The Council on Undergraduate Research (CUR) defines undergraduate research as “an inquiry or investigation conducted by an undergraduate student that makes an original intellectual or creative contribution to the discipline.” At UNCG, we recognize that undergraduate research has a “high impact” on student learning when that project is conducted under the supervision of our faculty and staff. We also like to broaden the possibilities of experience to include those projects “that seeks to make an original intellectual or creative contribution to the discipline.”
Undergraduate Research at UNCG
The Undergraduate Research, Scholarship and Creativity Office (URSCO) at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG) is dedicated to promoting and supporting student success through mentored undergraduate research, creative inquiry and other scholarly experiences for the UNCG community. The URSCO is also dedicated to helping faculty become increasingly effective with mentoring undergraduate research and integrating research skills into courses and curricula.
The office seeks to highlight the diversity of disciplinary scholarship for and through our students in order to help cultivate inquiry outside the classroom. Toward this end, the URSCO hosts a variety of workshops for students and faculty.
Student workshops include: what to expect from a research experience, how to create an effective poster, how to identify the right research program and mentor, and students talking with each other about their research.
Faculty workshops include: how to mentor undergraduate students in research/creative inquiry and integrating research skills into the curriculum.
Specifically, the URSCO seeks to:
- Provide opportunities for UNCG students to engage in an undergraduate research experience.
- Provide opportunities for UNCG students to learn about the benefits of undergraduate research or scholarly experience.
- Provide opportunities for UNCG students to disseminate the results of their research.
- Develop additional programs that support undergraduate research experiences.
- Develop an assessment program for the undergraduate research experience.
- Participate in local, state, and national dialogues or meetings devoted to promoting undergraduate research.
Undergraduate research is a key pedagogical practice at UNCG and has deep roots in the traditional extracurricular mentor-mentee model of student engagement. More and more we are seeing the intentional integration of research and research-skills-development (sensu Willison, 2012) into and throughout the curriculum. Major efforts toward broadening access to research through curricular inclusion have been broadly cast, and notable advances can be seen in Biology, Chemistry and Biochemistry through a CUR Transformation grant, and in the Humanities through an A. W. Mellon grant.
Carolyn and Norwood Thomas Undergraduate Research and Creativity Expo
Late each Spring Semester, the URSCO hosts a campus-wide celebration of undergraduate research, scholarship, and creative activities. All students engaged in faculty-mentored scholarly inquiry are encouraged to participate. Students are eligible to compete for program recognition, which includes monetary awards. Course-based undergraduate research projects are also encouraged.
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