ACURA: Undergraduate Research

It is the mission of Abington College Undergraduate Research Activities (ACURA) to develop students who are critical thinkers and creative scholars by engagement in scientific experimentation, inquiry-based research, and exploration of the arts through a year long research experience within our community of teacher-scholars.


ACURA offers Penn State Abington students the opportunity to:

  • Collaborate closely with a faculty research mentor on a hands-on research project and/or creative work over the course of one academic year,
  • Receive academic credit (one credit in fall; two credits in the spring) for their research activity,
  • Gain valuable research, technical, and artistic experience for more advanced levels of scholarly work, and/or for use in future careers,
  • Present one’s research findings at the Annual ACURA Poster Fair, at a research lecture at the Fall Colloquium, and/or at a local or national research conference
  • Publish one’s original work and discoveries in partnership with one’s research mentor.

An ACURA communications forum for faculty and students


See faculty who are looking for students researchers.


See students who are looking for faculty mentors.


Connect with this Abington ACURA group.

(Once in Yammer, search for "Abington ACURA" and click on that group page link)

2013-14 Students commented about their ACURA experience -


"Education you don't usually get in the classroom."


"It's a life-changing experience."


"I encourage every student to do it."



Beth Montemurro, Ph.D.
Beth Montemurro, Ph.D.

Poster Preparation Workshops. All ACURA students and faculty are required to attend two poster preparation workshops that describes best practices for creating an effective poster for presentation at local and/or national conferences. These sessions include instruction on how to use the Powerpoint poster template, creation of a research abstract, how to present effective graphs, data and results, and the writing of compelling yet concise text and concluding remarks.


April 14, 2015 ACURA Poster Fair, Lubert Commons

April 16, 2015 ACURA Maker Faire, Lubert Commons


ACURA Week celebrates and showcases the year’s research accomplishments and creative activities from the three academic divisions of Arts and Humanities, Science and Engineering, and Social Sciences. At the Annual Poster Fair the student projects are displayed in poster format to the campus community. Students and faculty informally discuss the findings with the student researchers. Also, faculty judges circulate and interview the student researchers and determine the best student projects from each academic division that will later compete in the Fall Colloquium (see below). Other activities may include literary readings, art exhibitions, dance and musical presentations, and research lectures by faculty speakers.


Informational Meeting. Prospective ACURA students and faculty research mentors meet to discuss the year’s upcoming ACURA program. Faculty mentors describe their research activities to the students, then informally discuss their project concepts with interested students as a means for students to find a research mentor and/or join a research team that fits well with their academic interests.


Fall Colloquium. The student researchers who were selected by the poster fair judges as producing the best posters are invited to present their findings in a lecture format to the campus community. During the Colloquium the student researcher gives a fifteen minute lecture using Powerpoint and then answers questions of the audience. The winner of the Fall Colloquium lecture may be awarded travel with their faculty mentor to present their findings at a national conference if the work is accepted by the conference's review panel.