students performing research in a labUndergraduate Research Overview

Participating in undergraduate research helps foster critical thinking, analysis, problem solving, and communication skills. It also fosters creativity, and understanding of the research process while simultaneously giving students the opportunity to explore different career options, and to develop new skills that round out their resumes or graduate school applications.

Strategies

Cultivate Positive Mentorships

Mentorship plays a strong role in the undergraduate research experience, and students who have an effective mentor are more likely to report positive undergraduate research experiences (Russell et al. 549). Mentoring provides the perfect opportunity for faculty to use their expertise to facilitate the personal and professional development of a burgeoning researcher. Student mentees gain opportunity to learn from someone with more experience and knowledge.

Consider Incorporating Research in the Curriculum

Course-based undergraduate research experiences offer the opportunity for an entire class to engage in research. Rather than applying for a research internship, or approaching faculty individually to find a mentor, students simply enroll in the course. These courses can be introduced at any level and they can be useful for alternatives students who are unable to complete traditional research experiences.

Resources

Diving Deeper/Research