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USM LSAMP 2021 Research Symposium

About The USM LSAMP 2021 Research Symposium

The USM LSAMP Research Symposium will be virtual this year! Due to COVID-19, we have decided to change the format of our symposium from in-person to virtual. We are extremely dedicated to offering the same opportunities that we have had in the past.

This annual event will provide  students with the opportunity to both view and present research through poster and oral presentations, while also enhancing their scientific development and STEM identity. Registrants will participate in the Graduate School and Resource Exhibitor Fair and network with graduate schools, summer research opportunities, research and graduate school funding, and more! This research symposium focuses on supporting students in the science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) fields.

This symposium is supported by the Louis Stokes Alliances for Minority Participation (LSAMP), funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF).

Event Details

This year's symposium will be a week-long event, starting with the Research Presentation Fest on Monday, February 1, 2021 with  and ending with with a 2-day live event on February 5 & 6, 2021.

Event Site

February 1st - February 4th : Research Presentation Fest

Prior to the start of the event, students will submit narrated presentations of their research. Student poster and slide presentations will be made available for viewing and feedback only for participants who pre-register.

February 5th: Live Research Symposium Day 1*

February 6th : Live Research Symposium Day 2*

Visitor's Guide


Throughout the event, virtual attendees can post written or recorded comments and questions to the USM LSAMP 2021 Research Symposium VoiceThreads and student researchers will be able to respond and receive feedback.

Tell Me

 How to find and view presentations
Follow these steps to find and view presentations:
  1. Go to the USM LSAMP 2021 Research Symposium presenters page (link coming soon). An account is not required to view presentations.
  2. Select a presentation. An icon () will indicate if it is available in VoiceThread.
  3. The link will open a new window.
  4. Click the play button from a student presentation.
  5. Use the arrows at the bottom of the page to navigate through the slides if there is more than one.

 How to ask a question or post feedback
  1. Go to the USM LSMAMP 2021 Research Fest Symposium presenters page (link coming soon).
  2. Select a presentation. An icon () will indicate if it is available in VoiceThread.
  3. The link will open a new window.
  4. Click the play button from a student presentation.
  5. Use the arrows at the bottom of the page to navigate through the slides if there is more than one.
  6. Click on the + icon at the bottom of the slide to post a comment (requires UMBC account).
  7. After your audio narration is reviewed and uploaded, click Save.
  8. For visitors without a UMBC email account, in order to post a comment on a VoiceThread, you will first need to create a free non-UMBC VoiceThread account at https://voicethread.com. Then, return to the Symposium to comment.

Student Presenters


A key component to research is presenting and sharing the findings with the scientific community. The USM LSAMP 2021 Research Symposium provides student researchers with the opportunity to use VoiceThread to present and give narrated presentations of their research.

Tell Me

 Student presenters with UMBC credentials, click here for more information

There are 3 key steps for students to participate in the USM LSAMP 2021 Research Symposium (expand each section below to review the steps):


 Step 1: Create Your VoiceThread
  1. Log into VoiceThread. Use Chrome for the best experience.
  2. Click on Create in the upper left corner of your VoiceThread dashboard.



  3. Select your presentation file from your computer or drag the file to the Add Media drop zone. 



    • Uploading presentations and documents will turn each slide or page into a separate slide in VoiceThread. A 20-slide PowerPoint presentation will become a 20-slide VoiceThread. PDF, however, is recommended for best compatibility.
    • If you are presenting a media file, please review supported file formats. Students can upload up to 1 GB of files. If your presentation or video is too large to upload or process, please chunk it into smaller files and upload them separately.
  4. IMPORTANT: The following information is key for how people will find your SURF presentation:
    • Enter a title for your presentation: LastName_FirstName_ResearchTopic
    • Enter a brief description for your presentation.
    • Enter tag:
      • USMLSAMP2021
  5. Click Save.
  6. Wait for VoiceThread to process your file. Depending on the size of the file and its type, this could take a few minutes. 



  7. Once your file is uploaded, click Comment to add your narration.



  8. Click on the + icon at the bottom of the slide to record your audio narration. You can record 10-15 minutes per slide in a VoiceThread deck depending on the audio option you choose.



    Although you can use video or text, we recommend three audio-based options:
  9. After your audio narration is reviewed and uploaded, click Save.
    • VoiceThread will automatically transcribe and caption your narration. Depending on the length of each comment you recorded, these automatic captions will process over the next hour through VoiceThread's system. You should review these captions for accessibility and make corrections. See → How do I edit automatic captions on a VoiceThread?


 Step 2: Submit Your VoiceThread
  1. Go to the main USM LSAMP ThreadBox collection in VoiceThread.

  2. Find your discipline ThreadBox collection in VoiceThread.
  3. Click on the Add Your Own link in the right corner of the ThreadBox.



  4. Click Select from my VoiceThreads.



  5. Find your presentation and select it.
  6. Your presentation will appear in the department collection after mentor approval has been confirmed. NOTE: VoiceThreads are listed by the newest submission first.
  7. Get the Share link to your VoiceThread, and submit it to the USM LSAMP Google Form (link coming soon) so that your VoiceThread is displayed with your name on the event page. 
 Step 3: Respond to feedback on your VoiceThread presentation
  1. Log into VoiceThread and access the ThreadBox where your VoiceThread is posted.
  2. Open your VoiceThread.
  3. Click on a comment to read, listen, or view the question/feedback.
  4. To reply to the comment, click on the Direct Reply icon inside the user's comment window.



  5. Your VoiceThread identity image will appear as a preview in the conversation channel to preview where your comment will reside.



    You will also see the user's name to whom you are replying in the comment dial at the bottom of the VoiceThread.
  6. Select the comment option you would like to use for replying to the feedback. To enhance the conference experience, we again recommend audio.
    1. Audio from a microphone: Use your computer to record the audio narration.
    2. Audio from a telephone: Enter your phone number and VoiceThread will call you so you can record your audio narration.
    3. Audio from a pre-recorded file: Use any device to record the audio narration and upload the file.
  7. After your audio narration is reviewed and uploaded, click Save.

After you save your comment, it will appear in the conversation channel as a threaded reply.

Tips for Using VoiceThread During USM LSAMP 2021 Research Symposium

  • Upload a profile picture to your VoiceThread account. This ensures your comments will have a photo to identify yourself to other users and adds a personal touch to the experience. See → How do I upload a photo to my VoiceThread account?
  • Keep notifications enabled for your VoiceThread presentation. By default, you will receive an instant email notification every time someone records a comment on your VoiceThread presentation or one that you commented on. Click on the comment in that email to open it in your web browser. If you are not receiving the instant notifications even though they are enabled, please review VoiceThread's email troubleshooting tips.
  • Reminder: Support accessibility! Automatic captions will process for your VoiceThread presentation narration through VoiceThread's system. You should review these captions for accessibility and make corrections so other users who rely on this functionality will have accurate captions. See → How do I edit automatic captions on a VoiceThread?
  • Forgot tags? That's okay! You can easily update this information in your original VoiceThread. Open your VoiceThread and click on the ≡ icon in the upper left corner to edit. Once your VT opens, look for your title -- next to the title, there's a tiny "edit" link. Selecting that will open a small pop-up where you can edit your tags.
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