What our students say
"Definitely a worthwhile endeavor (for any undergrad). I liked the opportunity to learn what research and ‘graduate’ school research is like and also I worked with great professors and grad students."
Our mission is to promote, support, and publicize undergraduate research in all disciplines at the University. This is accomplished through the following activities:
- Expand undergraduate research opportunities
- Develop and maintain outreach tools including website, printed materials and presentations
- Facilitate faculty involvement
- Publicize external undergraduate research funding opportunities to faculty and provide support in developing undergraduate research grant proposals
- Recognize faculty involvement in undergraduate research
Why Undergraduate Research?
Develop Skills to Conduct Research
The job market is continuously evolving and the rate of evolution is fast because of the rapid development of new technologies. The job market is also highly competitive as employers try to be efficient and do more with less. An adaptable work force gives employers an edge and hence the ability to adapt is a requirement and no longer a luxury. Furthermore, effective communication skills are now essential in nearly all fields of practice. Undergraduate research teaches students the process of developing creative ideas, formulating and executing research and presenting the outcome. The skills learned through undergraduate research enable the college graduate to develop and adapt to new ideas and pursue them in a systematic way. The ability to communicate, both in written and verbal form, enhances the overall effectiveness of the individual and makes her/him a success.
Develop and Produce New Knowledge
One of the major roles of universities is to create and investigate new ideas. Undergraduate students can be an important part of teams that that often involve graduate students and research associates, all operating under the guidance of a faculty mentor. Because of their fresh and unbiased look at new ideas, undergraduate students often strengthen the research team and can positively affect the direction of research.
To Motivate Talented Students and Recruit Them to Graduate School
Many highly capable students do not pursue graduate degrees, frequently because of a lack of understanding about the possibilities that graduate education offer both during school and following graduation. The perception that graduate education is hard, costly and not rewarding is commonly overcome by becoming involved in research as an undergraduate student. The satisfaction that comes from solving a problem or attempting a creative endeavor that has not previously been attempted can create a new perspective and potentially encourage students attending graduate school.
Improve a Sense of Community and Group Dynamic
The exposure of many students to the university setting is often limited to attending classes and occasionally meeting with an advisor. Undergraduate research provides a mechanism for students to interact more closely and frequently with faculty mentors and other researchers on campus. The improved sense of belonging and accomplishment enriches the educational experience of the student and provides opportunities to explore potential career paths.