Photo: Global Campus Student Charles Nevin presents his research at SURCA 2019.
Global Campus Student Charles Nevin presents his
research at SURCA 2019.

Each March, students from all six of the WSU campuses share their original academic work at the Showcase for Undergraduate Research and Creative Activities poster competition, also known as SURCA. All WSU students have the option to present their work remotely or in-person at WSU Pullman. Undergraduate students from all majors and disciplines present the results of their research, scholarship, or creative activities as they compete for awards in nine categories.

Using the chart below, select a category to see examples of what WSU students from a variety of majors have presented at SURCA.  Read these and other presentation abstracts in the past SURCA abstract books.

How to Participate in SURCA

All undergraduate research and creative work presented at SURCA is faculty mentored. Students may work on a faculty member’s research team, or a faculty mentor may provide guidance to a student as they construct their own research questions, methods and analysis of results.

Between December and February each year, students apply to present their work at SURCA.  To apply, students must provide a brief abstract of their project and have their faculty mentor identified.

During SURCA, students’ work is evaluated by 2-4 faculty, staff, post-doctoral researcher, and/or community expert judges.  Students’ work will be judged by the information they provide in their oral presentation, their answers to judges’ questions, and the quality of their posters. Award winners are announced immediately following the poster competition and livestreamed via YouTube to remote presenters.

Watch the Undergraduate Research Information Session on-demand in the Global Connections Video Vault for information on how to get started with your own research.

Find more detailed information about participating in SURCA at

Student Support for SURCA

If you are interested in conducting a research project, it is best to start thinking about your research project and contacting faculty mentors early in the academic year.  The Office of Undergraduate Research website and Dr. Shelley Pressley, the Director of the Office of Undergraduate Research, are two excellent resources to help you understand undergraduate research and address any questions you may have on how to get started.

If you have questions on how to participate in SURCA as an online student, or need help finding a faculty mentor, please contact Jeremy Lessmann at

Find Out More

Visit the Global Connections SURCA FAQs page.

Benefits of Research and SURCA to Students

  • Knowledge and hands-on, “high-impact” learning experiences
  • Build resume with unique academic experience for graduate school applications
  • Confidence in one’s discipline
  • An understanding of how research fits into the larger picture
  • Professional experience with a mentor (very often a faculty member)
  • Understanding of how to apply theory learned in coursework to a real-world problem
  • Sharpened skills in critical thinking and communication
  • Confidence built by organizing, detailing, and presenting their work publicly
  • Feedback received from learned judges and the public about their work and how well they explain it
  • Chance to learn about the work being done by peers across the university
  • Opportunity to compete for prizes