Research is the pursuit of knowledge. Undergraduate research is self-directed work in which students from all areas of study work individually or as part of a team to explore issues of interest to them. Students and faculty mentors work together to design and implement a research, scholarly, or creative project and then communicate the results to others.
Every field of study has its own research problems and methods. As a researcher you seek answers to questions of great interest to you. Your research problem could be aesthetic, social, political, scientific or technical. You determine the tools best for your research, gather and analyse the data.
Benefits of conducting research at the undergraduate level include:
- Expanding understanding and knowledge of your academic field.
- Defining your academic, career, and personal interests.
- Establishing valuable connections with faculty.
- Gaining academic experiences that help expand your resume, such as presenting at research conferences, publishing, and working with a research team.
- Developing critical thinking, leadership, time management, and communication skills.
- Exploring research techniques.
How to Apply
As of Thursday, May 1st, registration and abstract submissions are OPEN. Follow the link on the homepage to submit a project abstract. You will be asked to submit the title of your work and an abstract that explains your research and methodology.
For help preparing your project and/or proposal, visit our Resources page.
Before undertaking an undergraduate research project, there are a few steps you should take.
Define your interests
- Is there something you feel passionate enough about to explore?
- What are your favorite courses?
- Have you had a class assignment or paper that you can expand upon?
- What previous experience or skills do you have that can be useful in research?
Plan a talk with your faculty mentor
- Find a time to regularly meet with a potential faculty mentor, which could be your academic advisor, a faculty member or former teacher, to discuss your research interests.
- Think about your availability to do research. Be realistic about the amount of time you have to devote to a research experience. The number of hours may vary from situation to situation.
- Faculty members are looking for students who are not just high achievers and interested in their research, but who are also reliable and punctual.
Be persistent (but not a nuisance)
- Don't get discouraged if you can't find a research opportunity right away. If a faculty member doesn't have a position for you, he or she may be able to recommend another faculty member.
- The objective is to find a good fit between your interests and abilities and those of a faculty member.
- You may want to prepare yourself with one or more courses to make ready for a productive research experience. Ask faculty for advice on how to prepare yourself to be of use in their type of work.