Topic Categories Presentation Guidelines



Students are invited to present a 10-minute scientific oral presentation at the CTAHR Research Day.  Work being showcased can be but is not limited to, undergraduate, thesis or dissertation research.  Presentations should be completed projects as presenters are expected to share their findings.  All presentations must represent original work performed by the presenting student and fit into the categories below.


Presentation Categories

The following categories represent the breadth of topics covered in CTAHR undergraduate and graduate programs. During registration, select one of the following five presentation categories that best fits your project. Indicate your first and second preferences. 

Sustainability & Conservation

This category includes all research with bearing on the sustainable use of natural resources (e.g., soils, water, recreational areas, and terrestrial and marine ecosystems), conservation of native ecosystems, and applied management of natural and anthropogenic impacts (e.g., wildfire and invasive species ecology and management, ecological restoration, biodiversity conservation, and systematics). Research on the development and application of sustainable technologies such as biological control of pests, improved cultivation techniques, carbon sequestration, life cycle assessment, and locally adapted crop varieties is also included. Further, this topic includes socio-ecological research such as the development of sustainable fabric production methods, societal benefits of reduced reliance on fossil fuels, and examination of human interactions with and utilization of natural resources (e.g., community-based natural resource management, and indigenous knowledge systems and their application to the sustainable use of natural resources). 

Keywords: Biodiversity; sustainable use; native species; invasive species; natural resources; pest management; plant disease management, resource recovery, waste management; sustainable management of fashion products; Sustainable fashion

Food Systems, Security, & Safety

This category includes research related to the production, processing, and transport of food as well as practices, strategies, and technologies for the development of a secure, high quality/nutritious and safe food supply. Research in this category includes a broad range of work such as that pertaining to growing and harvesting food, production and processing, pest and disease management, biosecurity, detection and management of hazards, optimization of quality or safety, and implications of consumption and disposal. 

Keywords: Safety, crop management, animal production, aquaculture, nutrition, processing, food quality


The biotechnology category concentrates on the manipulation of living systems to address problems and/or to generate useful products for the benefit of humanity.  Additionally, fundamental research topics that contribute to the achievement of these overall goals may also be included in this focus area. In many cases, this work will harness the power of biochemical and molecular techniques as well as the potential of recombinant technologies. This is a comprehensive area of study encompassing many fields such as, but not limited to, agriculture, manufacturing, and medicine. Example projects that would fit well into this category include works that lead to the production of novel medications, pest-resistant crops, new bacterial strains, improved production of commercial compounds, and other similar topics. 

Keywords: Synthetic biology, recombinant, metabolic engineering, improved production, agricultural application, medical application, bioenergy production, biobased products  

Product Design & Business

Once an idea has been created, there are many steps to turn it into a product, then additional steps to create a marketable product. This category includes research related to the applied aspect of science and the transitioning of research to products. This includes 1) optimization of the process, 2) scaling of the process, 3) market analysis, 4) market testing, or 5) supply chain analysis. The research can be quantitative or qualitative but should focus on how to apply research to test products and consumer's preferences as well as build market. 

Keywords: Market, Application, Process Development, Product Development, Production Operation, B2B, Business Technology, Product Evaluation 

Healthy Families & Resilient Communities

This category includes research related to the well-being of families and communities in the following areas: (1) adult development and aging, (2) child and family development, (3) personal and family resource management and financial decision-making, and (4) nutrition and health. Research in this category tends to have an applied focus, looking for solutions to specific practical problems. It can be exploratory or explanatory type of research, using quantitative, qualitative, or mixed methods. 

Keywords: Older adults, adolescents, human developmental milestones, personal finance, health behaviors, family life skills, quality of life, social services, program evaluation 

Presentation Structure

Oral presentations are allotted 10 minutes for presentation and 3 minutes for questions/discussion. Speakers should rehearse their presentation to remain within the allotted time. Primary Presenter indicated in the program(*) must be present for judging - no substitutions or stand-ins. You will be called by the moderator to come forward, provided a presentation remote, and time will start when you start speaking or moving. Exceeding your 10-minute presentation time will result in a zero score for timing. When preparing your presentations, remember that your judges and audience are from a broad range of disciplines. Microsoft PowerPoint (widescreen (16:9)) is HIGHLY recommended, and LCD projectors and computers will be available. A sample judging rubric is below.


Presentation Submissions Deadline: April 13, 2020 @ 4:00pm

All presentations may be submitted via the Presentation Submission Form and must be received by Monday, April 13 by 4 pm. DO NOT wait until the last minute! No presentations will be accepted after this time, which means NO loading of presentations will be allowed on the day of CTAHR Research Day.

In-person presentation submissions will be accepted by appointment only. For in-person submissions, contact Matt (ctahrcl[at] to set up an appointment. Presentation drop-offs usually take around 5 minutes. Submissions must be brought on a flash drive, preferably saved as a Microsoft PowerPoint file.

The use of personal computers belonging to a student presenter may cause delays in the oral sessions; therefore, personal computers will be allowed only if the presenter must use a program other than Microsoft PowerPoint, and if the presenter has the prior written approval of CTAHR Research Day Chair, Dr. Ania Wieczorek (AssocDean[at]

All presentations will be pre-loaded onto their respective computers at Campus Center on Monday, April 20. Presenters are welcome to view their presentations after submission to confirm there are no issues with the file. Please contact Matt (ctahrcl[at] if you'd like to review your presentation. Please do not go to the UHM Center for Instructional Support for help in making presentations. Contact your faculty mentor or department chair for assistance.



A panel of judges from diverse backgrounds and fields will score each oral presentation to determine award winners by topic category. Only students in CTAHR’s academic programs are eligible for prizes awarded by CTAHR. Winners from previous years are eligible for prizes. Again, to be eligible for prizes, original or creative work must be presented. Students presenting work primarily conducted at another university, e.g., a PhD. student presenting M.S. research done at another university, are not eligible for awards.


Sample Rubric

Component Maximum Points Available
Introduction and Literature Review
Does it introduce the research topic? 3
Does it identify gap(s) in this area of research to justify this study? 3
Does it explain the aim or purpose of the study? 3
Research Questions or Hypothesis
Does it have an appropriate hypothesis/expectation? 6
Methodology – Methods, Data Collection, Data Analysis
Does it describe and justify the research strategy chosen? (e.g., descriptive, analytical, experimental, evaluation, or a combination) 3
Does it describe the sampling method? (e.g., random, systematic, stratified, convenience, etc.) 3
Does it describe the data collection tools and procedures (e.g net, PCR, survey)? 3
Does it explain how data will be analyzed (e.g., qualitative, quantitative)? 3
Presentation of Data
Data Quality (e.g. labeled axis, readable figures, visually appealing)? 3
Discussion of outcomes of hypothesis? 6
Presentation Style
Communication style (volume, clarity, etc.)  9
Correct Timing (10 minutes for presentation, 3 for questions) 3
Does (Do) the presenter(s) respond to questions effectively? 6
Total 54 points



Top Undergraduate and Graduate students from each category will be awarded $1000 and announced at the end of CTAHR Research Day.  After the conclusion of the CTAHR Research Day event, all winners will need to record a 30-second clip that explains their research topic.  This clip will be shown at the CTAHR Banquet on May 1, 2020.  All awardees will be hosted by CTAHR and are invited to attend.


An Overall Undergraduate and Graduate student will be determined by the CTAHR Deans and Associate Deans, and the winners will be announced at the CTAHR Banquet on May 1, 2020.  Winners will receive an additional $2000 travel grant and will be recognized during the CTAHR Banquet program.


Disclaimer: Portions of the CTAHR Research Day may be photographed or videotaped. By participating in this event you agree that these images and your name, area of study, and project description may be used in print, photo, or video media by CTAHR and or the University of Hawaii for educational and promotional purposes as CTAHR deems appropriate. If you have concerns, please contact mchen22[at]