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Ask a Faculty Member

What is undergraduate research?

Undergraduate research can be defined as “a student-faculty collaboration to examine, create, and share new knowledge or works in ways commensurate with practices in the discipline (Hakim 2000).”

Why do undergraduate research?

UIS has adopted the Boyer model of scholarship, and so faculty have more freedom in defining our research programs than those at research-intensive universities. As a primarily undergraduate institution (PUI), faculty at UIS can be successful in contributing to progress in their discipline by including students in our research activities. Malachowski (2003) states that “the interaction between faculty and students should provide the major impetus for our work.”

An additional positive outcome of including student collaborators in our research activities is that our students are more successful. According to Astin (1993) “the two most important factors in student cognitive and affective development, satisfaction, and learning are the nature of students’ peer groups and the quality and quantity of their interactions with faculty outside of the classroom“. Faculty have little control over student peer groups, but we can have a great impact on our students through mentoring and advising.

How to do undergraduate research?

  • Breakdown your research program into projects that students could contribute to
  • Talk about your research in your classes
  • Invite students to participate in your research
  • Talk with faculty in your department who already mentor undergraduate students
  • Talk with your department chair about adding undergraduate research to the curriculum
  • Attend the Fall faculty development workshop
  • Contact a member of the Undergraduate Research Steering Committee
  • Learn about the Research Skills Development program at the University of Adelaide

We’re Here to Help

The Undergraduate Research Support Program is sponsored by the Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs and administered by the Undergraduate Research Steering Committee, Keenan Dungey, Director (217-206-7345, ursp@uis.edu).

Sources

Hakim, T. M. (2000). How to Develop and Administer Institutional Undergraduate Research Programs. Council on Undergraduate Research: Washington, DC.

Malachowski, M. R. (2003). “A Research-Across-the-Curriculum Movement.” New Directions for Teaching & Learning (93): 55.

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