About the Center Main Content
The Center for Undergraduate Research and Creative Activities (CURCA) is a unit of the Office of the Vice Chancellor for Research (OVCR) and is a unique resource for students ready to expand their education. There are different programs available designed to provide students with opportunities to discover through various hands on experiences.
Undergraduate students from all disciplines are encouraged by the center to participate in a creative activity or research. The greatly widespread opportunities available have produced past grant-funded undergraduate creative activities and research such as comparing microscopic parasites to exploring the art of stage combat.
CURCA has a vision to shape and prepare all undergraduate students at SIUC for the future. The programs available are organized to provide opportunities for undergraduate students, to inspire them to advance to graduate school, and to provide opportunities to all levels of undergraduate students including freshmen and sophomores. At the end of the school year, the center brings together students from all the programs to share their creative activity and research with the community at the Undergraduate Creative Activities and Research Forum.
The Center for Undergraduate Research and Creative Activities is in charge of the following programs:
REACH awards for the upcoming academic year are announced in the annual Undergraduate Creative Activities and Research Forum held the first Monday each April where SIUC undergraduate students also present posters of the research and creative activity projects they have been working on during the current academic year.
Creative and Scholarly Saluki Rookies Program targets freshmen and sophomores, offering students the chance to learn more about expectations for success in their chosen interests, and to develop relationships within their areas that will fuel their interest in learning.
Undergraduate Assistantships give full-time SIUC undergraduate students the chance to engage in on-going research with faculty members and/or graduate students, and to earn a wage while doing it. Research assistantships are valuable relationship builders, and often launch students into their own projects.
ILSAMP provides research opportunities to underrepresented groups in the STEM sciences. The students attend professional meetings and enrichment activities.
The McNair Scholars Program is an associate program for undergraduate students who know they want to pursue graduate work. This program particularly targets lower income or first-generation students.