Center for Undergraduate Research and Creative Activities | SIU

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Center for Undergraduate Research and Creative Activities


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Your SIU opportunities are multi-faceted. There’s a place for the classroom, and there’s a place for the lab or the studio. And there’s a place for making your education uniquely your own. That’s why we have the Center for Undergraduate Research and Creative Activity.

CURCA brings together the various undergraduate research and creative project opportunities. We can help you find the research and creative project program for which you are most qualified, and which may benefit you most.

And you don't have to wait. You can begin your freshman year. You can take off with an idea, a concept, or a question of your own. By working with a faculty mentor, you’ll build a professional relationship and make connections that will extend far past commencement. By working on your own project, you’ll gain independence as a learner.

What's New

The 2015-2016 Research Enriched Academic Challenge (REACH) award competition opens on Monday, December 1, 2014, at 12:01 a.m., and closes at 11:59 p.m. on Friday, January 30, 2015. 


Awarded REACH projects include up to $1,500 to support original creative activity and research projects by full-time SIU Carbondale undergraduate students working with a faculty mentor. Awarded projects also include the opportunity for REACH recipients to be paid for 10 hours per week through an undergraduate assistantship for working on their projects for the fall and spring semesters of the award period; however, the REACH recipient must meet undergraduate assistantship eligibility requirements.

More information is available here

Programs under CURCA

Programs, upcoming events, features, announcements, etc.

Creative and Scholarly Saluki Rookies (CSSR)

Creative and Scholarly Saluki Rookies (CSSR) is a faculty-mentored program for freshmen and sophomores. Beginning independent work early helps you hone your studies to make your education your own.


Grant-funded REACH (Research-Enriched Academic Challenge), a competitive program, sponsors the annual Undergraduate Research Forum. Students share their passion for learning with the campus.

Congratulations to all the 2014-2015 REACH recipients, click here to view a list of the recipients.


ILSAMP (Illinois Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation) emphasizes minority research in science, technology, mathematics and engineering with paid, mentored research.

The McNair Scholars Program, grant-funded, is for juniors and seniors who plan to pursue graduate degrees.

Undergraduate Research Assistantship

  • Undergraduate Assistantships for the 2014-2015 academic year are posted. Please click here to view posted positions.
  • You can work with a professor in an ongoing project as an undergraduate research assistant. Research assistants aren’t just in the science labs. They are in the field, in the studio, the classroom, the museum, the gallery, the barn, or just about anywhere. You’ll learn how to connect the classroom with your future career.

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