Student Research Competition


The Texas A&M Plant Breeding Symposium will host the fifth annual Student Research Competition that will include oral and poster presentations. 

Graduate and undergraduate students conducting research in plant breeding or related sciences are encouraged to participate in either the oral or poster competitions. This event promotes and encourages students to communicate their research to their peers as well as network with a wider plant science community. Scholarships will be awarded to the top three abstracts for oral presentations and the top three posters presented at the one-day symposium.

Students may register for oral or poster presentations. Three students will be selected to present oral keynote lectures at the symposium. The remaining oral presentation abstract submissions will automatically be entered into the poster contest.


Competition Rules:

  • Presenters must be full-time student within the Texas A&M System in order to be eligible for scholarship awards.

  • Presenters must also register to be a symposium attendee.

  • Presenters must abide by the Aggie Code of Honor: "An Aggie does not lie, cheat or steal or tolerate those who do."

  • Attire is a minimum of business casual.

  • All oral presenters must agree to share their research electronically.

  • All presenters should attend the post-symposium Social and Student Research Awards Ceremony at Café Eccell.

  • Students in the Graduate Student Organizing Committee are ineligible to receive scholarship awards, but may enter their research posters to receive useful feedback on their work.

Rapid Oral + Poster Presentations


Three students will be selected to present oral keynote lectures during the main symposium event. The talks will be 5 minutes in duration and will be followed with a poster session. All three students selected will receive $250 scholarships. The other applicants who were not selected to speak will automatically be entered into the poster presentation competition.

Students signing-up for the oral presentation must submit an abstract. The abstract should be informative, meaning it will feature all of the elements of your research including results. The abstract should be 250 words or less.

Criteria for selection of oral presentations for the prize-winning presentation

  • The originality of the research presented, which may or may not be explicitly related to the symposium theme

  • The quality of the writing (including clarity, grammar, and understandable)

  • The interest of the subject matter and approach

  • The suitability of the conference presentation (including appropriate length, clear results obtained, and appropriate conclusions

The Graduate Student Organizing Committee officer team will evaluate blind abstracts to select the three oral keynote speakers.


In fairness to other participants, abstracts that are over the specific word limit will automatically be disqualified.

If selected to give an oral presentation, follow the guidelines provided below:

Each oral presentation is limited to 5 minutes, with 2 additional minutes of questions and answers following each presentation. The purpose of the rapid oral is to sell your research, and have intellectual discussion during the poster session. This time restriction will be strictly enforced by the room moderator.

The oral presentation should include three slides:

  1. Title slide (six words)—uses the question as the title and lists authors/co-authors and their respective institutions.

  2. Results—one slide, including figure/table. Use SI units in text, figures, and tables.

  3. Recommendations/summary slide.

Additionally you will present a poster of your research. This is the area in which to incorporate the details of your research: methods, background, detailed resuls, etc...

Oral presenters will use Microsoft PowerPoint. The symposia committee will upload and display your PowerPoint.

The PowerPoint slides must be submitted to the Graduate Student Organizing Committee by Monday, February 17, 2019.

Oral keynote presenters must agree to broadcast and record their lecture via webinar. Recordings of the presentations will be uploaded to the Texas A&M Plant Breeding Symposium website so that it can viewed anytime by anyone. 

Poster presentations


All students that sign-up for the poster competition will be selected to participate. Students will be required to display their research poster for the entire duration of symposium. While the students must be present during the official poster judging session to be eligible for the prizes, it is recommended that they be present also during the official poster session. The posters will be judged by a panel of plant science experts. Scholarships will be awarded in the amounts of $200, $150, and $100 for first, second, and third places respectively.

Students participating in the poster presentations must submit an abstract of 250 words. Unlike the oral presentation, these abstracts will NOT be judged by the Texas A&M Plant Breeding Symposium Graduate Committee officer team. Instead, the abstracts will be displayed online and in the event program.

All posters should include these basic elements, or their equivalents format: Abstract, Introduction, Objective, Approach, Results, and Discussions/Conclusions.

Students will have to bring their own posters to the venue on the morning of the symposium event.

Poster dimensions cannot exceed 44 x 44 inches.

Foam board and easels will be provided at the Memorial Student Center in order to display posters. Material to adhere your poster to the foam board/easel will be provided on the day of the symposium.

Students must place their poster at the assigned easel as directed by the symposium Graduate Student Organizing Committee.

Students participating in the poster competition must be in attendance during the 1 hour poster judging session at the symposium to be eligible for cash prizes. The poster judging will begin at 7:30 AM on February 21, 2019.


During the poster judging poster presenter will present their poster to the judges for 2 minutes. Following the quick, 2-minute presentation, judges will be allowed to ask questions directly to the presenter. This exchange between the author and judge will provide an additional opportunity for the development of communications skills that wasn’t available during the previous competition.

Poster presenters must submit a PDF of their poster for inclusion on the Texas A&M Plant Breeding Symposium website. Digital copies of the posters will be placed on the website so that it can be viewed anytime by anyone. The PDF copy does not have to be submitted until the day of the symposium to

Judges will not be allowed to evaluate a poster if there is a personal bias (i.e. professor judging his or her graduate student’s work).

All applicants must submit a biographical PowerPoint slide for viewing by webinar attendees. The biographical slides contain the presenter’s picture, interests and research goals. These slides will be shown during the symposium breaks. Through these slides, viewers around the world watching on the live webinar will be able to get an understanding of the scope of plant science research being conducted at Texas A&M. Presenters must follow the Bio Slide Instructions and submit their slide at the time of signing-up to