Symposium FAQs

Are submissions to present at the Symposium open yet? What’s the deadline to submit a proposal?

We are no longer accepting proposals for presentation. The deadline was February 14, 2024.

Who is eligible to submit a proposal & present?

For individual proposals, the speaker must be a current member of their college’s Honors Program. For group proposals, the lead presenter must be an Honors Program current member, and all students must be enrolled at the college.

Can I submit more than one proposal?

Yes. Any student can be part of up to two proposals, regardless of whether they are individual or group presentations.

What information should be part of the proposal?
  • Title and 1-sentence description
  • 150-word abstract which summarizes the driving question & results
  • 50-word methodology which details the process used in the research project
  • Up to 5 resources in MLA, APA or Chicago format
  • Associated paper or essay (Optional, though strongly encouraged)

CLICK HERE for complete sample proposals.

For review purposes, you’ll also be asked to identify the academic discipline whose methodology you primarily followed when conducting your research. See below.

Why do you ask me to identify the Academic Discipline whose methodology I followed?

We consider your research with care and assign an expert to review every proposal closely. Because research methods differ from discipline to discipline, it is important that we assign the proper discipline expert to determine whether the steps you took followed best academic practices.  For example, when conducting a statistical survey, there are sampling methods which must be followed to obtain valid results.

To ensure the correct discipline’s research standards are applied to your work, we need you to identify clearly what discipline you are working in. Often it will be the discipline of your mentor professor. Have a conversation with your mentor about this question and CLICK HERE for a more detailed discussion with examples, including how to handle interdisciplinary projects.  

What information should I include in my 150-word abstract?

There are many samples on the Symposium website. Your abstract should summarize the following information with clear, excellent prose:

  • Relevant background information;
  • Your research question;
  • Your results; and
  • What’s interesting, important or relevant about your project.

CLICK HERE for a page with samples and tips.

I’m not sure how to describe my methodology. Any advice?

Use the first-person in this section and explain clearly, step-by-step what you did. CLICK HERE for a detailed explanation with many examples.

Is the selection process competitive?

Yes. In 2023 we received 187 proposals and selected about 90 to present. There are many resources on this site to help you submit a high-quality proposal in the future . CLICK HERE for tips and sample excellent proposals.

Who selects presenters & what process do they use?

A committee made up of honors faculty from diverse colleges and disciplines reviews all the proposals to choose this year’s presenters. These proposals are screened anonymously, meaning that any identifying information was not seen by the selection committee.

Can a team of students present?

Yes. If the project was collaborative, up to three students total can present if selected. The lead presenter must be a current member of the Honors Program, and all students must be enrolled at the college.

When will I know if I’ve been accepted to present at the Symposium?

Applicants and Honors Directors/Coordinators will be notified via email by mid-March of each proposal’s status.

What is the Honors Research Symposium?

The Symposium is a conference featuring California Community College honors student research, keynote speakers, entertainment, campus tours, and admission workshops by our hosting university. It typically occurs in late April or early May and alternates between Stanford University and the University of California, Berkeley.

Where and when are upcoming Symposia?

The next Symposium is May 4, 2024, hosted by Stanford University. In 2025, we’ll be back at UC Berkeley.

Who can present at the Symposium?

Any student who is a member of their California Community College Honors Program during the 2023-24 academic year may present. If the student has transferred to another college/university before the Spring 2024 term, they may not present at the Symposium.

What kind of research projects are eligible to be presented?

The research can be in any academic discipline, but the project should have been done at the student’s community college between the Spring 2023 term and the Spring 2024 term. This means that a primary mentor for the project was a faculty member at the community college, or that the project was done for a class or activity sponsored by the community college. If the project was not done at the community college, or under the mentorship of a community college professor, it may not be presented at the Symposium.

How can I present my research at the Symposium?

Eligible students who want to present must submit a proposal by February 14, 2024 to be considered as a presenter. A committee of California community college faculty select the most promising proposals and invite these students to present.

What is the format for my presentation?

If chosen to present, you will give a 15-minute talk at the Symposium followed by a 5-minute question & answer period. Typically you will be grouped with two additional proposals in a session which will last about an hour long. CLICK HERE to see the program from 2023 to get a good idea how the day works.

Who can attend the Symposium?

Most attendees are community college honors students, faculty and employees. However, anyone may register and attend including family and friends of student presenters.

What is the schedule for the day?

Details for 2024 have yet to be determined. In 2023, the Symposium began at 10am. CLICK HERE for the 2023 schedule. Or, CLICK HERE for the 2023 Program.

Does the Symposium have prizes?

Yes. There are three prizes: The Heslet Scholar Award, the Katharine Award and the Klaschus Honors Faculty of the Year Award. CLICK HERE for details.

What does the $35 registration fee include?

The registration fee grants entry to all Symposium events and includes a delicious lunch, a Symposium tote bag and all Symposium materials including the program and a Stanford folder.

Can I attend the Symposium just to watch presentations?

Absolutely. In a typical year we have around 90 presenters, and 200-250 additional attendees who enjoy watching all the great presentations.

I have a question. Who can help me?

General Symposium Questions: Professor Jennifer Saito, Symposium Chair, Los Medanos College, (

General Proposal Questions: Professor Eva Mo, Modesto Junior College, (

Specific Questions about Writing Your Proposal: Your Honors Director/Coordinator