Graduate Student Symposium


The seventh annual Graduate Student Symposium will be held in the Wilson Library Reading room on May 10th from 9am-5pm. The symposium’s aim is to provide an opportunity for Western's graduate students to share their scholarship and creative projects with their cohorts, the broader Western community and the public. Graduate students from all departments are encouraged to present through a variety of mediums, including oral and poster presentations, with an option to participate in the Lightning Session.

Oral Presentations: Oral presenters will be allotted 10 minute time slots, with an additional 5 minutes for questions and transition.

Poster Presentations: Posters will be displayed throughout the day; however, a designated poster session will take place from 12:00 to 2:00pm allowing attendees to view displays and interact with student presenters. Presenters may opt in to have their poster judged for a prize competition - judges' criteria will be made available in advance.

The Lightning Session: Similar to the popular Three-Minute Thesis competition, this presentation format challenges participants to present their research, scholarship and creative projects in just 180 seconds, and in an engaging format that can be understood by an intelligent audience with no background in the presenter’s field of interest. Presenters should be prepared to address the questions and motivations framing their academic interests with the goal of provoking conversations that matter. This exercise develops presentation skills and supports the development of the grad student’s capacity to explain their scholarship effectively and creatively. The Lightning Session is subject to the following rules and judging criteria:

  • A single static PowerPoint slide is permitted. No slide transitions, animations or 'movement' of any description are allowed. The slide is to be presented from the beginning of the oration.
  • Presentations are limited to 3 minutes maximum. Competitors exceeding 3 minutes will be penalized.
  • Communication; Comprehension; Engagement

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Browse the contents of Graduate Student Symposium:

Poster Presentations
Oral Presentations
Lightning Sessions