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Rocky Pardo      Morgan Sturgeon     Kristin Dierker       conference photo
                                                                               Rocky Pardo                     Morgan Sturgeon                    Kristin Dierker                               Paige Niepotter

What is an URCA Associate?

Working with a full-time, tenured or tenure-track faculty mentor, URCA Associates will lead their own research project or creative activity and be the principal investigator in this project. Associates will work continuously for both the fall and spring semester to complete their approved URCA project. The Associate will submit a proposal and be selected by the URCA Board in the spring semester and conduct the project the following academic year. Guidelines for the proposal can be found here. Ten students will be selected each year. These students will receive a $2400 award, and the department will receive funding to purchase materials for the student's project. Among other responsibilities, Associates will be expected give presentations about URCA to undergraduate classes on campus and attend monthly URCA Associate meetings.

Both electronic and paper copies of Associate proposals are due at noon on the third Friday of March each year. This is a firm deadline, and late proposals will not be accepted! Please e-mail an electronic copy to Dr. Laura Pawlow ( and deliver a paper copy to Dr. Pawlow’s faculty mailbox in the Main Psychology Office, in the basement of Alumni Hall, Room 0118; both must be received by the deadline.

Please note: Your cover page will require the signatures of your Department Chair and Dean. These are very busy people whose work often takes them off-campus. Don't wait until the last minute to obtain these signatures, or you may find they will not be available to sign for you! Please plan accordingly to have your application complete and signed by the deadline. (You may need to make an appointment with your Department Chair and Dean to get their signatures.) Regarding the electronic submission, please scan the cover sheet after you've obtained all of the required signatures. If you don't have a scanner, check with your mentor to see if your department has one you can use. Again, plan ahead to make sure you complete all of these steps by the deadline!


  • Lead an independent project
  • Manage the project budget
  • Receive guidance from a faculty mentor
  • Participate in the URCA Symposium


  • $2400 award for the academic year
  • $500 for materials related to the project
  • $400 in travel to present research or creative activity
  • Opportunity to work closely with faculty mentor
  • Opportunity to develop scholarly relationships with other URCA Associates
  • Development of leadership skills
  • Opportunity to publish project results in professional journals

The following are requirements of all URCA Associates in the Undergraduate Research and Creative Activities (URCA) Program at SIUE:

  • Must be of sophomore- or junior-level standing at time of application. Applicant may be senior-level, as long as he or she will not graduate before completing full academic year in URCA Program.  
  • Must have/maintain a cumulative grade point average of 3.0 or above at the time of application and for the entire length of participation in the URCA Associate program. Please note that this is a firm requirement (e.g., close GPAs, like 2.9, will not be rounded up!)
  • Must conduct research or a creative project in the student's major or minor field of study, and must have a full time, tenured or tenure-track faculty mentor in that area.
  • Must maintain adequate progress toward the completion of the URCA project and attend URCA sponsored events/workshopsMust be enrolled as a full-time student at SIUE (minimum of 12 credit hours) for entire length of participation in the URCA ProgramMust obtain necessary clearances/permits (such as with IRB, Animal Care, Hazardous Material or field study sites) BEFORE beginning research or creative activity; this is the responsibility of the Associate and the mentor

The Associate's project will be conducted in the fall and spring of the upcoming year. Funding will likely not be received to begin the project until September of the year the proposal is submitted and accepted. The project should reach completion in March the following spring.

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