What is Research

SymposiumWhat is undergraduate research? 

According to the Council on Undergraduate Research (CUR), it is: “An inquiry or investigation conducted by an undergraduate student that makes an original intellectual or creative contribution to the discipline.” http://www.cur.org/about.html 

Undergraduate research projects are mentored by a faculty or staff member with expertise in the research methods of his or her discipline. The project should make a unique contribution to the literature in the student's field(s). It is strongly encouraged that the student present or publish the project. After all, if you "make an original intellectual or creative contribution to your discipline," you need to let others know about it so they can learn from and build on your work.

Undergraduate research can take many forms depending on the discipline. Take a look at some of the recent titles of undergraduate research projects at KSU: 

  • (Anthropology) An Anthropological Analysis of the Chalcolithic Material Culture Found at Pachamta in the Mewar Plain, India
  • (Art History) Rethinking the Representation of Prostitution in Ancient Greek Vase-Painting
  • (Biology) Identification of Novel Kallmann Syndrome Genes by Fluorescence-Activated Cell Sorting and Expression Profiling
  • (Chemistry) Multisite Phosphorylation of eNOS by Various Kinases and the Impact of Calmodulin
  • (Engineering) Wheelchair Carrier For Use In Airports
  • (English) The Success of Hashtags in Social Media Movements: A Linguistics Approach
  • (Exercise Science) Is Prenatal Exercise Participation Associated with Reduced Discomforts of Pregnancy?
  • (Psychology) Reducing Automatic Stereotyping and Increasing Humanization Through Situational Attributional Training

Why should I get involved in undergraduate research?

Undergraduate research is one of the ten “high-impact educational practices” that promote deep learning and engage students (Kuh, 2008). There are numerous benefits associated with undergraduate research – for example, increased retention, progression, & graduation rates, increased rates of attending graduate school, better success once in graduate school, improvements in critical thinking, improvements in writing and public speaking, etc. (Bauer & Bennett, 2003; Hathaway et al., 2002; Nagda et al., 1998; Nnadozie et al., 2001). In general, you’ll become professionally socialized through your undergraduate research experiences; you’ll learn professional conduct and begin to acquire the skills and attitudes associated with your discipline (Hunter et al., 2006; Lopatto, 2007; Seymour et al., 2004).