FURCA Awards

The Festival of Undergraduate Research and Creative Activities (FURCA) celebrates the talents of U of A students, providing a place for the sharing of ideas between students, faculty, and the broader community.

Each year, awards are given in several categories. As all awards are sponsor or donor-funded, the value and number of awards may vary each year depending on funding availability and the pool of eligible presenters.

Congratulations to our FURCA 2024 Award recipients

Presenting student is bolded and with an asterisk.

Outstanding Communication


Dania Al-Rimawi*, Yasser Abuetabh, Matthew D. Martens, Seyed Amirhossein Tabatabaei Dakhili, John R. Ussher, Jason R.B. Dyck [Faculty of Science] — Pharmacological inhibition of ROMO1 reduces ovarian cancer cell proliferation

Emma Elder*, Amanda A. de Oliveira, Amy Wooldridge, Raven Kirschenman, Anita Quon, Floor Spaans, Christy-Lynn Cooke, Sandra T. Davidge [Faculty of Medicine & Dentistry] — The Effects of a High Cholesterol Diet During Pregnancy on Uterine Artery Function in Rats


Emma Heidebrecht*, Peter Hurd [Faculty of Science] — How Genderqueer Identity Varies with Autism Traits on a Spectrum in a Sample of the University Population

Anne Rinna Kouassi-Djan*, Meriem Baadi, Leah Isaac , Elisa Molstad, Sherilyne Ketsia Mvolo, Zenab Gill, Mourad Ferdaoussi [Campus Saint-Jean] — Role of Ferroptosis in Glucolipotoxicity-Induced ß Cell Dysfunction and Death

Madelyn M. Lux*, Uldis Silins, Michael J. Wagner, Eamon Turner, Erin Cherlet, Craig Harriott, Kirk Hawthorn, Micheal Stone, Monica Emelko [Faculty of Agricultural, Life & Environmental Sciences] — Impacts of wildfire retardant on a Rocky Mountain stream

Delaney MacIntosh*, Mostafa Mohamed, Cass (Haoyang) Li, Ahmad Altawari, Martin Bouliane, Lindsey Westover [Faculty of Engineering] — Improving Shoulder Joint Health: Biomechanical Evaluation of Bone Graft Techniques in Reverse Total Shoulder Arthroplasty Shoulder Replacement

Tianna Tanasichuk* [Faculty of Science] — Stronger and Stronger: United Nations Sustainability Goals and How the University of Alberta can be More Sustainable

Jiaxuan Wang*, Gane Ka-Shu Wong, David Wishart [Faculty of Science] — An Investigation of Biomarker and Common, Chronic Disease Relations

Outstanding Interdisciplinary Research

Ishrath Khan* [Faculty of Science] — Promoting self-determination in first generation university students

Micah Lim*, Erik F. Halliwell, Anant Kumar T. K., Jari Swanson, Carl Berresheim, Matthew Foran, Laura Ortiz Balbuena, Yuan Zhang, David Cullen, Andy Kale, Leonid Olifer, K. Steven Knudsen, Greg Enno, Michael G. Lipsett, Henry Tiedje, David Barona, Robert Fedosejevs, David K. Milling, Ian R. Mann [Faculty of Engineering] — Developing a Coherent Systems Engineering Approach and Integration and Test Plan for the PEPPER-X Sounding Rocket Mission

Outstanding Creative Activity

Hannah Mehling* [Faculty of Education] — Consultation is not consent: Canadian Artists respond to neo-colonial mining practices

Outstanding Early Career Research

Pratham Patel*, Nishaka William, Rafay Osmani, Jason P. Acker [Faculty of Science] — Addition of dextran to sucrose and dextrose cryoprotectant solution improves red blood cell cryopreservation by droplet vitrification

Research Impact Awards

Oluchi Nwoke* [Faculty of Arts] — How Siblings Impact Igbo Bilingualism

Olivia O'Neill*, Katie O'Connor* [Faculty of Arts] — Within and Without: The History of The Great Gatsby's Dust Jacket

Laetitia Satam*, Sandy Rao, Dr. Gina Dimitropoulos, Dr. Scott Patten, HEARTS Study Team, Alyshah Pirwany* (not an author, but part of KM and will be presenting) [Faculty of Agricultural, Life & Environmental Sciences] — Invisible Burdens: Changing Systems for Youth Mental Health and Hidden Disabilities

Mason Schindle*, Chelsea Luft, Azra Panjwani, Madeline Yee [Faculty of Medicine & Dentistry] — Fentanyl Testing Kits: An Overdose Prevention Initiative

Outstanding Sustainability

John-Paul Cooper*, Jacey Brassington* [Faculty of Science] — Evaluation of Subway Air Quality, a Key Parameter Towards Sustainable Public Transportation

Mason D’Souza*, Mohamad H. Al-Jabiri, Amanda Hanashiro Moraes, Ran Zhao, Wolfgang Jäger [Faculty of Science] — Pyrolysis of Polyvinyl Chloride: Emissions of Hydrogen Chloride and Organic Aerosols

Rian Hoyle*, Hussain Alhussainy* [Faculty of Arts] — Considering a disability perspective for achieving the Sustainable Development Goals

Outstanding International Student Researcher

Latifat Busari* [Faculty of Science] — Sustainability Paradigms: Indigenous Voices and the Confrontation of Imperialist, Colonialist, and Capitalist Systems

Outstanding International Research

Jaden Ho* [Faculty of Arts] — The "flower boys" in K-Pop: androgynous and soft masculinities in the Korean identity

Award Categories and Information

General Awards

Outstanding Communication

Recognizes students who are best able to communicate the results and impact of their research to an interdisciplinary audience. Note, this award is given out in each category of presentation (e.g., best poster, best oral presentation, etc.).

Sponsored by the Students’ Union and College of Natural & Applied Sciences.

Outstanding Interdisciplinary Research

Recognizes outstanding interdisciplinary research. The interdisciplinary aspects of the project may include (but are not limited to):

  • The student is doing research outside of their own discipline
  • The research makes effective use of interdisciplinary methods
  • The outcomes of the research are interdisciplinary in scope

Students must be able to clearly explain the interdisciplinary aspects of their project to the judges.

Sponsored by the College of Social Sciences & Humanities.

Special Categories

Outstanding Creative Activity

The Outstanding Creative Activity Award recognizes outstanding research-creation. Research-creation, as defined by SSHRC, is "an approach to research that combines creative and academic research practices, and supports the development of knowledge and innovation through artistic expression, scholarly investigation, and experimentation. The creation process is situated within the research activity and produces critically informed work in a variety of media (art forms). Research-creation cannot be limited to the interpretation or analysis of a creator’s work, conventional works of technological development, or work that focuses on the creation of curricula. Fields that may involve research-creation may include, but are not limited to: architecture, design, creative writing, visual arts (e.g., painting, drawing, sculpture, ceramics, textiles), performing arts (e.g., dance, music, theatre), film, video, performance art, interdisciplinary arts, media and electronic arts, and new artistic practices." (SSHRC definition)

Sponsored by the College of Social Sciences & Humanities.

Outstanding "Early Career" Research

Recognizes a 1st or 2nd-year student for outstanding research undertaken during their first year of study. Note: First-year students presenting work completed in high school are also eligible for this award.

Sponsored by the College of Social Sciences & Humanities.

Outstanding International Research

Recognizes outstanding research performed outside of Canada (e.g. international fieldwork, research-abroad experiences, etc.).

Sponsored by University of Alberta International.

Outstanding International Student Researcher

Recognizes outstanding research performed by an international student at the U of A.

Sponsored by University of Alberta International.

Outstanding Sustainability Research

The Sustainability Council is proud to recognize the top undergraduate researchers who are building a better world. The winning projects demonstrate an integrated approach that considers human and environmental factors in the challenges we face and the solutions we need. A panel convened by the Sustainability Council selects the top projects within this field for the award.

Research Impact Canada Award for Knowledge Mobilization

Recognizes undergraduate research projects that involve the following:

  • Community or participant based/guided/co-produced/engaged research
  • A knowledge mobilization plan directed towards the non-academic community. This plan should clearly identify your intended knowledge users, a description of the ways in which you will share knowledge, and a description of how you will disseminate your knowledge products to your knowledge user(s) in an engaged way.

Sponsored by University of Alberta Libraries & Research Impact Canada.