What is Research...

What is ResearchWhat is undergraduate research? 

According to the Council on Undergraduate Research (CUR), it is: “A mentored investigation or creative inquiry conducted by undergraduates that seeks to make a scholarly or artistic contribution to knowledge.” 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: 

  • ARCHITECTURE: Mixed Reality and Architecture: Altering the Perception of Space to Enable Social Interaction
  • ANTHROPOLOGY: Addressing Threats to Human Security in Guinea Bissau
  • ART HISTORY: Identifying Looted Artificacts: A Case Study of a Teotihuacan Figurine
  • BIOCHEMISTRY: Thermal-Shift Assay Development for Finding Novel Antibiotics Targeting a Cystic Fibrosis Pathogen
  • BIOLOGY: Determining the Optimal Growth of Several Mushroom Varieties on Regional Agricultural Wastes
  • BUSINESS: Security Contingency Planning: Private Recovery and Public Response
  • CHEMISTRY: Synthesis and Characterization of Cerium Oxide Based Nanoscale Catalysts
  • COMPUTER SCIENCE: Recreating Virtual Environments from User Traffic Pattern
  • EDUCATION: Creating Engagement in Mathematics Instruction Using Social Issues
  • ENGINEERING: Performance Evaluation of Autorotative Geometries Without Collective Control
  • ENGLISH: Scared into Combat: Tracing the Language of Cancer Through the Library of Congress Archives
  • ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE AND SUSTAINABILITY: Effects of Foliar Iron Application on Switchgrass Grown in Lead Contaminated Soil
  • EXERCISE SCIENCE: Effect of Eight Weeks of Impact Versus Low-Impact HIIT Group Exercise on Body Composition
  • PSYCHOLOGY: “How did you sleep?”- Analysis of Undergraduate Sleep Quality and Duration
  • SOCIOLOGY: How Female Disney Characters Reflect the Cultural Ideals for Women
  • THEATRE & PERFORMANCE STUDIES: Ableism in Theatre: Sensory Disabilities in Performances for Young Audiences

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).