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Mid-Atlantic Regional Conference of Undergraduate Scholarship (MARCUS)

logo Marcus at Randolph College

The 22nd Annual Mid-Atlantic Regional Conference of Undergraduate Scholarship (MARCUS) will take place on Saturday, October 24, 2020 virtually, hosted by Randolph College. MARCUS is a presentation venue for undergraduate scholarship in all disciplines.

MARCUS was founded and hosted by Sweet Briar College from 1999-2018.  Randolph College served as host in 2015, and has hosted since 2019.

Virtual Presentation Guidelines

We will have three types of presentations, and all presentations will be available for viewing the day before the conference. All presentations will be asynchronous: we will post presentations to be…On the day of the conference, the presentations will be open for questions, and you should plan on being available… The types are poster, oral presentation, or elevator speech. Each should be submitted as a video, guidance on that is below.

Poster Presentations: A standard poster is a single visual, typically between 3-5 feet on a side, with a minimum of 24 point font. Since these are virtual, we do not need to worry about space, and you can choose the size and aspect ratio that suits you. You must include a 3-5 minute oral description of your project (maximum limit, 10 minutes). You should record this description while showing your poster, as a video, using one of the methods described below, or using your own, favorite video creation tool. The benefit of recording your poster as a video is that you can highlight or mouse over the section you might be discussing, or you can zoom in and out on the poster within the video editing software while you discuss various aspects. If you have technical difficulties in creating a video, you may submit a high-resolution image of your poster and a voice recording separately if you must. A separate voice recording can easily be done using the voice recorder app on a smart phone, and that audio file can be saved and shared. Please be sure to read the technical details below on recording videos.

Oral Presentations:  Oral presentations are limited to 12 minutes in length. They should have visuals synchronized with audio, submitted as a video: typically a narrated slide presentation, but can be a reading, a monologue, or whatever format your academic field favors. Most typically, slide presentations can be recorded directly in PowerPoint, if you have access to that, but you are not required to use PowerPoint. Please be sure to read the technical details below on recording videos.

Elevator Speech: This is your chance to describe your research to a general audience. Since the MARCUS  conference has always been an academic conference for all fields, the typical academic forms of presentation, above, have been presentations that you might also bring to a field-specific conference (while we hope that you tailor it somewhat for the audience you expect at MARCUS). To that end, it is more likely in that a chemist will go to see a chemistry presentation than a history presentation, and a historian might be more likely to look for the history presentations. We would like to challenge the speakers and the audience to break out of their boxes, and listen to and understand each other’s work: For the elevator speech, we ask the presenter to describe your research so that anyone can understand it, and in a most engaging way. You do not have to – probably should not – conform to your field’s typical way of presenting research. It is definitely not the case that we could not go to each other’s poster and oral presentations and understand the research – we do – but here we are giving you the opportunity to do something different, and draw people in. The elevator speech is no more than 5 minutes, and can use visuals in either the same way as the poster or the oral presentation, or it can simply be a video of yourself discussing your research, as if you just met someone on an elevator. That video could simply be taken with the video app in a smart phone.

Technical Details: You are not limited to any particular software, format, or platform, but you should submit a video as described above, that will play on YouTube (most any video format will play on YouTube). You will be asked to submit your video to a shared Google Drive folder and it will be uploaded to YouTube, or if you have a YouTube account, you can simply submit a YouTube link via email. The MARCUS presentations will be presented on the MARCUS website, only using YouTube as the platform that hosts the presentations. Some suggested ways of creating a video are to use a screen-casting software such as Screencastomatic or Snagit, which are very inexpensive, or might have free or trial versions. Screen-casting software is typically pretty easy to use, and allows you to record yourself speaking over what you are showing on your screen, and then allows you to save it as a video file. If you have access to PowerPoint, you can record your video directly in PowerPoint, whether it is a poster or slide presentation. If you have never recorded in PowerPoint, please see the short video here to get you started [need to add link]. If possible, please record your presentation in a space with little or no ambient noise, and use an external microphone – it really improves audio quality; if you have a smartphone, the earbuds that come with your phone typically have a reasonable microphone. Please contact with questions.

Dates and Deadlines

  • Early Bird Registration Deadline (registration is only needed for presenters): 5 pm, Friday, October 9, 2020
  • Regular Registration Deadline (registration is only needed for presenters): 5 pm, Friday, October 16, 2020
  • Presentation Submission Deadline (for all registered presenters): 11:59 pm, Sunday, October 18, 2020
  • Presentations will be available for viewing by the public: 9 am, Friday, October 23, 2020
  • Presentations will be open for questions and responses: 10 am until 2 pm, Saturday, October 24, 2020
  • Presentations will no longer be available for viewing: 5 pm, Friday, October 30, 2020


The 2020 program will be posted after registration closes in October, and participants will be notified when it is posted.
You can access a PDF of the 2019 conference program at here.
Past Proceedings are archived from 1999-2019, and can be accessed here.

Registration and Cost

Only presenters need to register, guests can access content freely. Each paid registrant will be mailed an item of MARCUS memorabilia that is yet to be determined (e.g. water bottle). Commemorative conference t-shirts are available for $14, and must be pre-ordered during the registration process.

–Early Bird Registration (until 5 pm, 10/9) requires a payment of $5, and you may submit as many as two presentations with you as first author. Each additional presentation with you as first author costs an additional $5. A different first author requires a unique registration.

–Regular Registration (from 5 pm 10/9 until 5 pm 10/16) requires a payment of $10, and you may submit as many as two presentations with you as first author. Each additional presentation with you as first author costs an additional $10. A different first author requires a unique registration.

Presenters should register, submit abstracts, and pay at There is also the option to register without paying if your college or department is going to pay in bulk for student registrants.


Luisa Carrera, Administrative Coordinator
Center for Student Research
Randolph College
2500 Rivermont Ave
Lynchburg, VA  24503

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