Undergraduate research is a term often used to include scholarship and creative inquiry. It may be best described as scholarly study in any discipline where inquiry, discovery and creativity culminate in advancements in science, technology, the arts, or humanities. Undergraduates working under the guidance of faculty mentors have the opportunity to broaden understanding of our world. Students from all disciplines – from anthropology, history, design and English to physics, microbiology and turf grass management – can engage in the excitement of scholarly inquiry. Know that motivated students from high schools, community colleges, and universities from North Carolina, the nation and the world are invited to participate.
The classroom is a place where the current state of disciplinary understandings are presented and discussed. Conversely, those understandings are gained through research/creative inquiry.
If you are interested in the who, what, where, when, and why, then it is very likely that you will enjoy conducting research.
Develop Skills to Conduct Research
Undergraduate research teaches college students the process of developing creative ideas, formulating methods to execute research, and presenting the outcome to the intended community. The skills learned through undergraduate research enable college students 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 helps make her/him successful in the workplace. Effective communication, presentation, and problem-solving skills are now essential in nearly all fields of practice. The job market is continuously evolving as employers try to be efficient and do more with less. Technology’s rapid advancement has changed the workplace landscape, resulting in a demand for more efficient, knowledgeable, and perceptive personnel. Undergraduate research directly translates to the workplace and enables college students with skills to be ahead of the curve.
Develop and Produce New Knowledge
Universities are designed to be a place for the dissemination of knowledge, as well as a place to inspire new ideas, investigate problems and solutions, and create new expressions of humanity. Undergraduates can be an important part of teams working toward these aspirations. Because of their fresh and unbiased look at new ideas, undergraduate students often strengthen the team and can positively influence the direction of research and/or creativity.
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. Undergraduates involved in research and/or creative inquiry 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.
It depends on your level of experience, your academic discipline, and the faculty mentor. Research is conducted differently across disciplines. As an undergraduate researcher, you may find yourself in the library, the field, the laboratory, or even the art or music studio.
It depends. Most faculty members are willing to take any enthused, hardworking and dedicated student. Others expect that you have completed certain courses or surpassed a certain GPA.
It depends. Some faculty members have grants in which they can pay you from. You can work with a faculty member to apply for a UNCG URCA. Even if you don’t get paid you might be able to earn academic credit for your work by enrolling in an independent study.
Probably to Most Likely. The bar for getting into graduate school has been raised. Stellar GPAs and GRE scores are important, but today the importance of a student’s own undergraduate research project is a significant contributing factor to acceptance into, and success in, graduate school.
Probably. There are many skills you are likely to improve as you work on a research project: thinking independently, writing, working with others, synthesizing information, creating new knowledge and organizational skills. All of these are valued by employers. Employers look for students who took advantage of a variety of learning opportunities and who demonstrated they were successful at them.