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UW Oshkosh OSRCA
Dempsey Hall 317
(920) 424-1195

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 COSCA 2021 Submission Requirements

We are so excited that you desire to present at the 2021 Celebration of Scholarship and Creative Activity!

This year’s COSCA event will be held virtually. In order to design a quality digital presentation for you on the Celebration of Scholarship and Creative Activity website, we’ll need to rely on excellent digital media and writing so we can showcase your work in the highest possible quality.

To further improve the quality of your work, please be sure to review COSCA requirements and best practice tips from your faculty mentor. We will ask you to identify your faculty mentor in your application.

Below are the items we’ll need from you:


  • A photo of you, preferably a nice headshot in high resolution.


  • Your research abstract or artist’s statement, describing your work in 200 words or less.


  • An audio recording of you describing your project. This is your “quick pitch.” If someone were to walk up to your in-person poster display, this quick pitch is what you would say to them– the who, what, why and how of your work in three minutes or less. Tips for capturing good audio can be found below.


  • A typed description of why you chose to pursue this work and some background on the process of completing it. This is part of your online Google submission form and not the same as your recorded quick pitch. It is also not the same as your abstract. You might have a lot to add, or you might not, and that’s ok! But as you’re able, expand on your quick pitch by giving some deeper background on your work, allowing viewers who are most curious about your work to learn more about how you arrived at your finished project.


  • Any media associated with the presentation of your project. This might be a video of you speaking or performing, a photo album of an art piece, a research poster, an audio recording of a vocal performance, etc. Please keep oral presentations (speeches, etc) to 15 minutes or less. Make sure you submit anything and everything that would be needed to experience your work!


Want to put your best foot forward? Of course you do! Check out the tips below for creating the best presentations possible with the resources you have at home.

Submission Tips

Because of the strictly online nature of this year’s Celebration of Scholarship and Creative Activity, we want to offer up some recommendations for capturing your project or presentation in the best possible way.

Have questions or concerns? Don’t hesitate to contact us at


This presentation format is simple– the key is to make sure you upload in the highest resolution possible. If you are submitting a poster, be sure to also read the audio recording tips, as we’ll still want a quality quick pitch! You may also submit this quick pitch as a video if you prefer. 

Audio Recording
  • Use a voice memo app in your mobile device to capture audio. iPhones have a great Voice Memo app built in, and Android users have many options.


  • Place the device about a foot from your face and speak right into the microphone. If you have headphones with a built-in microphone, that also serves as a great option.


  • Make sure you record in a quiet space. Need an impromptu recording studio? Use a closet. You can even go as far as draping a blanket over your head to block out excess room noise.


  • Recording a vocal performance? There’s a reason we like to sing in the shower! Here’s an idea to try… as opposed to a recording of a speech, a room with some nice reverb like a shower or high-ceiling  living room may be found desirable. Try that versus an isolated room like a closet to see which you prefer.


  • If you are recording a vocal performance to a backing track, we recommend sending three versions; a version of you singing along to the music (as a reference), a version that is your solo vocal performance (recorded to the track playing through your headphones), and the track itself. Your solo vocal recording will be mixed and synced up to the backing track to create the best possible sound. This three-part submission format is not required, but will give us a better chance to create an ideal recording. 


Need access to good audio equipment? Visit the Student Technology Center in Polk 005!

  • Don’t fear if you do not own a DSLR camera. Your smartphone or mobile device is a great resource for photography!


  • Be sure to capture many photos with different angles. Include close-ups!


  • Use directional lighting from a lamp or window to make sure your work is well-lit.


  • Use manual focus and exposure to further control you shot. Subjects that are poorly lit or out of focus will diminish the presentation quality.


  • Be sure to upload the largest file size possible. The higher resolution, the better!


Want to use a good DSLR camera? Visit the Student Technology Center in Polk 005!


Don’t shoot vertical video

Since your video will display horizontally, your presentation will be viewed much more easily and enjoyably if you hold your device sideways, not vertically.


If you’re speaking or presenting to the camera, a tripod is the ideal form of stabilization.

If the device must be held, bracing your elbows to your torso is an effective way to help stabilize the camera.


Digital zoom on most devices looks grainy  and creates stabilization problems. Keep your device zoomed out, or aim to only use optical zoom if your device allows.


Avoid the on-camera flash if possible. Direct camera flash looks like something out of a horror film! You’re better off using other lighting such as a soft glow from a lamp or indirect sunlight.

Similarly, make sure you aren’t completely backlit, but facing your lighting source. Otherwise, your device may automatically adjust to take the bright back light in

Use manual exposure and focus

Helpful for both composing a creative shot and avoiding unwanted automatic functions, using any manual functions your device has is a win.


If speaking to the camera, aim for a medium shot where the bottom of the frame is around the middle of the stomach and the top of the frame is just above the top of your head. Make sure the subject is centered in the frame.


Audio on mobile devices isn’t ideal, so make sure you’re filming in a quiet space where no background noise will corrupt your presentation. Speak loudy and clearly!


While this is not required, a little bit of editing goes a long way. If you have the ability and dome software, trimming the beginning and end and adding titles can create a polished final look.

Want to use great video, audio and lighting equipment? Visit the Student Technology Center in Polk 005!


Use a UW Oshkosh template

Want to give your presentation a clean, branded look? University Marketing & Communications offers free PowerPoint backgrounds. While optional, these templates are an easy way to give your presentation a great look.

Record a Voiceover

Recording audio of you presenting your work is a great way to present a PowerPoint digitally. A Microsoft tutorial can be found here. Use your computer microphone in a quiet room, or headphones with a built-in  microphone.

Export as a Video

When you’re done, don’t forget to export your presentation as a video file. This is the ideal way to display a PowerPoint with a voiceover.

You may also use an empty Microsoft Teams chat to create a recording of your presentation. Share your screen in the video call and record your entire presentation from start to finish! 

Want access to photo, video or audio gear? Visit the Student Technology Center in Polk 005 to check out professional media equipment. 

Looking for UWO logos or powerpoint templates? Click here

Need advice on how to best capture or present your work? Contact

Ready to submit to COSCA 2021?

We can’t wait to see and platform your academic and creative excellence!