Graduate Academic Conference

COGS GAC 2021 Poster save the date Small

The 13th Annual Graduate Academic Conference

Virtual Event, February 20, 2021

Abstract Submission is now closed. If you missed the deadline, but still wish to present, please email us:   This conference provides a great opportunity to fine-tune your presentation skills and gain valuable insight on how to communicate your research to a generalized audience.  You’ll receive feedback on your poster or oral presentation from a slate of adjudicators and the winner of the Three-Minute Thesis (3MT) Competition qualifies to go on to the regional competition. The top three winners in each category — oral, poster, 3MT— will each be awarded prizes of $300, $200, and $100 respectively. (*Must be an enrolled MSU graduate or professional student to qualify for cash prizes and 3MT advancement.)

The keynote speaker and the workshops will engage graduate students in rich discussion about how to better prepare themselves for the future and to discuss their research in productive manners in policy and to the general public.

This year will be an entirely virtual event that will be hosted through the Whova platform. You will be able to interact with presenters and watch the presentations via your computer or mobile device! The service will have an agenda for the day that you can interact with to navigate to the many wonderful presentations happening throughout the day! We look forward to you attending and presenting at this first ever fully online GAC!

2021 Keynote Speaker: Provost Teresa K. Woodruff

Our 2021 Workshops: Workshop topics include –  Grant Writing,  hosted by the writing center and WRAC, and Resources for Stress Management and Resilience.

Anyone is welcome to attend a workshop, keynote event and watch our student presentations! Please see Registration tab below to register.

Have a question? Please send us an email:

Abstract Submission/Registration (click/tap to open section)

The 13th Annual Graduate Academic Conference will take place on Saturday, February 20, 2021 on Whova. 9:00 am – 6 pm 

“Graduate Students: Together in Turbulent Times”

Our 2021 Room Themes: Growing Knowledge, Healthy Societies, Innovation and Mobility, and Sustainability

Abstract submission is now closed. If you missed the January 15th deadline, but are still interested in presenting, please email us:

Abstract Submission Form

Advisor Consent Form

All those presenting are asked to pay a $5 presenter fee. If payment is not received by the day before the conference you will not be able to take home any winnings. Please pay the presenter fee here.


Even if you are NOT presenting, you are welcome to attend the conference to watch your peers’ presentations, attend a workshop and see our Keynote event! There is no charge for any of the events. Please register below to choose your workshop preference.

Registration Form

Important Information for Speakers and Presenters (click/tap to open section)

To pay abstract fee please follow this link:

Abstract Payment

Oral Presenters:

  • Arrive 10 minutes early to your time slot for your presentation.
  • Send PowerPoint for Oral Presentation to committee prior to the day of the conference.
  • We will provide a walk through prior to the event. Check back for date of workshop for presenters.
  • Oral Presentation is 10 minutes of presentation time and a 5-minute period for questions.
  • Oral Presentation Rubric

Poster Presenters:

  • Posters can be sent to the committee as a PDF for uploading to the conference platform.
  • A Zoom link will need to be provided for your presentation.
  • We will provide a walk through prior to the event. Check back for date of workshop for presenters.
  • A typical poster size is either 32″ x 40″ or 36″ x 48″ . That said, there is no poster size requirement.
  • Either portrait or landscape orientation is acceptable.
  • Poster Presentation Rubric

3MT Presenters:

  • Arrive 10 minutes early to your time slot for your presentation.
  • We will provide a time count down and a walk through prior to the event.
  • We will provide a walk through prior to the event. Check back for date of workshop for presenters.
  • Rules for 3MT follow the same format as the University of Queensland here .
  • 3MT Presentation Rubric

Room Themes

Global Innovation

This session focuses on research at the cutting-edge of its respective field with the potential to alter the global landscape as we know it with research in, but not limited to, biomedical, engineering, medicine, chemistry, and social sciences.

Growing Knowledge

This session focuses on how scientists, either social or natural, gather knowledge including, but not limited to, research done from the colleges of Social Science, Engineering, Natural Science, Law, Medicine, and Arts and Literature.

Healthy Societies

This session is targeted towards research areas that deal with understanding and improving the human experience, including, but not limited to, research from the colleges of Engineering, Social Science, Communication, Arts and Literature, Music, Nursing, and Medicine


This session is targeted at research that will guide us through an uncertain future, bridging the knowledge from, but not limited to, research on climate change, the environment, food and water, energy and business.

Keynote Speaker (click/tap to open section)

Keynote Speaker : Provost Teresa K. Woodruff

Teresa K. Woodruff, Ph.D. serves as Michigan State University’s Provost and Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs. As the chief academic officer for Michigan State University, Provost Woodruff provides leadership for matters that affect academic programs, research, and outreach involving faculty, students, and staff. She oversees the quality of instruction and research at the University through collaborative work with deans, departmental chairs, and other vice presidents, addressing issues such as effective planning, good management, and program reviews.

Full bio here

Conference Workshops (click/tap to open section)

Conference Workshops

TIME: 9:30 AM to 11:00 AM EST.

Please indicate which workshop you would like to attend in your GAC Registration Form

1.Things You Can Do Today to Cope with Stress and Pandemic Fatigue: Well-being Skills and Resources

Presented by Meg Moore-

2. Grant Writing

Presented by The Writing Center and WRAC

Important Information for Judges (click/tap to open section)

  • You will receive an email with all the day of details that you will need.
  • The conference will be hosted on the platform. Information to come.
  • We will have a few sessions prior to the conference to go over responsibilities for the conference and to help with any concerns about the technology that will be involved. Please check back for technology session information.
  • Session times listed below
  • To view the rubrics before the conference, download them here
  • Thank you for your service!

Poster Resources at MSU (click/tap to open section)


Poster Printing

While this year is a totally virtual conference you still may want to print your poster out for other conferences or for your lab or your home! If you are having any difficulties we wanted to provide you with some helpful information!

Having trouble designing your poster? Follow this link to a cool new poster presentation called the Better Poster! 

Here are some additional links to youtube videos about poster design and how to make a poster in PowerPoint.

How to Create a Better Research Poster in Less Time

Mike Morrison on Better Posters

How to Use Science to Make Your Scientific Poster More Powerful

How to Make an Academic Poster in PowerPoint

Don’t know where to get your poster printed? Look into your department first to see if there is a place to print posters. If not, there is a poster printer in the library that can help! Below is a little bit of information that may be helpful for you as well!

How much does it cost for a poster?

  • Full Ink Coverage (Color or Black): $6.00 per linear foot
  • 25% Ink Coverage (Color or Black): $3.60 per linear foot
  • Line drawing (Black or Color) : $1.80 per linear foot
  • Premium Paper is available for an additional $2.40 per linear foot.

Who may use this service?

  • The poster printing service is only available to MSU Students and Faculty/Staff. You must have a valid MSU NetID to log into computers that support the software needed to send a poster.

What is 3MT? (click/tap to open section)

What is 3MT?

 Three Minute Thesis (3MT®) celebrates the exciting research conducted by PhD students around the world. Developed by The University of Queensland (UQ), the competition cultivates students’ academic, presentation, and research communication skills. Presenting in a 3MT competition increases their capacity to effectively explain their research in three minutes, in a language appropriate to a non-specialist audience. Competitors are allowed one PowerPoint slide, but no other resources or props.  The winner of MSU’s 3MT competition will have the opportunity to compete at the Midwestern Association of Graduate Schools (MAGS) 3MT in April 2020. Students must be enrolled during the Spring 2020 semester to compete. Please click on the LINK below for more information.  You may also visit for more information on 3MT.

Previous Conferences (click/tap to open section)

2020 Conference Details

The 2020 GAC Conference was such a huge success that we just want to say thanks to everyone who came out to the 12th annual Graduate Academic Conference on February 22, 2020. Congratulations to all of our winners and thank you again to our amazing Keynote Speaker and Workshop leaders! Without you this conference would not have been the success it was! This conference led to some amazing participants and we are proud to award the following students with awards in each of the categories listed below. We hope to see you at the 2021 GAC!

Poster Presentations:

1st Place: Katayoon Maghami

2nd Place: Vinai Reddy

3rd Place: Brianna Alred

 Oral Presentations:

1st Place: Amelia Stieren

2nd Place: Vanessa Maldonado

3rd Place: Skye Russell

3MT Competition:

1st Place: Syeda Anum Hadi

2nd Place: Xinyu Tu

3rd Place: Dhrubajit Chowdhury

Thank you to all who volunteered, judged, attended, presented, and planned our 12th Annual GAC! See below for pictures of the event.

2020 GAC Program

2019 Conference Details

During the 2019 GAC we had many presenters and participants and we just want to say thanks to everyone who came out to the 11th Annual Graduate Academic Conference on February 16, 2019 and congratulations to all of our presenters. Without you this conference would not have been the success it was! This year we were proud to award the following students with awards in each of the categories below. We hope to see you this February as well!!

Poster Presentations:

1st:  Azrina Azrina with the presentation titled ‘Salmonella typhimurium: Specific Signatures as Targets for Detection by Using DNA Aptamer in Foods and Enviroments’.

2nd: Albert Jiao with the presentation titled ‘Reversal of Cancer Gene Expression Predicts drug Candidates for Cholangiocarcinoma’.

3rd: Saba Manzoor with the presentation titled ‘Effects of seasonal variations on distribution patterns of Common Myna (Acridotheres tristis) in rural and urban zones of Central Punjab, Pakistan’.

Oral Presentations:

1st: Kellie Walters with a presentation titled ‘Temperature and daily light integral influence growth and development of sweet basil’

2nd: Matthew Swiatnicki with a presentation titled ‘Whole genome sequencing of mouse mammary tumors reveals a Ptprh mutation with potential importance to non-small cell lung cancer’

3rd: Lauren Kiryakoza with a presentation titled ‘Concerted transcriptomic and lipidomic analysis highlights altered lipid metabolism in humane diabetic retinopathy, particulary in phosphatidylcholine and diacylglycerol generative pathways’

3MT Competition:

1st: Azrina Azrina with a presentation titled ‘Salmonella typhimurium: Specific Signatures as Targets for Detection by Using DNA Aptamer in Food and Environments’

2nd: Pretap Bhanu Solanski with a presentation titled ‘Staying Connected in the Underwater Realm via Light’

3rd: Tyler Derr with a presentation titled ‘Multi-Factor Congressional Vote Prediction’

Please see here for article  – The State News

2019 GAC Photo Gallery

2018 GAC Photo Gallery