Undergraduate Presenters: Application Guidelines
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11:59 p.m. PST on the deadline date of Feb. 20, 2020.
Prepare to successfully meet this deadline by carefully reviewing the SURCA website before opening the online application. Please remember that the application will require you to submit an abstract that must summarize your work according to the conventions of your field.
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 joint presenters: In some instances, undergraduate students conduct research with another undergraduate (or more) such that they equally share the work on a project. To apply to SURCA to present one poster together with a joint presenter(s), you must both (1) submit individual applications and (2) both must list each other as a joint presenter; if there are multiple joint presenters, each individual must apply separately, use the same abstract, and list all partnering joint presenters. If you win an award as joint presenters, you will share a single monetary award.
- Co-Authors: You should list (in order of their degree of involvement in your work) all people (called “co-authors”) who contributed to your project, such as those who reviewed your data, helped you with research procedures, etc. The list can include your mentor, but do not include your own name.
- Mentor(s): This is the person(s) who mentors you in the research, scholarship, or creative activities about which you will present at SURCA. A 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
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 UG.firstname.lastname@example.org to get some assistance.
Also note that you will be informed by email as to whether you have been accepted to participate in SURCA.
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 UG.email@example.com to get some assistance. (Be sure your name is included in the body of the email.)