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:

We are pleased to announce that our Research Enginered Academic Challenge (REACH) program is now accepting applications for the 2016-2017 academic school year, beginning February 1st. The REACH grant will award recipients with $1500 in funds towards their independent research/creative activity. 

The REACH grant will be accepting applications beginning Monday, February 1st, and will remain open till Tuesday, March 1st. Applications are to be submitted online through “REACH 2016” special activity course in SIU Online. For more information on REACH contact the CURCA department at or 453-4433.

Undergraduate Assistantship Available

Department Name and Location - Sustainability Office, Student Center

% of Time - 25%

Job Description - Visual Communications Specialist

Primary responsibilities include:

  • Design and produce visually stimulating materials for effective message communication in video, print advertising, online, posters, grassroots marketing, etc. 
  • Designing graphics for events, projects and reports
  • Maintain the Sustainability website.  Keep content current.
  • Take, edit and place photos and videos for social media, website, press releases, etc.
  • Update and maintain Social Media presence
  • Support the development of a communications strategy, including primary and secondary research, creative brief, media selection, and post testing 

Qualifications - Proficient with Adobe Creative Suite (InDesign, Illustrator, Photoshop, etc.), excellent written and oral communication skills, be able to quickly turn around projects and make edits on the fly, passion for sustainability issues, be able to work independently and in a group setting, able to adapt to a changing environment with competing priorities

Time Period of Position - Spring 2016

How to Apply - Please email resume, cover letter, and examples of work to:

Geory Kurtzhals
Sustainability Coordinator

with "Visual Communications and Strategy Specialist Applicant" in the subject line.

Deadline to Apply - Open until filled

Number of Positions - 1


CURCA Now Offers Poster Printing Service!


$15 for students within CURCA programs (REACH, Saluki Rookies, UGA, McNair, ILSAMP) for poster printing, up to 44x48; beyond 44x48 it is $6 per linear foot. 

$6 per linear foot for anyone not within any of the CURCA programs listed above. 

To request poster printing, please contact the CURCA department by mail at, by phone at 453.4433, or come visit us in person at 1263 Lincoln Drive, Student Services Building, Room 126.


The 2015-2016 REACH Award Recipients were announced! Click here to view the awardees.

To view the winners in the Undergraduate and Graduate Forums for posters, Saluki App Competition, Literary and Art Award, the Faculty Mentor of Excellence Award, and the CURCA Award of Distinction, visit 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.


REACH (Research-Enriched Academic Challenge), a competitive program open to SIUC undergraduates in all disciplines, offers grant awards each year to full-time SIUC undergraduates to work on an independent research or creative activity project with a faculty mentor.

Congratulations to all the 2015-2016 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 2015-2016 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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