An education provides tools for perceiving, interpreting, and understanding the world around us. The creative and research processes allow for us to apply those tools.
The projects for the research and creative works conference are self-directed and created by individuals or groups. These Students work with faculty mentors to design and implement a research, scholarly, or creative project and then articulate their results to others. Every field of study has its own research methods, challenges, and appeals. As a researcher or artist, you seek answers to questions or focus on things of great interest to you.
Research problems you seek to resolve could be aesthetic, social, political, scientific, or technical. You determine the tools best for your research, gather and analyze data, and make the data accessible for your audience. By the same token, artistic projects for the conference may include creative writing, painting, drawing, sculpture, music, dance, and others. A participant needs to ask themselves, "Do I want to impress the judges with my skills or do something outside my comfort zone?"
As you work on your project, you will benefit from it by:
- Expanding your 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 and creative techniques.
How to Apply
As of Monday, September 22nd, 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:
Examine 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?
Get a faculty Mentor
- Consider who could serve as your mentor: an academic advisor, a faculty member or former teacher.
- Find a time to regularly meet with a potential faculty mentor 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. Do you have time to commit 3 hours a week? 5 hours? 12 hours? Depending on your project you choose, the number of hours will 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 reliable and punctual as well.
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.