SJSU Student Research, Scholarship, and Creative Activity (RSCA) Competition

Issue Date: January 13, 2021

The long-standing annual Student Research Competition is now designated as the SJSU Student RSCA Competition. This opportunity allows graduate and undergraduate students to present their original Research, Scholarship, and Creative Activity (RSCA) and compete for selection as SJSU representatives at both SJSU’s Celebration of Research and the statewide 35th Annual California State University (CSU) Student Research Competition, hosted virtually by Cal Poly Pomona this year.

Eligibility Requirements

Students must be currently enrolled undergraduate or graduate students, or alumni/alumnae who received their degrees in spring, summer, or fall 2020. Students must also be working on original RSCA with a faculty member at SJSU.

Divisions of Competition

Divisions of competition have been defined by CSU-wide procedures and we will divide the judging into Group A and Group B based on these divisions. Projects fitting the description of Behavioral, Social Sciences and Public Administration, Creative Arts and Design, Education, Humanities and Letters, Interdisciplinary Majors will be put into Group A. Projects fitting the description of Biological and Agricultural Sciences, Business, Economics, Hospitality Management, Engineering and Computer Science, Health, Nutrition, and Clinical Sciences, Physical and Mathematical Sciences will be put into Group B.

How do I Apply?

Students must email the 2021 SJSU Student RSCA Competition application materials to their relevant college by 5pm, February 15, 2021 (see college-specific emails below). The application materials should be combined into a single PDF that consists of:

  • The 2021 Student Research Competition Application Form [pdf], which includes a 200-word written summary of the RSCA project.
  • A narrative, not exceeding five double-spaced pages, that describes (1) the need for this RSCA and the problem being addressed, (2) the methodology or approach, (3) the results or products, and (4) significance of the results or products.
  • Any needed appendices (bibliography, graphs, photographs, or other supplementary materials) may not exceed three pages
  • Research that involves human or animal subjects must have appropriate institutional review approval provided.
College College Email Address
Business marco.pagani@sjsu.edu
Education lurie-fsrc-group@sjsu.edu
Engineering Engineering-Research@sjsu.edu
Health and Human Sciences laurie.drabble@sjsu.edu
Humanities and the Arts jason.aleksander@sjsu.edu
Professional and Global Education sandy.hirsh@sjsu.edu
Science science-research@sjsu.edu
Social Sciences socialsciences-rsca@sjsu.edu
University Library emily.chan@sjsu.edu

What happens after I apply?

Each college reviews all applicants and chooses up to four applicants/applicant groups who will present their work at the SJSU RSCA Competition - a two-day event held virtually on March 18 (Group A) or March 19 (Group B), 2021. Applicants will be notified no later than March 3, 2021 about whether they can present their RSCA at the SJSU RSCA Competition.

Successful Applications

Projects chosen to move forward in the SJSU RSCA competition will be required in a virtual format to give a live 8-minute presentation, followed by a 5-minute Question and Answer (Q&A) with a panel of judges from the Graduate Studies and Research (GS&R) Committee, an operating committee of the SJSU Academic Senate.

The GS&R Committee will evaluate the written RSCA summary and the oral presentation using the same evaluation criteria that will be used in the CSU-wide competition. The evaluation criteria are as follows:

  • Clarity of purpose
  • Appropriateness of methodology
  • Interpretation of results
  • Value of the research or creative activity
  • Ability of the presenter to articulate the research or creative activity
  • Organization of the material presented
  • Presenter’s ability to handle questions from the jury and general audience

Up to ten students or student group finalists will be selected and invited to participate in SJSU’s Virtual Celebration of Research on Thursday, April 29, 2021 and to virtually attend the 35th Annual CSU Student Research Competition on Friday, April 30, or Saturday, May 1, 2021 (the date will depend on your discipline area). Finalists (as an individual or a group) will receive a cash prize of $300 to offset any expenses associated with the contest.

Finalists progressing to these events will be notified no later than March 22, 2021. These students will be asked to create an 8-minute YouTube video that will be shown at each of these events. The CSU event will also involve a Q&A and judging component. Further details about participation in the SJSU RSCA Competition, the CSU Student Research Competition and the Celebration of Research will be provided as needed to successful applicants and winners of SJSU RSCA Competition.

Process Timeline

February 15, 2021: SJSU Student RSCA Competition application materials to their relevant college by 5 pm.

March 3, 2021: Students notified if their application is successful and they can present at the SJSU Student RSCA Competition.

March 18 and 19: Successful applicants will be required to present their RSCA at the SJSU Student RSCA Competition on either Thursday March 18, 1:00 pm - 5:00 pm or Friday March 19, 1:00 pm - 5:00 pm. Date and time will depend on Project Category.

March 22, 2021: Students notified if they are finalists in the 35th Annual CSU Student Research Competition.

March 26, 2021: SJSU campus coordinator must submit the participants’ names, email addresses and presentation categories to the CSU event coordinators.

March 28, 2021 at 11:59 pm (PDT): Students must register for the competition via the 2021 CSU Student Research Competition website using the Student Delegate Registration Form.

April 15, 2021 at 11:59pm (PDT): Students finalists required to submit pre-record presentations and upload their recordings via an online form to an unlisted YouTube Channel.

April 29, 2021: Finalists virtually attend the SJSU Celebration of Research on April 29 from 1:30 - 3:30 pm.

April 30, 2021: Finalists virtually attend the 35th Annual CSU Student Research Competition on Friday, April 30, or Saturday, May 1, 2021 (the date will depend on your discipline area).

How do I get support?

If you are interested in applying please talk with your faculty mentor for help and support with your application content. Questions about the SJSU Student RSCA Competition application process should be directed to the Office of Research at officeofresearch@sjsu.edu.