Group Cognitive Rehabilitation for Community-Dwelling Survivors of Traumatic Brain Injury
Faculty Mentor: Daniel Ignacio

2019 Student Research Competition Winners

Behavioral and Social Sciences, Undergraduate
2nd place: Jessica Barragan and Kendra Paquette, Psychology
Title: When a Perpetrator Wears a Disguise: Which Lineup is Best to Test Eyewitness Memory
Faculty Mentor: Dr. Iris Blandón-Gitlin

Biological and Agricultural Sciences, Graduate
1st place: Evelyn Bond, Biology
Title: The Role of Genital Papillas in the Reproductive Biology of Male Surfperches (Embiotocidae; Teleostei)
Faculty Mentor: Dr. Kristy Forsgren

Engineering and Computer Science, Graduate
1st place: Thilakraj Shivakumar, Mechanical Engineering
Title: The Effects of Process Parameters on Mechanical Properties in Liquid Holographic Volumetric Additive Manufacturing Process
Faculty Mentor: Dr. Sagil James

2018 Student Research Competition Winners

Finance, Undergraduate
2nd place: Marcel Jacquot, Finance
Title: All Talk or Some Walk: The Relationship Between Stock Movements and Investor Attention on a Social Media Platform
Faculty Mentor: Dr. Arsenio Staer

Mechanical Engineering, Graduate  
2nd place: Vivek Anand Menon, Mechanical Engineering
Title: Molecular Dynamics Simulation Study of Liquid-Assisted Laser Beam Machining Process
Faculty Mentor: Dr. Sagil James

2017 Student Research Competition Winners

Biological and Agricultural Sciences, Graduate
1st place: Raj Divi, Biological Science
Title: Biomimetic Models Reveal Vortical Filtration Mechanics of Filter Feeding Mobulid Rays
Faculty mentor: Dr. Misty Paig-Tran

Humanities and Letters, Graduate
1st place: Nick Gomez, Music
Title: Ornette Coleman in 1959: Redefining the Form and Function of Jazz
Faculty mentor: Dr. John Koegel

Physical and Mathematical Sciences, Undergraduate
1st place: Stacy Guzman, Chemistry and Biochemistry
Title: Small-molecule Inhibitors of Wnt Signaling Pathway: Towards Novel Anticancer Therapeutics
Faculty mentor: Dr. Peter de Lijser

Physical and Mathematical Sciences, Undergraduate
1st place: Trini Nguyen, Mathematics
Title: Mathematical Model to Detect Dry-Eye Diseases
Faculty mentor: Dr. Charles H. Lee

Engineering and Computer Sciences, Graduate
1st place: Mayur Parmar, Mechanical Engineering
Title: Experimental Study on Liquid-assisted Laser Beam Micro-Machining of Smart Materials
Faculty mentor: Dr. Sagil James

2016 Student Research Competition Winners

Humanities and Letters, Graduate
1st place: Joris Hoogsteder, Music
Title: Musical Innovation in Early Videogames: Super Mario Bros.
Faculty Mentor: Dr. John Koegel

Biological and Agricultural Sciences, Undergraduate
1st place: Robert Jordan Ontiveros,  Biological Science
Title: Identification and Structural Characterization of a Minimal Functional Splicing Regulator, Polypyrimidine Tract Binding Protein 1
Faculty Mentor: Dr. Niroshika Keppetipola

Engineering and Computer Science, Graduate
1st place: Shawn Ricardo, Computer Science
Title:    Low Cost, Real-Time, LIDAR Based Obstacle Avoidance for Mobile Robots
Faculty Mentor: Dr. Donna Bein

Engineering and Computer Science, Graduate
2nd place:  Hussein Al-barazanchi , Computer Science
Title: Plankton Image Classification using Hybrid-CNN to Monitor Changes in Marine Ecosystems
Faculty Mentor: Abhishek Verma

2015 Student Research Competition Winners

Biological and Agricultural Sciences, Undergraduate
1st place: Kyle Hess, Biological Science
Title: Decoding the Human Cellular Stress Response, One Mutation at a Time
Faculty Mentor: Dr. Nikolas Nikolaidis

Physical and Mathematical Sciences, Undergraduate
2nd place: Brenna Biggs, Chemistry
Title: An Alternative Energy Device to Convert Carbon Dioxide to Power
Faculty Mentor: Dr. John Haan

Behavioral and Social Sciences, Graduate
2nd place: April Nakagawa, Environmental Studies
Title: Intersexual Conflict: Infanticide and Spontaneous Abortions as Reproductive Strategies Among a Wild Population of Gelada Monkeys at Guassa, Ethiopia
Faculty Mentor: Dr. Nga Nguyen

2014 Student Research Competition Winners

Biological and Social Sciences, Graduate
1st place: Daniel Ignacio, M.S. Clinical Psychology
Title: The Effects of Music and Auditory Affective Priming on Cognition
Faculty mentor: Dr. David Gerkens

Biological and Agricultural Sciences, Graduate
1st place: Jessica Valadez, M.S. Biology
Title: Analysis of the Transcriptional Activation and Post-Transcriptional Regulation of Transient Receptor Potential Mucolpin-2 (Trpml2) Gene
Faculty Mentor: Dr. Math Cuajungco

Biological and Agricultural Sciences, Undergraduate
2nd place: Jennifer Spencer, B.S. Biological Science
Title: Investigating Defense Responses of Nicotiana Benthamiana involving the 14-3-3 gene family using virus-induced gene silencing (VIGS)
Faculty mentor: Dr. Melanie Sacco

Business, Economics, and Public Administration, Combined Undergraduate & Graduate
1st place: Brooke Sullivan, B.S. Business Administration
Title: Community Issues in American Metropolitan Cities: A Data Mining Case Study
Faculty mentor: Dr. Sinjini Mitra

Health, Nutrition, and Clinical Sciences, Graduate
1st place: Kevin Valenzuela, M.S. Kinesiology
Title: Effect of Foot Rotation during Running on Knee Moments and Lateral-medial Shear Force
Faculty mentor: Dr. Scott Lynn

Engineering and Computer Science, Graduate
2nd place: Quang Tran, M.S. Civil and Environmental Engineering
Title: Investigation of Durability of High Performance Concrete by Measuring Electrical Resistivity using two different non-destructive instruments
Faculty mentor: Dr. Pratanu Ghosh