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Preparing Your Application To Present At SOURCE

In order to present your work at SOURCE, you need to submit an application along with several other pieces of information that will help us develop the program. The information on this page will help you prepare your submission. Applications to present at SOURCE 2023 are closed, but we will begin accepting submissions for SOURCE 2024 in March of next year.

Read through the information about presenting at SOURCE and get everyone on board

The first step is to read through all of the information about presenting at SOURCE. Talk to your faculty mentor about presenting at SOURCE, and about which type of presentation is most appropriate for your work. If you have a group project, talk with the rest of your group members and make sure they are on board with presenting at SOURCE as well.

If you have questions about whether or not your work is appropriate, or about accommodating special types of presentations (performances or large constructed objects, for example), contact

Prepare your abstract, artist statement, or project explanation and get feedback from your mentor


An abstract describes your project and the context for it in a way that is understandable for an audience of your academic peers. The abstract is limited to 250 words. The content of the abstract varies somewhat depending on your discipline, and a good first step in writing your own abstract is to look for good examples in your own discipline - your faculty mentor can help you here. In addition, we've provided some example abstracts from recent SOURCE presentations.

In general, all abstracts include the following:

  • Motivation or problem statement: What is the problem you are addressing, and why does your discipline care about it? What practical, scientific or theoretical gap is your work filling?
  • Description of methods/procedure/approach: What did you do to address this problem, or to get your results? (e.g. analyzed historical documents, explored abstract expressionism through collage and other media, interviewed 17 students, conducted a set of experiments)
  • Description of results/findings/product: As a result of the above method, procedure, or approach, what did you learn/invent/create?
  • Conclusion/implications: How does what you've done address the problem or gap you identified at the beginning? What are the larger implications of your findings?

Give yourself plenty of time to write your abstract and get feedback from your mentor, especially if this is the first time you've written one. It takes time to write a good abstract. Get feedback from your faculty mentor BEFORE you make your final submission.


An artist statement plays an important part in the presentation of your work. It should be personal and and specific to your work and written using language that will be approchable for audiences with varying levels of art knowledge and experience. Here are some other guidelines that may be helpful:

  • Information about your specific piece of work: What is it, and what did you use to create it?
  • Tell us about your inspiration: What inspired you to create this specific piece? Is there a story behind it?
  • Tell us about your process: What were the steps you took to create the piece? Was it done in phases or all at once?
  • How did you prepare: Tell us about how your education, coursework and personal experiences helped prepare you for and/or influenced this project.

Again, make sure that you work with your faculty mentor to prepare your artist statement, and get feedback from them prior to submitting your application.


If an artist statement or abstract is not appropriate for your specific project, you may submit a project explanation. Here are some suggestions for what to include:

  • Information about your project: What is it, and what does it involve?
  • Inspiration, motivation or problem statement: Why did you decide to do this particular project? If it is intended to address a gap in knowledge or practice, what is that gap and how does your project address it?
  • Tell us about your process: How did you put your project together? What materials did you use? Were any research methods or specific practices involved?
  • How did you prepare: Tell us about how your education, coursework and personal experiences helped prepare you for and/or influenced this project.

As we've mentioned before, be sure to work with your faculty mentor to prepare your project explanation and get feedback from them prior to submitting your application. 

Assemble the additional information you need

You will need some additional information to submit your application, including:

  • Basic info about yourself
  • Project title
  • Information about your faculty mentor
  • Your abstract, artist statement or project description (250 words or less)
  • Details about your project including when your research or project occurred, how your project originated, and whether or not you received funding for it
  • HSRC or IACUC approval for research projects involving human or animal subjects; Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) for projects involving hazardous materials
  • Finally, check in with your faculty mentor BEFORE YOU SUBMIT

You can view the full list of application questions here.

Ready to submit

Done all that? Then you are ready to submit your application. Click here to complete the process!

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