Summer Undergraduate Research Fair

Established by UTM's Office of the Vice-Principal, Research (OVPR), the Summer Undergraduate Research Fair (SURF) celebrates the research conducted by undergraduate students over the summer. This year's event will be held in person and will include both oral and poster presentations. Faculty, librarian, staff, postdoctoral fellows, graduate students, and undergraduate students are all welcome to attend.

  • Date: Wednesday, August 16, 2023
  • Time: 8:00 AM - 2:00 PM 
  • Location: Instructional Building/Centre (IB), 1599 Outer Circle, UTM

Registration is now closed. Please contact our team directly with questions or requests.


Important Dates

Please note that registration to present student research is now closed and our sessions are full for August 16. We are unable to accommodate late registrations. Our team will be in touch with all presenters in the coming days.

  • Workshops for registrants: Thursday, July 27, 2023 
  • General attendance registration deadline: Wednesday, August 2, 2023
  • Deadline for printing posters free of charge: Tuesday, August 8, 2023 at 4:00 PM (firm deadline)



Meet Our Keynote Speakers

Alison Syme

Alison Syme, Associate Professor, Department of Visual Studies

Bio: My research primarily focuses on art of the later nineteenth and early twentieth centuries in Britain, France, and the United States. Within this field, I study a range of different topics and traditions, from the neomedievalism of the Pre-Raphaelites to society portraiture to early abstraction. All of my research, however, is characterised by a commitment to close looking, examination of the intersection of art and visual culture, interdisciplinary enquiry, and analysis of the role of metaphors in artistic practice and poetics. My first book, A Touch of Blossom: John Singer Sargent and the Queer Flora of Fin-de-Siècle Art (Penn State University Press, 2010), shortlisted for the Modernist Studies Association Book Prize in 2011, considers Sargent in the context of nineteenth-century botany, gynaecology, literature, and visual culture and argues that the artist mobilised ideas of cross-fertilisation and the hermaphroditic sexuality of flowers in his works to “naturalise” sexual inversion, visually elaborating a floral poetics of sexual variety. I am currently working on my third book, Burne-Jones and the Book, which explores the Victorian artist’s poetics of materials and animation strategies in the context of Victorian science and print culture. 

Talk title: “Reconceiving the Victorian Artist”


Christina Vanden Bosch der Nederlanden

Christina Vanden Bosch der Nederlanden, Assistant Professor, Department of Psychology

Bio: My research investigates the perceptual, cognitive, and neural foundations of human communication in development. In particular, my work studies two important forms of communication: music and language. I ask questions related to how we attend to communicative signals, like speech and song, in real-world listening situations where many sounds compete for our attention. I compare music and language processing directly to one another to understand the similarities and differences between information processing in each domain from infancy to adulthood. And finally, I look at how features of music can be leveraged to improve language processing in individuals who struggle with language, such as those with Dyslexia. In the Language, Music, Attention, and Audition (LAMA) lab, we use a combination of methods like behavioural change detection and neural auditory envelope tracking to get a better picture of how it is we learn to attend to what’s relevant for communication.

Talk title: “Music, language, and busy sound scenes: How do we develop expertise for communicating with others?”



Information for SURF Presenters

Please note that this event will take place in person on the UTM campus. There is no option to present virtually.

  • Deadline for printing posters free of charge: Tuesday, August 8, 2023 at 4:00 PM


Poster Presentations

We strongly recommend that groups select only one member of the team to present; however, if you do present as a group, the group should have no more than three presenters in total.


Oral Presentations

Our team will contact you during the week of July 18, to let you know if you have been selected.

Oral presentations:

  • Will not include a poster.
  • Will consist of one speaker only.
  • Will be three minutes.
  • Will include one slide.

*Note that if you are not selected for an oral presentation, you will present a poster. If you are selected, your registration for the poster presentation will be cancelled.


Poster Printing

You can print your poster free of charge at the UTM Print and Copy Centre! The printing deadline is Tuesday, August 8, 2023 at 4:00 PM. Students will be responsible for printing costs of posters submitted after this deadline.

Please read the Poster Printing Instructions carefully before submitting your poster for printing.

Contact the Print and Copy Centre directly ( for questions related to printing your poster. Please DO NOT contact the Office of the Vice-Principal, Research (OVPR) with any printing questions.


Workshops (July 27, 2023)

This July, the OVPR will host two virtual workshops to support research presentations: one will focus on how to prepare a successful poster, the other on how to deliver a strong oral presentation. We recommend all registrants attend these workshops.

Oral Presentation Workshop: Thursday, July 27, 2023, 10am-11am, via Zoom
Poster Presentation Workshop: Thursday, July 27, 2023, 11am-12pm, via Zoom


Contact our Team

Office of the Vice-Principal, Research