Undergraduate Research, Scholarship and Creative Activity

Sparking and Fostering Curiosity

The UW-Superior Center for Undergraduate Research, Scholarship and Creative Activity (URSCA) promotes, recognizes and celebrates undergraduate research, scholarship and creative activity in all academic disciplines.  We provide support, resources, and opportunities for students, faculty and staff. 

Undergraduate research is an inquiry or investigation conducted by an undergraduate student that makes an original intellectual or creative contribution to the discipline. 

Working on scholarly or creative projects with a faculty member is an opportunity for you to become actively involved in creating knowledge and new meaning within a field of study. 

This method of experiential learning provides a hands-on approach to learning. Not only that, it is typically hard work, fun, and very satisfying. This type of study is not only a great experience, but it provides crucial preparation for both graduate school and the work world. 

You will learn not only about the specific content area you are researching, but also important skills such as: 

  • How to work collaboratively with a faculty member and/or other student colleagues
  • How to pose an important question in your field
  • How to design a research plan or an approach to answering the question
  • How to collect and analyze data, or analyze texts or other information to test your hypothesis or support your argument
  • How to communicate the results of your work through poster and oral presentations and papers

You are also likely to increase your self-confidence in your ability to carry out a major project and recognize whether or not post-graduate research (graduate school) is for you. 

  • Teaches collaboration in the workplace 
  • Engages students in cross-cultural communication and connects them to community needs through Academic Service-Learning 
  • Provides early exposure to research areas, helping students in career decision-making

Getting involved is as easy as: 

  • Talking directly to professors in your department about research opportunities – many have topics and need your help 
  • Developing your own idea for a scholarly or creative project based on class activities such as reading, research for class assignments, or in-class discussions; approach a faculty member you think would make a good advisory for that project 
  • Visiting department or faculty websites 
  • Asking a faculty member whose class you take if there are opportunities for students to work with them 
  • Learning of projects from more senior classmates who are doing research 

Lake Superior Research Center

Student employment opportunities are available through the Lake Superior Research Institute (LSRI). Contact LSRI Director, Matt TenEyck, for more information about job openings.

Transportation and Logistics Research Center

The Transportation and Logistics Research Center (TLRC) provides applied transportation and logistics research opportunities for students in the Transportation and Logistics program. For more information, contact TLRC.

Great Lakes Maritime Research Institute

As part of the TLRC, the Great Lakes Maritime Research Institute works with universities around the Great Lakes to coordinate research into marine transportation, logistics, engineering, environmental planning, and port management. For more information, contact TLRC.

Lake Superior National Estuarine Research Reserve

The Lake Superior National Estuarine Research Reserve works in partnerships to improve the understanding of Lake Superior estuaries and coastal resources while addressing issues affecting coastal communities through an integrated program of research, education, outreach, and stewardship. Student internships and employment opportunities are available with LSNERR. Contact the Reserve for more information. 

As required by UW-System Policy, students need to have a Partnership Agreement for UW-Superior Students (PASS Agreement) on file before they begin internship, academic service-learning, community-based research, volunteering, or other types of community engagement experiences with an external organization. A PASS Agreement protects students and community partners from any risk and liability that could arise while they are working with one another.  

Summer Undergraduate Research Program

The Summer Undergraduate Research program provides a unique opportunity for undergraduate students to spend the summer working on a research or scholarly project with the support of a faculty or staff mentor. Students submit proposals for either a developmental project or a fellowship. After a competitive review process, chosen applicants receive a stipend to support them while they complete their project during a 10-week period in the summer. Depending on the size of the project, students are awarded either $1,750 or $3,500. Mentors also receive a stipend to provide guidance and support to the student over the summer. 

Typically, the schedule is as follows:

  • October: Call for Proposals
  • December: Round One Application deadline
  • January: Round One Awards Announced
  • March: Round Two Application deadline
  • April: Round Two Awards Announced
  • June-August: Students complete their projects
  • October: Campus symposium

SURF 2024 Call for Proposals

SURF 2024 Proposal Guidelines

For more information, contact the URSCA team.

The UW-Superior Alumni and Friends Foundation has been a consistent funder for the Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship, providing continued support for the students and the program. The Foundation also provides numerous scholarships to new and current students.

We’re Here to Help

If you have any questions about undergraduate research, don’t hesitate to contact us.