The mission of the Anthony J. Sakowich Center for Undergraduate Research and Creative Activities (SCURCA) is to bring faculty-mentored undergraduate research on campus under a single umbrella and unified structure to promote meaningful scholarship, interdisciplinary engagement, and professional development activities.


The 6-week SCURCA program will run from May 18th to June 28th (it essentially coincides with Summer Session I).

Student Engagement

Thanks to the support of the Sakowich Family Foundation, this 6-week paid summer program offers the opportunity for students to work under the direct supervision of a faculty mentor to gain valuable professional experiences.

Students will participate in a range of professional experiences such as:

  • Hands-on research
  • Human subjects research training (Ethics, Policies and Guidelines)
  • Guest speakers with invited researchers
  • Social events and field trips
  • Research Symposium and Celebration of Success


Faculty who participate in this program will not only serve as student mentors but also have the opportunity to propel their own research. This will include pursuing future publications, presentations, and funding opportunities related to this project.

Some other key parameters of the summer 2020 SCURCA Program are noted below.

  • One-time funding will be matched to the proposal needs; no monies can be used for course releases
  • All applications must include at least two undergraduate students for each faculty member
  • Proposals that involve faculty teams working on joint projects incorporating different but integrated disciplinary approaches are encouraged
  • Awards may not be used for redundant funding of pre-existing grants/awards to Departments, Schools, or the College
  • Awards may be used to purchase a very limited amount of equipment/supplies but must be essential to the project
  • A clear and concise rationale that outlines the implementation and evaluation of the impact of the project will be required
  • Awardees will be expected to work with the Office of Sponsored Programs to identify and ideally submit a future external grant related to this work.

Funding Level

Based on the generosity of the Sakowich Family, we are able to offer both faculty and student salaries for this program. Faculty will be paid up to $4,400 for participation in the 6-week SCURCA Program. Students will be paid based on a set hourly wage of $14.25/hr and students must work between 10 and 28 hours per week. Under this scenario, students could earn up to $2,394 during the 6-week program. Students may have the option of on-campus housing during the 6-week program.

  • Students will receive payment as a Research Assistant or SCURCA/Sakowich Fellow. The student payments are taxable to the extent described by the IRS, but taxes will not be withheld.
  • Student salaries should be calculated based on working between 10 to 28 hours /week at an hourly rate of $14.25.
  • Students will be paid bi-weekly.
  • Faculty payments  will be made at the full conclusion of the SCURCA Program.   


Any and all single or collaborative groups of full-time faculty are eligible to submit an application. As noted above, all faculty applying for projects will need to demonstrate that the project has longer-term scholarship potential and fully integrates undergraduate students.

Students must be current undergraduate Merrimack College students during the time that the SCURCA Program is running (e.g., current juniors who will be rising seniors, sophomores who will be rising juniors, etc.). Graduates, including those who will graduate immediately before the start of the program, are not eligible.

How to Apply

Applications are no longer being accepted for the Summer 2020 SCURCA program.

Application Deadline

Completed applications are due by Wednesday, March 4th, 2020. No applications will be accepted after 11:59 pm on this date. Each applicant will be contacted by email as to the status of their application after the review is completed. For more information, please contact Dr. Kyle McInnis, Vice President for Graduate, Research, and Learning Innovations (mcinnisk@merrimack.edu).


2019-2020 Recipients