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Celebration of Excellence in Research + Creative Activity

UW-Eau Claire's Celebration of Excellence in Research and Creative Activity (CERCA) is designed to give UW-Eau Claire students the opportunity to present the results of their research and scholarly creative activity. The event highlights student research accomplishments and contributions to the academic community.

CERCA 2021 will be held virtually on April 19-23, 2021. Check back in January for more information.


CERCA 2020

28th Annual CERCA:

Posters, Oral Presentations, Films, Displays, and Performances of student scholarly work

We would like to invite everyone to (virtually) attend our 28th annual Celebration of Excellence in Research and Creative Activity (CERCA) the week of April 27-May 1, 2020. In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, this year's CERCA will be taking place virtually on Canvas. There will not be a physical CERCA event. This site will be open and accessible to anyone -- UW-Eau Claire affiliates and otherwise -- that has the link. We invite visitors to leave thoughtful comments/questions and constructive feedback, and presenters to respond accordingly.

Link for UW-Eau Claire student, staff, faculty and administrators (please choose ‘UW Employee/Faculty/Student)

Link and further instructions for non-UW-Eau Claire guests

1. Open the following link in Chrome or Firefox:

2. Click the UW Continuing Education Student link.

3. Click Need a Canvas Account on the upper right side of the screen.

4. Click I’m a Student.

5. Enter H4PXPL as the Join Code, complete the rest of the form, and click Start Learning. HINT: Use your email address as your username.

6. After your account is created, you can login to Canvas from the UW-Eau Claire website.

7. Click the Canvas link at the top of the page.Click the Non-UWEC Canvas Login link and login with the credentials you created in Step 5.

Provost's Remarks CERCA 2020

2020 Virtual CERCA Program

*Please note that this program list is subject to change

Companion Events and Presentations

All of these will have their own modules on the CERCA Canvas site. Some companion events will remain open after 5/1/2020.

  • Math Retreat, Contact: Jennifer Harrison (
  • Nursing Symposium, Contact: Mohammad Alasagheirin ( 
  • Spotlight on First-year Research, Contact: Matthew Evans (
  • Provost’s Honors Symposium, Contact: Pam Golden (
  • Global Experiences and Domestic Immersions Presentations, Contacts: Jeff DeGrave ( and Storm Jacko (
  • Latin American Studies Capstone, Contact: Manuel Fernandez (

CERCA Poster Presentations

CERCA posters will have their own module on the CERCA Canvas site, and will be split up by broad disciplinary categories (see "2020 Virtual CERCA Program"). Larger sections will be split up further by a project's faculty mentor's department. 

  • Poster presentations can be a single PowerPoint slide setup as a large format poster with a ~2-minute voice-over.
  • Information about the PowerPoint poster process can be found here (Mac) or here (Windows). Information about adding audio to PowerPoints can be found here

CERCA Oral Presentations

CERCA oral presentations will have their own module on the CERCA Canvas site. 

  • Oral presentations can be 10-15 minute video recordings, or can be PowerPoint presentations with audio voiceover -- whatever format presenters prefer.
  • Information about the PowerPoint poster process can be found here (Mac) or here (Windows). Information about adding audio to PowerPoints can be found here.

Uploading Presentations to Canvas

If you have particular questions about uploading your presentation to Canvas, please contact Angie Stombaugh (


UW-Eau Claire's Celebration of Excellence in Research and Creative Activity (CERCA) is designed to give UW-Eau Claire and UW-Eau Claire-Barron County students the opportunity to present the results of their research and scholarly creative activity. The event highlights student research accomplishments and contributions to the academic community. CERCA encourages the dissemination of research results from all disciplines represented at the university.

The first UW-Eau Claire student research event, known as Student Research Day, was in 1992 with 60 posters presented. Since 1992, the event has expanded and evolved. In 2019, CERCA highlighted 371 projects by 575 different students and 166 faculty mentors. CERCA continues to grow every year.

CERCA Abstract Books 1994-Present 

Any UW-Eau Claire or UW-Eau Claire-Barron County student engaged in collaborative or independent research or scholarly creative work is eligible to apply. Chippewa Valley Technical College students are also welcome. Researchers in all disciplines are encouraged to apply.

All projects must make new knowledge by building from previous knowledge or creating new perspectives.

Your presentation should explain how your project meets this definition. This definition is intentionally broad in order to encompass all the scholarship that takes place on campus. For example:

  • A kinesiology project examining the effects that a short term dynamic core exercise program may have on agility.
  • A research project that critically examines how scholars perceive the role of Virgil through a survey of scholarship on The Divine Comedy in English.
  • An art project inspired by relational art, a field within contemporary art.
  • A geography project analyzing the land use/land cover changes in the lower Chippewa River watershed.
  • A critical performance of G.B. Viotti transcribed for two bassoons in order to examine how aspects of Classical musical style translate across instrumental genres.
  • A research project studying the effect of cyber bullying on school climate.
  • Assessment of research needs with a community partner and plan for implementation.

The application process can be broken down into 3 key parts:

  1. Write your abstract, work with your mentor to polish.
  2. Decide on a presentation format.
  3. Submit your application for mentor's final approval.
  4. Mentor submits application to ORSP.

1. Write your abstract
A key component to your CERCA application is your abstract (200 words maximum). For details on writing your abstract, please read the Abstract Writing Guide.

An abstract summarizes the important qualities of your project. Successful abstracts, in every discipline, will typically achieve five key goals:

  1. Title your research project.
  2. State your research question, aim, or scholarly goal. (~1 sentence)
  3. Contextualize your project within existing knowledge or ideas. (~1 sentence)
  4. Describe the methods or approach you used or will use. (~2 sentences)
  5. Describe your main conclusions, outcomes, products, or recommendations or expected outcomes. (~2 sentences)

Your CERCA abstract should:

  • Be 200 words or less.
  • Be pasted into your CERCA application.
  • Be attached as a Microsoft Word document if your text includes any special characters or italics and/or if formatting has been lost by the form. LaTex users may attach a pdf to guide formatting of mathematical characters. Include title and authors in attached versions.

Since your CERCA abstract will be published, it is important to:

  • Use terminology that will be clear to a general, non-expert audience.
  • Define abbreviations not universally understood upon first use (include abbreviation in parentheses immediately after you first use the term; thereafter you can use the abbreviation).
  • Be concise and strive for clarity.
  • Carefully proofread your work.

If you need additional writing assistance, experienced writing tutors in the Center for Writing Excellence can assist you with any stage of abstract-writing. Abstracts not adhering to these guidelines may be returned for revision prior to acceptance. Your CERCA abstract will be published in the Proceedings Volume online and in print.

2. Decide on a presentation format
In addition to attaching your abstract, you will need to decide which presentation format will best suit your research. CERCA has 4 presentation formats:

  1. Oral Presentation: Oral presentations are 12 minutes plus 3 minutes for discussion. Oral sessions will be scheduled on Wednesday and Thursday and will be grouped with other oral presentations by topic. The presentation rooms are equipped with computers and projectors. Creative writing presentations should present a research context alongside a reading of the work. Please e-mail if you require any other accommodations or have questions. Note: If your oral presentation is being nominated for the Provost's Honors Symposium, there is no need to also submit to CERCA. If not accepted to the PHS it will be automatically included in CERCA.
  2. Poster Presentation: A 42" x 46" poster displayed for 2 days with a 2 hour presentation time each day. At least one presenter should be present at each presentation time if at all possible. Presentation dates will be Wednesday and Thursday. Poster design workshops will be available starting early April. We are able to provide small tables for associated displays and access to electrical outlets. If you need any additional accommodations, Art or Other Display with Explanation will better accommodate your needs.
  3. Art or Other Display with Explanation: For presenting art or other creations not conducive to a 'poster only' format. Materials should be on displayed for 2 days with a 2 hour presentation time each day. At least one presenter should be present at each presentation time if at all possible. Presentation times will be Wednesday and Thursday. You should include text contextualizing and explaining your project. Most displays create a poster explaining what is on display. We will do our best to accommodate any needs your specific display may require.
  4. Performance or Film with Lecture: May schedule up to 25 minutes for a live performance or original film including a contextualizing lecture. Your Performance or Film with Lecture will be scheduled Wednesday or Thursday. We will do our best to accommodate any needs including using Woodland Theater or other Davies venues and making arrangements for audio equipment or pianos.

3. Submit your application
The Celebration of Excellence in Research and Creative Activity application is processed in BP Logix and must be initiated by a student. To start an application, the lead student will need to log into BP Logix, (1) select Start New form and (2) choose ORSP as the department. From there, (3) select "Celebration of Excellence in Research and Creative Activity". A new form should open.

To edit, submit, or resubmit a form you have previously started or a form which has been returned to you, access the form from the My Tasks tab. Once you have submitted a form, it will be viewable from the View Forms In Process tab and will no longer appear in your My Tasks tab. Please visit the Using eForms and BP Logix page for a detailed explanation of the eForm system.

Your application will also require a faculty mentor to sign off on your application. For independent research (research that wasn't performed with a faculty mentor), the applicant must find a faculty mentor to sign off on their project.

Projects with multiple co-authors

The CERCA form is set up so that the lead student author submits a single application. Student co-authors should not submit a second application and do not need to formally approve the form. Once the lead student author submits the form, it will be sent to the faculty mentor for approval or revision before being sent to ORSP. Due to technical limitations, co-authors will not receive notification of approval and cannot edit or view the form themselves. The lead student is responsible for communicating with co-authors, and correctly including their names on the form.


If you are presenting a poster or display with poster, UW-Eau Claire would like to publish your poster in an online, searchable database called MINDS@UW. To publish a poster, both the lead student author and faculty mentor will need to sign off on permission in the application.

Still need help?

Please visit the Using eForms and BP Logix . If you have questions or need further assistance, please contact ORSP at 715-836-3405 or email

Deadline for Application:

Applications for CERCA 2021 must be submitted online by March 4th.

If you choose to do a poster presentation, you will need to design and print a large format poster after your application has been approved. Poster printing is free for CERCA presentations. You will need to submit your poster at least one week before CERCA to ensure time for printing. 

Poster design, preparation, and printing assistance is available. Sign up for a Poster Design Workshop through LTS, view a video tutorial, or contact The poster printing policy (Knowledge View) is also available for viewing. For usable poster templates, please go the W:Drive/lts/Poster/Templates if you are on campus. If you are off campus, go to and log in with your UW-Eau Claire username. Click on the sidebar and navigate through lts/Poster/Templates.

All posters should include the UW-Eau Claire Power of AND brand and wordmark in agreement with the University Communications Graphic Standards Guide. Each poster should list the title of the project, the student(s)' names, the faculty mentor name(s), and the department name(s). The poster dimensions should not exceed 46x46 inches to fit the poster board; posters printed through LTS are limited to 42x46 inches. The acknowledgements section should mention the source of your research funding, if applicable. Due to the high cost of plotter supplies and the time required to fulfill poster requests, we cannot re-print final posters due to author mistakes, except in exceptional cases.

Please visit the LTS Research Poster Printing Services site for more information about printing and designing your poster. Also, you may visit MINDS@UW to view previously published posters that you may use as examples to design your own or visit the CERCA Photo Gallery to get a feel for what the event looks like.

CERCA Abstract Books 1994-Present

CERCA Posters Archived on Minds@UW


Every year, students in ART 374 create abstract posters for CERCA. Help choose this year's CERCA Artwork. Here are the final 6 abstract posters. To vote click here.

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