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WSU Undergraduate Education SURCA 2017

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Undergraduate Presenters

Application Guidelines

Application Guidelines

Application Guidelines

Application Deadline

11:59 p.m. PST on Tuesday, Feb. 21, 2017

Prepare yourself for successfully meeting this deadline by carefully reviewing the SURCA website!

Filling out the application

Most of the online application is self-explanatory. Information below should assist you with some of the sections in the application.

Undergraduate co-presenters: In some instances, undergraduate students conduct research with another undergraduate(s) such that they equally share the work on a project. If you are entering SURCA with a co-presenter(s), you must provide both your name and your partner’s name(s) on your own application, AND your partner(s) must also submit their own separate entry form that also lists all names as co-presenters. If you win an award as a team, you will share a single monetary award.

Co-Authors: You should list all co-authors that contributed to your project, including your mentor. Do not include your own name.

Mentor(s): Your mentor is often a co-author on your work, but does not need to be. Your project mentor may be an individual from off campus or a faculty member. The individual(s) who are your mentors for your project should be listed here.

Campus: Students who are not physically located on the Pullman campus and are unable to present their project in Pullman may do so virtually. Students presenting virtually are still judged and are still expected to answer the judges’ questions.

How many semesters: Please indicate how many semesters you have been involved in undergraduate research. Please include all of your research experiences, not just those semesters spent on this specific project. Include all mentored work in a research lab or on a research internship, or all mentored scholarly or creative activity experiences (such as work composing music or writing a book).

How many summers: Please indicate how many summers you have been involved in undergraduate research. Please include all of your summer research experiences, not just the summers spent on this specific project. Include all mentored work in a research lab or on a research internship, or all mentored scholarly or creative activity experiences (such as work composing music or writing a book).

Category: Descriptions of the categories can be found on our SURCA participation categories page. Please read the descriptions and discuss with your advisor prior to making a selection. The category you select is very important as this is the category that you will be competing in for awards. Your major, or the department you are doing the project in, does not dictate the category. The category should be selected based on the project that you are doing. For example, a biologist who is developing a math model for the spread of hantavirus infections might find their project works best in the computer science and math category. Students who are developing a more insect resistant strain of wheat or an antibiotic might find the applied sciences category is most applicable.

Abstract: Abstracts are now entered directly into the application form, which has the ability to accept formatting and special characters in the abstract field. Please see below for tips on writing the abstract.

If You Have Questions

Please review the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) page. If you still have questions about details regarding SURCA or the online application form, send an email to

Expect a Confirmation

You will receive an email confirming receipt of your application within three days. If you do not receive a confirmation, then your application was not successfully transmitted, so please submit it again. If you believe you are experiencing technical difficulties, please send an email to to get some assistance.

Also note that you will be informed by email of whether you have been accepted to participate in SURCA.

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Tips on How to Write Your Abstract

Follow these general guidelines when writing your abstract:

  • Scope: Presentations must be about work performed as an undergraduate under the guidance of a mentor.
  • Originality: Acceptance of your application will depend on your abstract demonstrating that your work has scientific, scholarly, or creative significance that makes an original intellectual or creative contribution to your discipline.
  • Length: Abstracts must be 350 words or less in length.
  • Content: Your abstract should clearly describe your original research, scholarship, or creative activity as follows:
    For creative projects: The creative endeavor must be clearly described in the abstract. Methods used to accomplish the creative activity must be described, any background or history related to the activity/product must be provided, and any program notes that help put the creative endeavor or process into perspective should be included.

    For scientific projects: A goal or hypothesis for the project must be clearly stated, results summarized, and a conclusion reached.

  • Audience: The abstract submitted in your application must be understandable by a general audience and be free of technical jargon. This abstract is provided to the judges prior to the event, and the SURCA staff use the abstract to assign judges to specific presentations. A different abstract (i.e. containing more technical language) may be used on your poster.
    Important: In order for your abstract to be properly processed by our software, you must create, save, and upload your abstract as a word document (NOT a pdf) into the application. If you encounter problems during the uploading process, or have any questions about submitting your abstract, send an email to to get some assistance. (Be sure your name is included in the e-mail.)

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