Students’ applications and judges’ sign-ups are now open online for the ninth Showcase for Undergraduate Research and Creative Activities (SURCA), which will be held virtually on March 29, according to the Office of Undergraduate Research at Washington State University.

“We anticipate as many as 200 students will again be accepted to share their research, scholarly pursuits, and creative activity, and we will need just as many faculty, post-doctoral students, and guest experts from the community to serve as judges,” said Mary Sanchez Lanier, assistant vice provost in charge of this year’s event. “SURCA is a long-time WSU tradition and it’s always a pleasure to see how the university comes together to participate and lend support in any number of ways.”

Unique event for undergraduates

SURCA is the only university venue where students from all majors, years in college, and campuses can share their mentored research in any of nine categories that are divided by discipline. An important aspect of the popular event is that students present their efforts and results publicly to judges and guests. Judges use a rubric to score each presentation. Top presenters will each receive awards, thanks to generous donors. The awards ceremony this year is set for March 30, the day following the virtual presentations.

New for SURCA 2021

SURCA: Showcase for Undergraduate Research and Creative Activities.Several aspects of this year’s SURCA are new and worth noting; they are described in more detail on the SURCA website. Here are just a few:

  • All student presentations will be virtual and available to judges and guests via a Zoom platform from 3:00-4:15 p.m. In previous years, students delivered in-person presentations standing next to their printed research poster in the CUB Ballroom. Schedules for this year’s online presentations will be posted on the SURCA website as soon as they are assigned and available.
  • All judging will also be virtual. Judges will join the presenters in Zoom meeting spaces to learn about projects; judges will also meet students for one-to-one, question-and-answer sessions from 4:30-5:30 p.m.
  • A new presentation category, titled ”Research Proposal,” is for students who are working with a mentor and have identified a knowledge gap in a field that will be addressed by a proposed experiment or future research plan. The original eight other categories are still in place.

SURCA is hosted by the Office of Undergraduate Research, part of the Division of Academic Engagement and Student Achievement (DAESA) in the Office of the Provost and Executive Vice President. SURCA is part of WSU Showcase.